Although some horse owners simply turn a new horse out with the herd and let the horses themselves work out their hierarchy, there are some things you can do when introducing a new horse to the herd that will help protect everyone?s safety.? If at all possible, turn the new horse out in an adjacent field or paddock so that the horses can all get comfortable with one another while safely on either side of a fence.? Once they have spent a few days checking each other out, you can try putting them out together.? If you have one particularly dominant or aggressive horse in your herd, you might wish to remove him and let the new horse settle in with the others.? When you release the dominant horse back into the herd, he?ll be the one entering a now relatively stable herd hierarchy.? This will hopefully minimize his need to pick on the newcomer.? You might also want to try taking the horses out on a ride together, where they can get to know each other in a controlled environment.?
Turning the horses out together will carry some risk no matter how much you have prepared, so be sure that someone is on hand to deal with any situations that might arise.? If the horses have enough room to move around, there should be few problems, as they will be able to keep moving if needed.? However, if a horse gets cornered and can?t get away from a more aggressive herd mate, you may need to get involved.? Carry a lunge whip with you just in case.
Try turning them out when they are hungry and hopefully they will be too interested in eating to be bothered with challenging one another.? If possible, pull the hind shoes of horses that are spending time together in the field ? this will prevent serious injury from misplaced kicks.?