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Foal Turnout... with the 'herd'??

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  • Foal Turnout... with the 'herd'??

    The broodmare foaled a week ago, YAY!! And I got 95% of exactly what I wanted. I've recently bought a new farm and am doing a lot of work to make it 'horse ready'. Basically we brought them home asap before the mare foaled and have made the best of what we have... There is a small pasture with amazing no climb fence that the horses are in that has since been divided with hot poly rope to keep everyone seperated.

    I only have the broodmare, now baby, and a little QH gelding. Gelding is a complete pushover and bottom of the pecking order, think overgrown lap dog.

    How long do I need to wait until I turn everyone out together again? I'm not concerned with the gelding hurting the baby but rather mamma trying to kill him if he gets too close to baby... the weather is supposed to get semi nasty here in the next few days (hail) and their run-in shed has been fenced off for the mare and baby (no stalls built yet). So gelding has no shelter avaliable, he is a prince and hasn't been hardened to 'weathered life' so I tend to worry about him more than I probably should. I'd like to give him the option of shelter even knowing he more than likely will not use it. Broodmare has been making it pretty obvious she'd like to kill him if he gets too close but now shes in heat and has been making googly eyes at him. My thought is now that she is 'receptive' she may not think about killing him... in 3-4 weeks they will all go out together in the large back pasture, so I guess I'm wondering when baby is old enough. In the big pasture there will be enough grass to keep everyone distracted, but it isn't completely fenced in yet.

    I do have an option of dividing the shelter in two but the dividing wall will be one of those flat panel gates that I hate... and I worry about the baby getting hurt on it. She is very fence respectful and has done fine with the round gates and hot wire.

  • #2
    I think you should wait a little longer because your mare is still in the protective stage and with her showing aggression signs at the gelding she would probably hurt him. I always waited until I saw that my mare would act non aggressively to my other horses who would come up to see her or her foal. It helps when they share a fence so they can still have contact. Usually by the time the foal was 3-4 weeks old I had everyone together with no drama. It would be easier to divide the shelter for now.


    • #3
      In a pinch you can mount some plywood on those pipe panels to make them a little safer. Might be worth it if you're going to have bad weather.
      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for telling me what I already knew... I've been a little OCD about this baby as it is my last one out of the heart horse broodmare... but I'm also very OCD about the gelding...

        I'll try to safely rig up the panel gate in the run-in tonight...


        • #5
          I agree with the 3-4 week rule. Momma is still going to be overly protective for a few weeks, and you don't want the gelding to catch the brunt of that. You may be able to get him back in with momma and baby sooner, if she stops showing aggression earlier.

          You know your horses better than any online forum, so if you are pretty sure that if she makes faces, he will walk away, and she won't chase him, then you can take your chances.

          The little rescue mare that we had foal out last spring accepted certain members of the herd before others. She was perfectly content to allow my mare to be with her and baby after 2 weeks, but it took 4 before her best friend gelding was allowed near the baby, and another 4 before anyone else in the group was permitted.
          Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


          • #6
            We put our out in the herd generally about a week. But our horses have been together forever. I say trust your gut instinct. You know your horses better than anyone.