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Goldiebabe

I Am Introducing My Two Rescue Fillies To My Mares Tomorrow

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I have decided that it is finally time to turn my rescue fillies, Andromeda and Firefly, out with the "herd." The "herd" includes my 10 year old AQHA mare, Goldie; my 12 year old AQHA mare, Serenity; and Serenity's three month old filly, Remedy. Goldie and Serenity are both pretty bossy, but Goldie LOVES foals and the girls have all met over the fence since I brought the rescues home. Serenity has been mean to the babies over the fence, but Goldie and Remedy seem to love them.

Anyway, my plan is to take Serenity out of the pasture for a little bit while I introduce Romy and Firefly to Goldie and Remedy. Is that a good idea or is that asking for trouble? I figure if Goldie accepts them, then it will make things easier than if Serenity is out with Goldie and Remedy when introducing them. The only reasons I kept the horses separated so long (since very beginning of July) was because Romy was injured when she came here and we had to treat her leg and butt wounds for a length of time. Also, both fillies had nasal discharge and coughs and were not socialized AT ALL when they came here. They were in rough shape and both were weaned WAY too early and have been orphans. Romy was only about 6-8 weeks when we got her and Firefly was about 2-3 months (vet's opinion). Both fillies have come a long way healthwise. Firefly overcame strangles, Romy's leg healed miraculously and both fillies have shed their gross wormy coats into healthy shiny coats, plus they are much easier to handle now.

I don't work at all this weekend so I figure this will be the perfect chance to introduce the fillies to the herd. Remedy is going to LOVE having two other babies to play with. She is so fascinated by them over the fence haha. Serenity is the only horse I am worried about not being accepting of the fillies. I think Firefly will be more easily accepted than Andromeda, but who knows.

Thanks in advance for any tips you may throw out there to help me make the transition smoother. I will be sure to take pics of all the girls running around together.

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I thought you got rid of the two rescue fillies. The last post I saw by you said that you were getting rid of them because they were turning out to be too much $$ or too much work... or something... can't remember exactly.

Anyways... glad to hear that you've kept them! What a lot of work they entailed... what with the wounds, getting sick, and having to nurse them back to health.

If they've had time to get used to each other over a fence, it really shouldn't be a problem. They might chase each other around for a little bit, but then should settle down quickly. It might take a little while. And I can guarantee you that the reason that Serenity doesn't like the two is because she doesn't want any 'strange' horses around her baby. She is protecting her baby.

So, she might be kinda mean and pin her ears and chase them away. Once the 'newness' of everything wears off, I bet she relaxes and will even let them hang around her. I would probably just do that... or if it still makes you nervous, maybe halter her and have her on a leadrope, then she won't be able to go far. But, I think she'll handle that better than being removed. If you remove her, but leave Goldie and her baby in with the new fillies, she's likely to go a bit nutso on you, might even try to charge through a fence or something trying to get back to her baby.

Good luck! I sure hope everything works out ok. We'd sure LOVE to see some updated pics of everybody!! Pretty please??

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Thanks CB!

Well, I had someone look at Firefly and Romy earlier this month, but haven't heard anything back from her so guess she wasn't as interested in them as she seemed. I think part of it was convincing her husband. But I just starting advertising them online this week so that may draw more interest to them. I had also looked into taking one or two of them to a horse rescue about an hour away, mostly because I feared for my other horses when Firefly showed strangles symptoms and there was no way to "isolate" her from them. But ended up deciding to keep them until I find them a good home myself. I want to know where they go and they are both doing really well healthwise now! None of the other horses, including Romy who has been with Firefly since I got them, have shown any strangles symptoms which I find interesting. Goldie was vaccinated against it, but Serenity wasn't since she was heavily pregnant when I got her and vet didn't want to vaccinate her for it the day after Remedy was born.

Part of me still wants to keep one of the fillies (Firefly in particular, but if Romy gets more sociable, I wouldn't mind keeping her), and having all the horses in one pasture will make that more do-able since I won't need separate hay for the horses (they get a round bale 24/7 in the big pasture) and they will all have access to good shelter and have plenty of room to roam. Unfortunately, I don't have good grazing in the pasture, but as long as they have good hay accessible to them all the time, who cares. It would be a plus to have good grass, though. Guess I just need to have them eat grass in my yard, lol. In the near future (within next month) I will vaccinate Firefly and Romy for WNV and rhino, flu, and WE/EE since they did not get the antibodies from their dams. Remedy needs a WNV vaccine soon, too.

You made a good point about Serenity freaking out if she isn't in with Remedy when the other two are introduced. They should be ok since they have a large pasture and Firefly and Romy should be able to get away from the mares if they do not want them near.

I sure hope Firefly and Romy are not too difficult to catch in the big pasture. That is another reason I had them in their current area until now. Romy is HARD to catch but not bad in a small area. Hopefully she sees how much the other horses love attention and being caught and learns from them. I've seen horses learn by watching others like that.

I haven't taken many new pictures of most of the horses lately (can't find the battery charger for my *good* camera and I'm irritated with my cheap digital camera. Picture quality is horrible for some reason!) but I took some of everyone one or two weeks ago including a bunch of adorable pictures of Remedy with me and my boyfriend. I will take a lot of pictures tomorrow (should get some action shots lol) even if it means using my bad camera.

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I agree that taking Serenity out may cause more problems. Are you doing this by yourself? I would have someone hold Serenity on a halter and lead while you bring in the babies. Or visa versa. I can't see you handling all three by yourself! There will be some rucus in the beginning so be prepared. If it gets too rambunctious, take the babies out.

OR....can you put Goldie in with the babies first and let her bond with them? That way when you put them all together Goldie can be thier protecter.

AND...where are new pics of the little ones????????

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What I always do when inroducing new horses is, to remove all "old horses" out of the pasture. Then I release the new horses into the large pasture, giving them a couple of hours to check out the new place. I like for the newbies to be able to study their new home, without being either stalked, or chased.

Then I realease the "old horses" one at a time, starting with the lowest in pecking order, I wait til they settle to release the next one.

Key to this is that the old horses seem to think that "dang, we leave for a couple of hours, and these guys sprang up out of the ground like mushrooms!"

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Thanks for the great advice! Sounds like a good way to introduce a new horse(s).

Update -

Didn't turn them out with the others today because I was gone all morning and afternoon and when I got home around 4:30 p.m., it started storming like crazy (rain, thunder, wind, and lightning - we even lost power momentarily lol). Plus, I wanted to wait to do this until my boyfriend is home to help me because I will probably need help catching Romy for one.

I may turn them out later tomorrow or Monday. I just got an e-mail from a young woman who is a recent college graduate and is interested in looking at Romy tomorrow or Monday, so I will keep her in the smaller area until this woman looks at her. This woman sounds great - she was on the equestrian team at my college and rides at a barn south of town (maybe the one I used to board at? But there are a couple different barns down there) and she has been wanting to take in a rescue horse for quite some time now because she had a good experience with a previous rescue. She also is into English (hunter) so I think that would be GREAT for Romy! The way she looks and moves... I'll let you know how it goes! I am going to push for her to look at Romy tomorrow, but Monday will be ok, too. I'm just excited someone is coming to look at Romy.

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