New pony in paddock!!!


New Member
Aug 6, 2017
I have a 15hh 22yr Connie X Mare. She is on grass livery 247 and today a new pony was put into her paddock. I've owned my mare 11 years and she has always been content sharing paddocks with the exception of one occasion where my friend's baby went in with her and she was aggressive. Normally she has always been perfectly content.

This new pony is an 11.2hh 16yr Welsh Sec A. My mare is not pleased. The only thing I can think of is that all the times she has been content, she has been the horse getting 'added' to the paddock. Whereas with my friend's baby and with this pony, they have been 'added' to her paddock. So I'm assuming it's a normal dominance dynamic.

Anyway, whilst I've been riding 27yrs it is a long time since I've had paddock drama and I'm just seeking some guidance/reassurance over what behaviour is normal and what I should be concerned about.

First of all, there is NO option to separate. There was no option to put them side by side first. So it is simply a case of there is one paddock that can't be split for the two horses.

Secondly, the little pony seems happy and content around my mare in that she isn't directly making a fuss. My mare is chasing the little pony off whenever she comes near the front of the paddock. If she grazes right down the bottom out of sight my mare is okay but as soon as she treks towards front of paddock my mare chases her. No teeth bearing behaviour just basically 'stay away' from my space.

Is this acceptable behaviour for the normal of introductions and sorting the pecking order out?

How long does it on average take them to adjust? How long should I give it before rasing concerns?

Is there anything I can do to help them adjust?

Appreciate I possibly am asking a daft question but feeling a bit anxious and would appreciate guidance.

The yard setup is very basic. No stables, no extra paddocks, so I'm working with the basics here.

Thank you.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
Hugs, you sound upset and worried.

I'd say that if the other pony seems relaxed there isn't much to worry about, and the chances are that they are fine together when you aren't around. My gelding is in a settled group but when I go to catch he's horrible to the others if they come anywhere near me or the gate. It is what it is.

As long as the behaviour is limited to threats and chasing I'd leave them to sort it out, I expect you'll go up one morning and find them together and then the next problem will be they decide they can't bear to be apart!
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Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
Visit site
It sounds fairly minor behaviour in that there are no kicks or serious bites being exchanged. I would keep an eye out but it seems quite natural to me.
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Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
I’d try not to worry too much if it’s all just show and no actual blows being landed. As @carthorse says it could be your presence making her particularly grouchy about the gate area, maybe try hiding in the bushes when she’s not expecting you and before she knows you’re there and see if they’re doing better when you’re not around ?
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Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
When I first introduced Chloe into Storms paddock (and life!) Chloe was fine and didn’t get attacked or chased just seen off if she got too near Storm. Storm would do quite a bit of squealing and posturing if she thought Chloe was getting too near. And we found Storm would play to an audience too! If we peeped at them when they didn’t know they could be found companiably grazing or even just standing quietly. So Jessey suggestion is good you might just be pleasantly surprised.


Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
Agree it sounds pretty low key, if there's no real fighting going on. As to the time it takes, it varies. The 16hh thoroughbred cross in our field bullied my poor old NF til the day he died - no damage, just harrassment. Now my little fat cob's in there - took him all of 5 minutes to establish his place above the 16hh! Again, no injuries, just threat. Unless you're really unlucky, it'll settle itself soon. Don't worry too much


Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
Just out of interest has she shared with small ponies before? Only asking because our retired gelding hates babies and ponies with a passion. His behaviour is much worse than your mare though, he went straight for a foal that ducked under the fence into his paddock when being led past with it's dam. Lucky the foal made it back out to its mum, but our old boy chased it with teeth bared and meant it. He also badly beat up a Section A and quite recently broke down some electric fence to get into the next field and attacked the youngster that was in there. I once found a squashed dove in his stable, I thought he must have trodden on it by accident but YO said no he will have killed it on purpose. Other than not liking small animals he's very placid and usually the bottom of the herd.

Not suggesting that's your horse's problem but I just wondered if there were other horses out there that had similar odd opinions to ours!

Fingers crossed yours settles down with the new pony very soon.


Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
sounds nice and low key, i made the mistake of getting two boys as companions to my cob mare Molly, she chased them round the field for an hour and i had to separate them she liked fillies not geldings.
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