Winter turnout for a pregnant mare question...

_jetset_

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I know I am being far too organised for my own good (this is not normally one of my attributes by the way) but due to a few thing that have happened recently I have started thinking about winter turnout.

My mare is currently in a field with five others (soon to be 6) of which she is the boss horse. Well, that is up until recently. Since becoming more pregnant she has moved away from the rest of them and likes being on her own a lot, not bothering with the others hardly.

Anyway, the last few weeks she has come in with a few kicks. One turned into a haematoma which has recently dispersed and the other on her bottom (oops!) They are quite minor luckily, so I am not overly concerned and I am one of those who thinks, "Well, horses are horses!"

BUT, the grazing has been a little scarce recently due to the hot weather so I think this could be why she has been coming in with these marks. Luckily we are moving to another field in a few weeks that has quite a bit of grass on so that should solve the problem for the rest of summer.

I am getting to the point of this post, I promise!

Because of her bumps and bruises I started to think about winter turnout. It is every other day for a few hours, but when the mares go out they fly around at 100mph and invariably there are legs flying in every direction and fights start because of the lack of grass.

So, I am starting to worry a bit about Hannah going out with the mares over the winter. After all of this waiting for the foal, I just don't think it's worth putting her at risk in the last two or three months.

YO has said she will have a chat with me tonight, as there is a possibility that she could go in with an old IDxTB and an 11 year old TB ex-racer who is lovely. They are already together as a double act and are very very quiet. I never see either running about and they are really chilled together.

So... any opinions on what I should do and why?? Totally open to suggestions. I don't mind if you say I am being a completely neurotic horse owner by not wanting to put her out with the mares, as that is probably what I am being...

Thanks for reading this, and sorry it is so long and round the houses, LOL!

Rebecca
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ihatework

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Sounds like your YO is lovely and willing to help you out, I would certainly consider turning her out with just the old horse. If this is her best friend then it may work nicely when the foal is a bit older and your mare and foal needs to be reintroduced with other horses
 

_jetset_

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She has never actually been out with these two horses before... The reason they are together in a separate field is because the older one kept getting bullied in the field and he just could not move quickly enough to get away. It is thought that the foalie will go in with this horse at weaning time, but for the moment Hannah would have to go in with both the old horse and the TB as they have been going out together all summer.
 

Clodagh

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Sounds good, but are they both geldings? It would be awful if they started fighting cos a mare came along. Mind you, no seasons to worry about!

Is there ever a day with horses that there is nothing to worry about...
 

_jetset_

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Tell me about it... Yes they are both geldings but as Han isn't having any seasons we thought that would erradicate that problem plus she is simply not interested in any horse at the moment...

I was just worried about her being with two geldings as she has only ever shared with mares when I have owned her.
 

Tempi

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If the geldings are quiet enough then i cant see too much of a problem - do u have no option of turning out alone? like a small fenced off area or something?
 

_jetset_

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No i don't have the option of turning her out alone I don't think because YO is saving one field for Han and her foal through the winter so it has grass on when it is due in March. I could put her on this but I would rather keep it ready for March...

Looks like it could be a 'wait and see what she is like with geldings' thing...
 

AmyMay

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The absolute best scenario would be for her to be turned out with one companion mare (one who she knows and likes). Once she has foaled it won't be long before she will be looking for company again - and this type of relationship is perfect. It means that they can be together up to Han foaling, and then reunited several days later.

The geldings may be a temporary solution - but not a long term or ideal one really.

I definately wouldn't want her belting around during the winter (although obviously excercise doesn't hurt them - but the chances of damage increases hugely if they are all going to act like maniacs).
 

_jetset_

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There is no option of her being put out with a companion mare unfortunately... To be honest she doesn't have one particular one that she is close to as her 'best bud' left a few months ago. Plus I don't know which mare it is who is kicking her, so I wouldn't want to risk it.

I know with these geldings that they are quiet and content. They have both been turned out with mares in the past, so they will not be the problem, if anything it will be Hannah.

She will be on her own with the foal right through to weaning as all the other horses (mares and geldings) have back shoes on apart from the old gelding that I am thinking of putting her in with. I can't expect someone to take their horse's shoes off and like being independant of other people on the yard. I would hate to have to rely on someone who would let me down... I just think it can cause real problems in a yard atmosphere.
 

henryhorn

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I'd take her up on her offer, as already you've had signs she is getting kicked.
We move ours about if anything starts getting bullied and they often work best of all in a group of three. I assume she will get her own paddock when the foal is born?
 

MagicMelon

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I think since the others are being a bit over-exuberant, then it may well be a good idea to turn her out with the other horse who is quiet. If this doesnt work out, can you electric tape off an area of the paddock the others are in? That way she's still "with" them but out of the way of flying hooves?
 
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