Why do horses run around, buck and get so silly when a newcomer arrives?
As I mentioned last week I am trying to find a new companion for Chesney and Basil so that Chesney is not left on his own when I ride. This made me think about introducing a new one to the field. It can be tricky!
Horses always get so excited when a new one arrives. Even though I only had 3 in my 'herd' they had an established pecking order and understood one another. They would all spend time in 'couples' so one day Chesney and Basil would graze together, another day it would be Basil and Fidget and then another day Chesney and Fidget. The other one would never be too far away but they definitely shared their friendship around.
They understood each others' boundaries and when to keep out of each other's way! So introducing another one will no doubt cause some stressful moments. Chesney and Basil are very friendly, they will be keen to say hello to any newcomer. However, as with any herd, the newcomer will have to learn to read the others actions and reactions and so avoid being hurt. Chesney is not shod and he does not tend to kick out but Basil does and he is shod so I will have to think carefully about introducing them. Also, they were all geldings. Chesney and Fidget were fine with mares (my previous horse Josephine was a mare). Unfortunately, I don't know if Basil has been turned out with mares before and I have no idea how he would react.
With all this in mind I will have to carefully plan my introductions. Using temporary electric fencing to keep a new one separate will, I think, be the best way to start. It will then just be a matter of taking it one day at a time to see how they settle before putting them together. I may introduce Chesney first as he has no shoes and does not kick. Also, if I try to introduce Basil first then Chesney will just go through the fence anyway!
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Until next time!