How to Introduce a New Horse to the Herd

Shortly after I wrote the first blog about Stan Lee, circumstances dictated that he be moved from the original place I chose to board him to Crack of Dawn Farm, where my other horse, Newman, is boarded. I now call the farm: Three Men and a Baby.

For the first few days, Stan was turned out by himself, adjacent to 18-year-old Newman and 19-year-old Waldo. Within a few days though, he seemed to bond with Waldo and we turned them out in a small pasture together. To our astonishment, they did not even greet each other but went right to grazing, side-by-side.

In a few more days, we added Newman to the mix. That also went well, mostly because Waldo wasn’t letting Newman anywhere near “his” baby (when Waldo went to the paddock to get a drink however, Newman and Stan did manage to quickly sniff each other, share a few squeals, then part before Waldo came back).

Meanwhile, Teddy (“Theodorable” or officially Maestoso Nitra), the barn owner’s 10-year-old Lipizzan gelding, was feeling very left out. It was time to introduce Teddy and Stan so the whole herd could be together. Like with Waldo, we let them “meet and greet” over a fence first. The younger and more playful Teddy was much more . . . exuberant upon finally getting close to his new little brother Stan and the two of them spent the first day galloping up and down the fence line. When things calmed down aka they were both tired, we opened the gate between them. After years of “adulting,” Teddy finally had a sparring partner! They ran, they reared, they played face tag. After a half hour of horseplay, they settled down to graze and we examined them closely for injuries. Not. A. Mark. On. Either.

Now that all of the horses have met, things have calmed down at the farm and it’s time for Stan and me to get to know each other!