Discussions

Individual grazing versus group grazing

  • Just wondered your opinions on grazing as at present Rosie is in a group with others, with Spot of course, and then a couple of friends geldings.  I'm finding it difficult when Rosie is in season to get her to come and be caught, she is far more interested in following the geldings around. When i take her inside to work one of the geldings stands by the gate and waits for her to come back! I'm now considering moving her into an individual paddock before I move to my yard , as well as making her easier to catch she won't be able to get into fights and get kicked! 

    My concerns are , of course horses are herd animals and that she will be unhappy if I remove her from the group, Will she try and escape, will she be unhappy?

    What do you think?

  • 4 Replies
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  • I definitely prefer horses to be with other horses, especially when they are not working. Horses help groom, comfort, protect, and teach one another. They do sometimes squabble, but these altercations are usually very brief and any injuries minor. Only occasionally do horses truly injure one another; this is usually when a new horse is introduced to a herd and the horses are trying to establish who will be predominant. The more often a horse is moved from one group to another, the more likely this will occur. If a horse is a leader in one group, he might not willingly accept the leadership of another horse in another group.

    Many of the problems men have with horses are caused by the way they treat horses. When they keep horses separated from one another, they do not learn social manners. Horses kept in individual stalls or paddocks often have trouble associating with other horses.

    Horses sometimes build strong bonds and hate to be separated. I have noticed that this is generally when a horse that has been isolated has joined one of more other horses and learned the benefits of companionship. If a human builds a close bond with a horse, the horse generally shifts freely from the herd to the human and back with few problems.

    I seldom have problems picking any horse I want from any paddock or field. I like to think this is because the horses like me. But it may well be because I give them treats when I put them back out after working them; I generally give treats to their roommates as well if they come up when I am putting the horse out. I do not give treats when I get the horses. I also scratch horses when they itch, so some come up to me just for that.

    Don Matschull, www.quietriding.com

  • Would it work to put her out just with Spot since they seem to get along well together?

    Ashley

    Herman's Soldier 2007 Thoroughbred

    Night Before 1996 Thoroughbred

  • They fight so much Ashley, they are ok some of the time but Rosie just picks on Spot and kicks him and bites him! She can be so grumpy sometimes

  • I don't know if this would help Rosie at all but I have seen a lit of evidence that removing soy from a mares diet will greatly reduce the symptoms of her seasons.

    Ashley

    Herman's Soldier 2007 Thoroughbred

    Night Before 1996 Thoroughbred