Help sorting turnout groups of 5 ponies needed!

ElleSkywalker

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Afternoon,

I have 5 ponies kept at home who I need to work out turn out solutions for the summer for. I lost my dominant mare in November who used to sort problems for me and its left me with a bit of a head scratcher. I'll number ponies below in order of dominance.

#1 - 17 year old NF mare. Mother of #3 has EMS & Cushings will be muzzled all summer.
#2 - 7 year old freisan x mare. Daughter of deceased dominant mare with a lot of attitude.
#3 - 6 year old NF x freisan gelding. Son of #1 & half bro of #2 has sweet itch
#4 - 16 year old Shetland mare. Has EMS & Sweet itch. Will be muzzled all summer.
#5 4 year old cob mare. (Yes she is below the Shetland!) Only one in work currently. Only had her since Dec.

Limitations - 2 & 3 have not been out with 4 for years. 3 as a youngster used to pick her up and try and fling her about. 2 & 3 have never been out with 5 and 2 hates 5 with a passion.

At present 1, 4 & 5 go out together in the day. Happy little group but come summer day turn out will not be ideal for 5 as she'll be better off out as much as possible while still young, also I'd rather have her in in the day for riding.

2 & 3 go out over night. Happy enough, but I found last year 3 was better going out in the day due to his sweet itch

The ideal would be 1 (in muzzle) 2 and 5 going out together over night and 3 & 4 (in muzzle) going out in day but see above 're Shetland tossing. If 2 & 5 got on 1 could go out in the day to keep an eye on Shetland.

At present they all go out in 3 acre field, post and rail fences or thick hedge with electric infront. Only bottle neck is by gate which can be fenced off with electric. In summer will be a 10m track round edge with middle left for hay. None are shod except the Shetland has who has fronts

Sooo, thoughts? My ideas are currently

A) Pony fight club.......put 2 & 3 out with 1, 4 & 5 in day and hope she keeps the peace. Done fairly soon before muzzles are needed then split into groups as above when things start to grow provided they settle

B) Put 1 out overnight with 2 & 3 for a night or two to re-establish her dominance then add 5 into mix. Keep 4 on her own in small paddock for a bit.

C) After field rolled and track up (most likely march) put 1, 4 & 5 out on track and 2 & 3 in middle for a while to get them used to over the fence. However when they do finally go out together it'll be on a track rather than whole field which could cause problems.

Small paddocks are not possible at min as heavy clay soil meaning would be a slippy mess within hours.

Any ideas people? All 5 stables can see each other so although 5 hasn't been out with 2 & 3 they can see each other.
 
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be positive

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I would take 4 out of the mix and keep in at night as planned but make a small turn out for her that she can have one in with her each day if you want, all the chopping and changing options would drive me mad, I would get them all out as much as possible in the summer for an easier life, that will give you less time mucking out stables and more time to ride them.
I though it was 4 that had sweet itch but is it 3 as well?
 

annagain

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If you do it nice and early so before you need to leave it for hay, can you put 2 and 5 out together overnight but 2 in the field and 5 on the track (I imagine she will be a good doer) so they can't fight, then 1,3 and 4 out together in the day if 1 will protect 4? Maybe once they're settled 2 will realise she only has 5 so won't hate her and you can put them in together. If it's still a problem after a week or so, would 1 keep the peace? Maybe you could put her in with them once 3&4 have settled together and now 3 is a bit older, he might have grown out of shetland tossing.
 

Meredith

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I understand why you asked ElleSkyWalker.
1). I am totally confused by the combinations
2). I have no experience of track systems
BUT
3).Is it possible to have 2 tracks or 2 half tracks so that 2 groups can graze at the same time?
Of course I am quite prepared for you to say this is impossible๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€
 
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I'd try option A for a couple of weeks, adding #4 after a couple of days, trying to observe herd dynamics.

At present all mine are together in daytime, L Fuzzy keeps order, including bashing B Fuzzy if B is a knobber at tea time. B Fuzzy will bash the 2 x minis if shes bored, annoyed etc. Tiny Fuzzy will protect Miniscule Fuzzy when required.
M Fuzzy lives in her muzzle in daytime all year round as lami prone.

Once muzzles come into play, then need rethinking ref night and day movements.

My 2 x tinies are currently on short rations overnight, as per L Fuzzy. B fuzzy on own overnight as needs hay mountain. Then all together roaming as herd from anything like 6am to 6pm. Am lucky B Fuzzy easy to catch in.

Good luck!
 

ElleSkywalker

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Sorry yes 3 does have sweet itch have amended OP now.

BP years ago all did go out overnight and it was wonderful, it's the sweet itch that's messed that up really as neither really get on with the rugs.

Annagain yes that might work, tho with 5 in the middle as she's in work & is only just 4 so any extra chub will get trotted off her.

Dusty yes I may well need to abandon the track/hay idea sadly. Alternatively you send me your two minis and problem solved!
 

be positive

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I would still make a separate paddock for the shetland, keep the 2 itchy ones in at night and the rest out maybe bring in the ridden one when you turn out the others, dealing with SI is a pain as they are best in at dawn/ dusk and rugs only do so much to prevent them being bitten.
 

ElleSkywalker

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I understand why you asked ElleSkyWalker.
1). I am totally confused by the combinations
2). I have no experience of track systems
BUT
3).Is it possible to have 2 tracks or 2 half tracks so that 2 groups can graze at the same time?
Of course I am quite prepared for you to say this is impossible๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€
It's not impossible, but not ideal as would need to be a figure of 8 option and the second track would only be accessible from first track and I'd rather be able to add/remove horses without having to bring first lot in first.

TFF yes pony fight club minus 4 to start is a good idea, am guessing you are thinking in the full 3 acres?
 

Meredith

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It's not impossible, but not ideal as would need to be a figure of 8 option and the second track would only be accessible from first track and I'd rather be able to add/remove horses without having to bring first lot in first.

TFF yes pony fight club minus 4 to start is a good idea, am guessing you are thinking in the full 3 acres?
I have an electric fence gate in my fence which I use when necessary i.e. it is not across all the time. Would that be a useful idea?
 

ElleSkywalker

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I have an electric fence gate in my fence which I use when necessary i.e. it is not across all the time. Would that be a useful idea?
It wouldn't work sadly as the track needs to be around the outside of field for hedges/shelter etc. Field is rectangular with gate bottom left corner, for two tracks they would need to be two square ones both with one side of square going across middle so in order to get to second square I would have to walk up one side of track meaning it would need to be empty.
 
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Esw, yes, fight club in large area, with a part where #4 is adjacent.
Then let #4 in with others, but possibly leave fence tape just high enough for her to get back under, like a foal creep. I do that when doing intro with small ones as means they can escape being bashed if necessary.

Or, just sling them in together, watching like hawk, with cuppa in 1 hand and lunge whip in other, also with carrot in pocket...
 

Meredith

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It wouldn't work sadly as the track needs to be around the outside of field for hedges/shelter etc. Field is rectangular with gate bottom left corner, for two tracks they would need to be two square ones both with one side of square going across middle so in order to get to second square I would have to walk up one side of track meaning it would need to be empty.
Ah OK. This track system thingy is a rather complicated I fear.๐Ÿ˜€
 

Leo Walker

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if you make the tracks both start at the gate but have both tracks open onto a box round that gate that solves any track issues. You could always make them longer by having them zig zag across the field. They dont have to be just round the edge the whole way
 

ElleSkywalker

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if you make the tracks both start at the gate but have both tracks open onto a box round that gate that solves any track issues. You could always make them longer by having them zig zag across the field. They dont have to be just round the edge the whole way
Attached is to scale drawing of field with track set up. Ignore all numbers. The gate is bottom left corner where it says 3.6 and the gate on right long bit is to the road and not useable. The hedges are bottom of field and long side on right. The tracks need to be continual so no areas they can trap a horse and kick through the fence and both would need to have some of the shade from hedges :)
 

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