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Do you turn mares/foals out with other horses?

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  • Do you turn mares/foals out with other horses?

    I'm curious to know if people do this--I have my very first baby and I'm feeling super protective, but I'd REALLY like for him to be able to go out with mom and another docile mare (who does not have a foal), it would make my life SO much easier.

    Do people do this?

  • #2
    Originally posted by FairWeather View Post
    I'm curious to know if people do this--I have my very first baby and I'm feeling super protective, but I'd REALLY like for him to be able to go out with mom and another docile mare (who does not have a foal), it would make my life SO much easier.

    Do people do this?
    Absolutely!
    Make sure you have a large enough area so no one can get easily cornered if they get stupid the first time out. You may try having help and everyone hang onto a horse for the first few minutes of nose to nose talking just to make sure they aren't going to get super silly. I would let momma and baby go first then turn loose of the other mare.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yup!

      My filly and her mom are out with her older 1/2 brother (an 8 year old gelding). The filly adores him! She follows him around, hands out with him, and only visits mom to go to the milk bar! She is totally fine when mom leaves for a short ride with brother to baby sit but when Chase goes... it is like her whole world is ending!

      Comment


      • #4
        Definitely. All of mine live in herds and I expect the same for mares and foals. It's great for them to be able to socialize w/ someone other than mom and to sorta give mom a break now and then. I had four foals this year and two of the pairs are w/ a 2yo gelding and two older geldings. They get along great. The other two pairs are w/ two 2yo's and a 3yo gelding. All of them were together before they foaled so they know each other well and get along.

        If the mares already know each other and get along, they should be fine together.
        A Merrick N Dream Farm
        Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

        Comment


        • #5
          Generally, no, because I don't have a reason to. I usually have at least 2 mares with foals- I don't like to raise a baby without a playmate. But if I needed to put another mare without a foal in with a mama and baby, I probably would. Nearly all of my mares have had at least one foal and are wonderful with babies. I would probably wait until the foal was a couple of weeks old or better so it was well bonded with it's own mother and the mare is not quite as protective of her baby (a couple of my mares can be evil for a week or so after the foal is born). I only have one gelding, and while he's great with yearlings, I'm not so sure I'd want him out with a mama and baby.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yup

            This years and her mom have been out with the 2 geldings and they are currently out with our 2 yearling fillies.

            The yearlings ADORE her and the baby rules the roost, she steals everyones food, etc - she has that "my mom will beat you up if you don't let me do xyz (rear on you, pull your tail, eat your food, etc)" fearlessness going, lol.

            It totally depends on your mare - if she is super protective, expect some scuffling at first, but they come to really appreciate the company (mare and foal!)
            Celtic Pride Farm
            www.celticpridefarm.com
            Become a fan on Facebook!

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            • #7
              You guys are so lucky to have nice herds. I had 2 mares of my own that foaled this year and a client's mare that foaled. They all live separetly. One of the mares is the foal killer from last year, and the client's mare is nasty to the mares in my herd unless out with my Alpha who doesn't have a foal. So I refused to take a chance this year.

              Yes, you can all tell me I won't have social foals and I've done them harm, but when you watch a foal have it's leg broke clean in half, the sound and memories NEVER go away. Last year's colt, who was raised by himself, took the weaning better than anyone and had no problems what so ever living in a group.

              Terri
              COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

              "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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              • #8
                My mare and her filly eventually went out with my gelding and my mom's two minis. We waited until she was old enough and sure enough on her feet to get out of the way if needed. We were mainly worried about the gelding (my mare's best friend, but he's a drama queen and can be a crank), so we let them have weeks of sharing a fenceline. Everything went great, and they were a very strange happy family. My filly's BFF was my mom's two year old mini colt. They would wrestle like no other, and the mini eventually began nursing off of my mare. The filly would grab one side and Bosley would grab the other. My mare didn't care! He definitely didn't need the extra food, but the filly needed her buddy in there with her. They all really enjoyed themselves. My mare was one of those "my baby can do no wrong" mamas, so it was nice to have her uncle OTTB and aunt mini-mare teach her a few manners because her mama sure wasn't going to!!

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                • #9
                  I kept my mare and youngster on their own for a while until he went to inspection last year then my 20 year old gelding joined them. I swear he things Aiden is his kid! I got a weanling playmate for my boy so then it was 2 weaners and 2 grown ups in pasture and they've been like that ever since. I think the grown ups help teach them manners pretty well too.
                  Cloverfox Stables

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                  • #10
                    Honestly, I am sure it works out fine for some people, but the risk is significantly higher. Every horse is different with foals and I have heard of numerous situations both on this board and in my life where one of the herdmates (usually another mare) decides they will not tolerate the foal. In most cases, the foal was fatally injured.

                    I really wouldn't do it.
                    www.svhanoverians.com

                    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      After the adjustment period of mare and foal bonding, and mare getting her strength back, mine are all turned out in a group.

                      These mares know each other well as some were born and raised here at sugarbrook. I even have first time moms (obviously watched very closely) turned out with the other mares and foals. I always have a BOSS mare in every pasture and since the mares are together before foaling, they know the rules. Babies need other babies to play with. Just my way of doing things over the many years.
                      Sandy
                      www.sugarbrook.com
                      hunter/jumper ponies

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sugarbrook View Post
                        After the adjustment period of mare and foal bonding, and mare getting her strength back, mine are all turned out in a group.

                        These mares know each other well as some were born and raised here at sugarbrook. I even have first time moms (obviously watched very closely) turned out with the other mares and foals. I always have a BOSS mare in every pasture and since the mares are together before foaling, they know the rules. Babies need other babies to play with. Just my way of doing things over the many years.
                        That pretty well describes what I do with mine. I do not turn out mares and foals with geldings, but that is just because I have plenty of girls and practically no boys.
                        Mary Lou
                        http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                        https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                        Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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                        • #13
                          I also meant to say that I do of course turn our broodies out together with their foals. These mares stay together all winter and then after the foal is born they spend a week or so with only their mother before they rejoin the momma mare group as it is wonderful for the foals to grow up together. Then by weaning time they have each other for comfort as well.

                          I just don't put them in with other open mares or geldings ect.
                          www.svhanoverians.com

                          "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yupp

                            That way they learn how to socialize and how to live in a herd.
                            After a period of just the mare and foal together when the foal is stronger and more active I introduce other horse(s).

                            If is a risk of course (as with anything) just monitor them closely until everything settles down. Knock on wood but I haven't had a problem yet!

                            Good luck with your baby!! = )
                            Starflower Stables

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              After about a month or two I usually add the most docile mare I have to the mix with a mare and foal - this year it was a pony mare who has become the buddy of the filly. Then I added two preggos and a very docile mare.

                              I do not put my performance mares (with back shoes and both are alphas) with this group nor does the gelding go with them - the gelding goes with our 2 yr old stud colt or with the alpha mares.

                              Next year I have two foals coming but I am not sure if the mares will be together because the mares don't get along.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I only have one or two foals a year, and yes, I selectively turn mares and foals out with another horse or two, but I have rules. One, the other horse can't have shoes. Two, no geldings with mares and foals. I have a wonderful old TB babysitter mare, and before I wean I always have her with the mares and foals, as she will live with the foals once mom is gone.
                                Mystic Owl Sporthorses
                                www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I actually really don't understand why people turn out their foals in mixed herds, it makes me so nervous! Foals are so expensive and fragile; until they are old enough to defend themselves, I don't understand turning them out with adult horses (except if they are mares with foals).

                                  Now clearly there are exceptions when you have an beyond-tolerant adult horse, but they have to be completely submissive to the foal.

                                  Now these are wild horses, but just to show you how much power horses possess:
                                  Wild Stallion meets Newborn Foal
                                  (I'm sorry, it's a little graphic).

                                  Foals should certainly never be turned out with stallions, even if they are their "daddys".
                                  "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                                  Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                                  Need You Now Equine

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Nes View Post

                                    Foals should certainly never be turned out with stallions, even if they are their "daddys".
                                    It completely depends on the stallion and the situation. Our mare had a gorgeous little smoky black sabino filly born three weeks early tis year. They share a pasture with our stallion, Alvesta Picasso (he is the sire of the filly). Mom can often be found in the middle of the pasture grazing while baby sleeps in the shelter. Our stallion stays with the filly in the shelter and looks after her. Often, she spends more time with him than her mom. He is a gentle sole and looks after her with his life!! We had two colts born two years ago and another one last year, and we used Picasso to wean the foals. You would often see them hang off of Picasso or trying to bite his cheek or lower legs and he would be extremely patient until he had finally had enough. It was extremely cute to watch. Wherever they laid down, Picasso would either stand over them or lay down beside them. I would much prefer to wean our foals with him than taking the chance with a hormonal mare.

                                    Picasso was raised in a herd situation for more than twelve years, so he is well versed in regards to dealing with mares and foals. This definitely may not be the recommendation for a domesticated stallion, who has been raised to live a solitary life and may not have the same social skills that develop in a horse who has been raised in a herd or group situation. As I said, it really does depend on the stallion and the situation.
                                    www.DaventryEquestrian.com
                                    Home of Oldenburg, Westphalian & RPSI approved pony stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                                    Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness www.EquineAppraisers.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I do turn my mares & foals out with other mares and foals (who normally live together and get along). But if I only have one like last year, I put my pony gelding out with them after a month or so to 'baby sit' and 'entertain' the foal. He is SO perfect with them!! He will take EVERYTHING they dish out and he just warns them he 'may bite/kick' if they get too full of themselves!! Then when it comes time to wean they already have a good friend!! It makes the process SO easy!! My colt from last year was more attached to the pony then his dam!! If they were in the barn he would call for him!! (The pony never answered!) As he got older, then the pony would adjust the discipline level as needed, he never went too far! He is the PERFECT babysitter and that is why I still have him!!

                                      If the horses didn't get along/know eachother I might be a little cautious about putting them out together...wouldn't want to chance anything!!
                                      Elegant Expressions Farm

                                      Visit us on Facebook too !!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by prodomus View Post
                                        After about a month or two I usually add the most docile mare I have to the mix with a mare and foal - this year it was a pony mare who has become the buddy of the filly. Then I added two preggos and a very docile mare.

                                        I do not put my performance mares (with back shoes and both are alphas) with this group nor does the gelding go with them - the gelding goes with our 2 yr old stud colt or with the alpha mares.

                                        Next year I have two foals coming but I am not sure if the mares will be together because the mares don't get along.
                                        I do exactly like this, too. All are herdmates before the "big event," so they all know their place. I add my old retired broodie first after 2-3 weeks, then a few weeks later (at this point foal is 6-8 wks), I bring the others in. I don't put my gelding or performance mare in with them - ever.

                                        But like others have said, it depends on your experience with the individuals and how they get along.

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