Alone in pasture?
   

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Alone in pasture?

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  • My horse hates being alone in the field
  • Can horses be alone in a pasture

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    11-24-2012, 11:51 AM
  #1
Foal
Alone in pasture?

So, I just moved my horse to my house, and while I absolutely adore having him home, I feel like he's lonely. He has a paddock, and a fairly large pasture to roam around in. There are horses that he can see from the corner of the pasture, but that's it. I keep him in at night time, but he paces repeatedly in the mornings when I let him out into the pasture. My friend has a donkey that she wouldn't mind keeping with him, would this be a good idea? I've heard of people keeping all sorts of animals with horses to cope with loneliness. Any ideas? Do you guys think the donkey would be a good solution? I love having him home, but he just hasn't seemed like the same horse. I'm limited financially, so I was looking for the best (and most affordable) option. Thanks everyone!
     
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    11-24-2012, 11:54 AM
  #2
Weanling
I know someone that keeps a donkey with their horse and they get along great, and donkeys are usually good protection animals, as they can be kicking fiends. This particular donkey hates dogs and kicks the crap out of strays that try to get in the pasture.
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    11-24-2012, 11:28 PM
  #3
Started
I think that sounds great. Just make sure you amd your friend write up a contract stating what your friend will pay for and what you will do (like feed the hay she provides once a day) .
     
    11-25-2012, 11:18 AM
  #4
Green Broke
They are a herd animal and so prefer company, it doesn't have to be another horse like critter though, just about any herbivore you can keep in your pasture will work.
     
    11-25-2012, 03:23 PM
  #5
Showing
My good trail gelding had various companions. First a hornless nanny goat. Then a huge female goose, a doe rabbit. At his feeding time he would turn his head and dribble oats so they could have some.
     
    11-25-2012, 03:42 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
That sounds like a perfect solution!

As far as companion options go, I have a pair of goats that are my girl's buddies. They all get along fantastically.
I was really lucky with mine that I was able to get an older doe (9 years old) and a young wether as a pair (I really would have preferred 2 older goats but this works out just fine). The doe keeps the wether in line and since she knows "the rules" (no escaping, being polite, the whole thing) she also makes sure he follows "the rules". If I had gotten 2 young goats...I can see myself hating goats.
Anyway, they're SUPER cheap to keep. They don't need anything really beyond what I'm already getting for my horse (already had a 2 stall barn so they "own" one stall and my horse has the other), I do feed them COB which I would never feed to my horse but one bag lasts them about 3 months...etc. I think in the nearly 4 months I've owned them, I've maybe spent $150 on the goats, including initial fencing. Hay prices would probably increase that $$ if I were to be really nitpicky but it's would be maybe $3 for the pair/week. I don't think they would even come close to finishing off a single 60lb bale of grass hay in a week (with grazing, of course). And these guys are large goats!
They do need regular hoof trimming like any hooved critter but it's something that's pretty easy to learn to do yourself and it's a VERY easy job.

Also, mine both have horns and they really don't cause issues. Of course, I've been careful from the beginning to not handle their horns too much and to chastise them if I do end up being touched by horn, but it really has not been an issue. I guess it would possibly be different if the horse in question was very physical with the goats but my girl will nip them if they get too frisky with her (she's definitely the boss! Haha) so they pretty much give her her space.
     
    11-26-2012, 03:08 PM
  #7
Foal
I have 2 horses, but I don't always have them turned out together. My mare had some abuse and/or neglect earlier in life & good luck catching her if she is in a large space. If she is in a large place with horse friends, forget it. So currently my boys are in a very large space, and she is with Charlie, the Alpine goat, in a smaller field.

All the horses get along with the goat. In fact, I have seen all 4 of them share a 12x12 by choice. Pretty darn funny.

If you write up something with your friend, that could be great. However, make sure its written down. Plus if they hurt each other, who will pay bills? I'm sure its just my bad luck, but I'm a bit parranoid because of some "family" issues I've had this year. :-p
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    11-26-2012, 03:15 PM
  #8
Showing
If your friend has a donkey that she would be willing to house with your horse, that would be a perfect solution. Donkeys are relatively easy keepers as they generally stay pretty fat on just grass. They are hardy little things and very social. Also, very protective of their property/herd and will defend it strongly against 4 legged predators.
     
    11-26-2012, 03:16 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Yes, I think you should get him a buddy.

Horses are herd animals and don't like being alone. Even though he can see other horses, it isn't the same as having a "herd" in his own paddock.

A donkey would be great! Or a mini. Or a goat. Just something to keep him company.
     
    01-06-2013, 12:34 PM
  #10
Foal
Quick update everyone! I decided to get the donkey and my horse LOVES him! It has been a perfect match! Thanks for all of your input :)
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