Do Horses need a companion? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 60 Old 09-15-2011, 09:10 PM
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I read a study about elderly horses that showed that older horses with companions lived longer and were healthier overalll when compared to older horses that live by themselves.

My 30 yo mare has been alone this summer (we have 2 minis but they are in a different paddock due to over-eating and escapes). I thought she was ok, maybe a little down but then I brought her to the barn (where she is boarded in the winter) for a couple weeks while on vacation and realized she's a different horse. The spark in her eye and her whole attitude is different. I'm working on finding her a summer companion right now... watching her stand next to the gates to be close to the minis is depressing for me too =(
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post #22 of 60 Old 09-15-2011, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MySerenity View Post
I read a study about elderly horses that showed that older horses with companions lived longer and were healthier overalll when compared to older horses that live by themselves.

My 30 yo mare has been alone this summer (we have 2 minis but they are in a different paddock due to over-eating and escapes). I thought she was ok, maybe a little down but then I brought her to the barn (where she is boarded in the winter) for a couple weeks while on vacation and realized she's a different horse. The spark in her eye and her whole attitude is different. I'm working on finding her a summer companion right now... watching her stand next to the gates to be close to the minis is depressing for me too =(
Kind of off topic but I think this rule applys for humans as well. Even if they are not with other people but have pets they are better because they have company and a reason to live.

Amanda

Horses lend us the wings we lack.
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post #23 of 60 Old 09-15-2011, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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my horse does have another horse as a companion right now but I am hoping to sell that horse very soon (possibly this weekend) and have been thinking strongly of a mini. They seem to be rather scarce in my area but I have found 2 for sale one is a yearling stud colt and the other is a pregnant mare. My horse is a 6 yr old morgan/quarterhorse gelding he is rather quiet and shy but he is definitely boss of the other horse at mealtime at all other times he seems to be content to let his buddy be in charge. My gelding is friendly with all the other horses we have met and before I bought him he lived at a big riding stable where he was kept with over 100 horses of all ages and sizes. Do you think the little mare would be a good companion for him or would the fact that she will have a foal next spring complicate things too much?
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post #24 of 60 Old 09-16-2011, 02:42 AM
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ARTEMISBLOSSOM:
I think getting a mare in foal no matter what size will add massive complications. And VET BILLS! You'll need to ensure you have somewhere safe for her to foal down, to keep the foal once born. Not to mention foal watch and the training the foal will need once born.

The yearling stud would need gelding and possibly some training. No matter how small you want to be able to halter, tie up and move the horse/pony around just in case.

There are generally paddock ornaments, old or lame horses past use, for sale very cheap if not free or lease. There are also plenty of people who may prefer to keep their senior horse and you could offer them cheap board.

My advice would be ask the feed store check craigslist or even better if you have a local horse forum advertise/ask there.
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post #25 of 60 Old 09-16-2011, 09:12 PM
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Artemis: If I was you, I would get a mini gelding. Then they can be buddies and you don't have to worry about babies. Plus geldings with geldings, they usually get along well. We have so many minis being given away in my area, its kind of sad. Good horses, but with the economy no one wants something they can't ride My BO has 2 of them, and they are so dang cute!! Just never forget, they are horses too

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #26 of 60 Old 09-16-2011, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lakotababii View Post
Artemis: If I was you, I would get a mini gelding. Then they can be buddies and you don't have to worry about babies. Plus geldings with geldings, they usually get along well. We have so many minis being given away in my area, its kind of sad. Good horses, but with the economy no one wants something they can't ride My BO has 2 of them, and they are so dang cute!! Just never forget, they are horses too
Well, some little kids can ride minis, so if you have children or grandchildren, it could be fun to have a mini that is lead line broke. You can get a well broke mini around here for about 350 to 500, which is a pretty good deal for a broke mini I think. I always wish I could have a mini for my daughter as it just seems like it's less intimidating - and I could throw a fun birthday party at my house with a little mini to lead about on pony rides ... Lakotababii is correct, though, they require all the same care of a horse. More so sometimes because they can so easily get fat and founder. But they are so super cute! And they have super cute little hooves!

Any companion will require care - even those silly goats! But I do not think a mini mare in foal is a good idea AT ALL if you are on a budget with both time and $. Foaling is tough and then you have to do a lot of ground work and training. I would keep looking around as there are several mini horse farms around here that are selling off their stock, so I think you could find a gelding or an unbred mare for a good price that has, at the minimum, some simple ground work. I think the benefit of a mini would be less $ on feed, but as the owner of a pony (not a mini, but short and round nonetheless), a grazing muzzle is probably a good idea before spring ... just incase!

Last edited by 2SCHorses; 09-16-2011 at 10:00 PM. Reason: I'm and idiot and can't spell.
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post #27 of 60 Old 09-16-2011, 10:07 PM
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Horses can be happy with any companionship, but they're usually happiest with another equine since they speak the same 'language.' All horses are different though. If I were to put my mare out by herself for the rest of her life with only me as her companion she'd be more than content. But then she wouldn't have anyone to boss around.


You can tell a gelding. You can ask a stallion. But you must discuss it with a mare. -Unknown
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post #28 of 60 Old 09-16-2011, 11:28 PM
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Just remember, I only had one horse who had been at a training barn his whole life and when I retired him I got him a 'pasture buddy' so he wouldn't be lonely. Well......14 years later I now have 20 horses on the place......It's all his fault, LOL!
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post #29 of 60 Old 09-16-2011, 11:53 PM
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My girls are definitely better together. When Willow was stalled alone, she tore up her fence & Mona is less spooky. I haven't had these problems since we put all our horses together.
I do have to deal with the buddy sour thing, but it is worth it.
I know I would go stir crazy if I only had myself as company day after day.
Also, it is very common where I live for donkeys to be put in with cows and horses to keep coyotes away. Plus you can use the donkey to pack if you camp.
I've heard minis tend to have complications when in foal. So I wouldn't recommend getting the mare.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.

Last edited by flytobecat; 09-16-2011 at 11:55 PM.
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post #30 of 60 Old 09-17-2011, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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I agree that a gelding would be the best option if I can just find one. I can't believe how difficult it is to find a mini in my area. Has anyone had any problems with the horse hurting the mini? There is such a size difference I am concerned that the little one could get hurt. I sold my paint today and as of tomorrow my Morgan will be alone, so the search for a suitable companion will begin in earnest. I'd love to have a donkey as well but from what I have read they can't handle cold weather and my horse is an outside horse.
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