Do Horses need a companion? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Do Horses need a companion?

Hi I wasn't sure where to post this so please move it if it is not in the right spot. I am wondering if horses need a companion. I have always had 2 horses at a time but soon I will have only one horse and I am wondering if I need to get him some kind of companion for his mental and physical well being. I don't want to buy another full sized horse so I am looking at what might be a good alternative. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking of getting a mini perhaps but I know absolutely nothing about them.
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post #2 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 09:36 AM
Showing
 
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Yes, horses need companions. They're herd animals and don't do well alone.

Minis are just horses in small packages.

If you don't want to bother with a mini, a pony, donkey, sheep, or even a goat will work, although goats are escape artists. If it won't hold water, it won't hold a goat!

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post #3 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 09:49 AM
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My daughter just got her OLD horse a companion goat! The goat is cute and nice (She thinks she is a dog) but the fence wont hold her. She goes thru every fence on the place like it wasn't even there! Thankfully she did bond with the old horse and stays near him except when we go to the barn. Then she follows us like a dog would. Also thankfully the barn is located off the road and pretty much all by itself so she should not get into any trouble!

Rhonda
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post #4 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 09:49 AM
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I think it depends on the horse. Our horse has been alone now for about 8 months (her "friend" was sold) and we were planning on getting her a companion but she has done great being alone! She never even whinnied for the other horse after he left or showed any signs of being distressed or lonely. However, there is another horse a little ways down the road whose stablemate was sold and the horse got very distressed - whinnied and ran for days. Fortunately we didn't have to go through that. You may want to just wait and see how your horse does.
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post #5 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 12:21 PM
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My bf has goats with his horse,(mine is there now too, but for several months it was just Buddy and the goats) He has regular fencing, but added a strand of hot wire near the bottom to keep the goats away from it. I've never seen any of them get out:)
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post #6 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 09:02 PM
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Can horses survive without a companion, yes - but there are a lot of things that can be survived that don't mean one is thriving. IMO, it is best for them to have some form of companion to be as healthy (mentally) as possible.
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post #7 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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I will be getting him some kind of a companion. My first thought was to get a donkey because I have always wanted one but after researching it a bit from what I read it seems like donkeys don't handle the cold too well and I live in Northen Ontario Canada and it gets very cold here in the winter. At this point I am torn between a goat and a mini (if I can even find one)
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post #8 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 10:30 PM
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Some horses don't care if they are alone or not, not many but there are a few. Most horses are happy when they have a buddy. Even crabby horses that like to be alone are more secure if they can see another horse.
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post #9 of 60 Old 09-14-2011, 10:31 PM
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My friend's horse has a llama for a companion and it works out well. Llamas are by no means a 'care free' animal (but seriously, so far my DOG has had more vet $ in her than my horses combined, so nothing is care free!), but they are not too high maintenance. You can actually trim a llamas nails by yourself, though they need shearing once a year (you can do this with a good pair of clippers if you have a nice llama), shots and worming, just like all domestic animals.
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post #10 of 60 Old 09-15-2011, 12:39 AM
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I've got two alpacas (smaller version of llamas and a lot friendlier) and they get on very well with the horses. Usually there is at least two horses on the property, but when one is away for a while, the other one is fine with the alpacas for friends.
Our alpacas are super low maintenance, don't need extra feeding, feet don't need trimming etc. Just shearing once a year before summer.
Though they are pretty pricey to buy!!

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