Introducing Mare and Foal to Other Horses

Q. At what age is it safe to introduce a foal to the herd? And is there a recommended way for introducing the foal and mare to the herd (one horse at a time, dominant horse first/last, geldings first, mares first, etc.)? Our herd consists of two maiden mares and three geldings.

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A. This is a difficult question to answer as a solid truth--it depends! If your mare has lived with the herd peacefully prior to foaling then they may do well right away. If you are unsure then it would be better to introduce them to the herd slowly by having them in adjacent paddocks for a week or so. This way the herd gets to see the new foal, and you can judge the mare's reaction to their interest.

About the Author

Mary Rose Paradis, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM

Mary Rose Paradis, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, serves as section head at the Hospital for Large Animals at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Her specialty interests include both neonate foals and geriatrics. In 2006, she authored and edited the book Equine Neonatal Medicine: A Case-Based Approach.

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