Is This True?
 
 

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Is This True?

This is a discussion on Is This True? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        10-29-2008, 11:14 PM
      #1
    Meg
    Foal
    Is This True?

    (I hope it's in the right forum)

    I was told that for the mental health of the horse, you need to have at least one other horse with it, OR a sheep or goat. I know several people who only have one horse and they are fine. We want to start out with ONE horse at first, this is our first time owning a horse. So, we don't want to jump into anything "big", you know what I mean?

    All advice is welcome and appreciated!
         
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        10-29-2008, 11:18 PM
      #2
    Trained
    They are a herd animal and do better with other horses. If you can't get another horse, a donkey, goat, etc are good companion options.

    Is there a chance you could board the horse? That way your horse will be around other horses :)
         
        10-29-2008, 11:26 PM
      #3
    Meg
    Foal
    No, we don't want to board. We plan on getting two or three more horses when we move, so it WILL have companions, just not right NOW.
         
        10-29-2008, 11:26 PM
      #4
    Trained
    A horse is happier with company, no doubt about it, but I've seen single horses that are quite content. Actually, being alone did one of my girls a lot of good -- when she first arrived here, her nickname became "Snotty". Less than a year later, her buddy died. It took about 6 weeks before we got a new friend for her, but in those 6 weeks, her personality *completely* changed. Now she is super friendly with people and the latest addition is the new "Snotty"!
         
        10-29-2008, 11:35 PM
      #5
    Meg
    Foal
    Trust me, this horse would probably get sick of seeing me all the time. LOL I just love horses so much...I'd spend every single second of the day with them if I could. But we will get another horse or two once we move...Just right now, we can only get one.
         
        10-30-2008, 12:29 AM
      #6
    Started
    If you've never owned a horse before I'd really suggest boarding at least at first. Horses are tons of work and it can help you take better care of your horse if you have some help. It really helps to take care of a horse with the support of a good barn owner or trainer. Are you taking lessons? Can you take lessons with a good horse trainer so you'll be able to train your horse?
         
        10-30-2008, 12:58 AM
      #7
    Weanling
    Horses are heard animals so they like being around other horses. If this isn't possible its not the end of the world, just make sure you spend lots of time with your new horse and get him/her a companion asap when you move!
         
        10-30-2008, 01:00 AM
      #8
    Weanling
    Horses should have company.
    Herd animals, prey animals for that matter need to be in company. Horses groom , play and use each other as security-especially at night , and in a natural environment /wild they form pair bonds which last forever if allowed. Keeping them on there own doesnt allow for them to act out natural behaviours.....as far as interaction with other animals go.

    I have read a study on a horse that lived on his own for a very long time, along with many other problems one related to being on his own was he often took any moment he was around people as a time to doze/ sleep as on his own he had to be on the look out so couldnt fully relax as he had no one to look out for ' danger ' for him while he rested.

    True ....some horses can cope with it, but I bet if they had a say in how they lived they would choose company over not having any.


    Even if you can't afford 2 horses at present, you could put up a paddock mate wanted add and see if you can get a companion that way, even for short term untill you get other horses or animals. The you will just be looking after your horse but he will still ahve company.


    Honetly I hate seeing horses on there own. But really the choice is yours
         
        10-30-2008, 01:20 AM
      #9
    Green Broke
    A goat would be great company.

    Music/radio works well too -- you'll just have to see how this individual reacts to being on his own...
         
        10-30-2008, 06:53 AM
      #10
    Foal
    I've always really strongly believed that a horse should have a companion. I've never seen one, but I've been told that some horses do fine on their own. That may be the case, but what if the horse you get is one of those that really does need a companion? They can become seriously depressed and anxious if left alone, which could lead to nervous habits and ulcers. I just wouldn't risk putting a horse in that situation. Even if you are literally with a horse 24/7, you're not quite the same as a fuzzy four footed animal.
    I'm sure a little donkey or goat isn't that much trouble to care for.
         

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