Saturday, December 1, 2012

Operation Integration

Jenna, Gretchen's remaining Appy, has reached a point where we believe we can start trying to integrate her into our mare herd. Unfortunately, she came up really lame the first time. So their first meeting through the slats in the stalls, then Gretchen grazed her near the girls out in the field. Dottie and Jenna exchanged ugly faces, but no crazy stuff.
Today Jenna was looking a little better. We brought Dottie and Rosemary out to her field this time. My girls were thrilled. It is an 8 acre field with a lot more grass than their current field. All my horses except Roscoe are still wearing muzzles. The grass still has not died back enough.
We gave my two time to explore before we added Jenna to the equation.
As you can see they followed the fence, while taking in the sights. When they came back around, I hooked Rosemary on a lead line so she would not run anymore. Then Gretchen brought out Jenna.
The girls grazed together for a little while, each keeping track of the others. Then Dottie poofed up to her full 16h drafty self and approached Jenna. Jenna poofed up too and squealing ensued. Gretchen pulled Jenna back and Dottie walked away, not impressed at all. Rosemary kept grazing keeping her distance from Jenna. She moved to follow Dottie and ended up getting charged by Jenna. I almost lost the lead line she moved backward so fast. Yep, no lead mare in that pony. After that she kept a close eye on Jenna and widened her bubble.
I was able to let Rosemary off the lead line, but Jenna stayed on. We had one more Dottie vs. Jenna incidence where Jenna tried to turn and kick Dottie after squealing. Again Dottie was not impressed. Today was not going to be the day Jenna roams free with the girls. In the end we put Jenna in her sacrifice area and kept the girls in the field while Gretchen did her remaining work for the day.
Mares are tough and Jenna seems like she is going to be even tougher. I do not think she has many herd manners. It will be hard to let Dottie teach her a lesson with the worry of injuries.
If anyone has any suggestions on merging mares, let me know. Rosemary was a dream to integrate when we brought her home, so Jenna is definitely a challenge.
Stay tuned for more ;)


  1. Its pretty interesting the way horses develop their pecking/herd order.
    Some horses can just fit straight in while others need to be introduced gradually.
    Good Luck with getting them all settled in together.

  2. I agree with ruffles, this is something that I am going to find truly fascinating.
    Good luck with the next meeting i hope they settle down a bit.