Anything we can do to get an older horse to settle down?
My new horse, a seven-year-old gelding Foxtrotter, has joined my 14-year-old gelding Foxtrotter and his herd of two female mini donkeys. We kept them in adjoining pastures for six days before letting them out together. Now the older horse is herding his donkeys and always staying between them and the new horse. There has been very little aggressive behaviorexcept by the donkeys, who are tired of being herded!
Is there anything we can do to get the older horse to settle down? He’s not eating well, and I have spent two years getting weight on himI would hate to see him loose it. We feel that if things don’t change, we will have to separate them at feeding time to ensure the older horse gets adequate nutrition.
Lesley, while it’s likely that the behavior will eventually settle, how about we set up some rules for feeding in the meantime? Let’s feed the whole herd in individual buckets, and give the seven-year-old his food first in a bucket with very large (bigger than his open mouth) rocks in it. The rocks will increase the amount of time it takes the seven-year-old to eatkeeping him busy and on task as you feed the others.
Also, be sure that there are two water sources and at least two hay sources so the 14-year-old has access to these at all times.