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This is a discussion on Companion within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    02-17-2013, 05:23 PM
Question Companion

Hi guys,

I know this is an age old question, but I couldn't find what I was looking for from the search bar.

I only have the one horse now, and she's been on her own since Friday. She has been fine, but being a herd animal, I feel it very, very wrong to keep her alone. Luckily, with it being the weekend (and glorious weather for once in the UK!) I have been able to spend a large part of my weekend with her. But I work in the week, and I feel like it would be very, very unfair of me to keep her on her own. She can't even see any of the local horses, just hearing the odd, distant whinny now and then.

She's actually been really good, not stressed *touch wood* at all. But she is alert, which I suppose is normal, but in a herd, they look out for each other, whereas she's not switching off in case an evil pheasant pops out of the bush to eat her! I know there is nothing around here big enough to eat her, but she doesn't!

However, I don't really want another horse, and I think she wants my undivided attention. If I bought a companion pony, even if Velvet was still my favourite, I would still feel obliged to speak to and fuss the companion pony, and Velvet likes me to give her ALL the attention (that's probably a bad thing on my part, but I like it just the two of us as pals, I like her attention as much as she likes mine)

So, what companion can I get for her, that will be her friend but:
- Is cheap to keep
- Doesn't require too much attention from me (sounds mean )
- Doesn't require too much looking after
- Respects fencing (I think generally this rules out goats. I'd like a goat, but they're notorious for getting out)

I'm going to ask the YO if he'd let my friend keep her horse here to keep Velvet company, in which case I wouldn't need a companion, but he could always say no (as lovely as he is, it's still his property. He knows me which is why he's offered me the paddock, and he's particular, so I'm not holding me breath)

Anyhoo, please give me your companion ideas (by the way, nothing too exotic! As much as I'd like a giraffe in my paddock, I think my neighbours in this little village would raise an eyebrow hehe)
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    02-17-2013, 08:02 PM
Pygmy goats shouldn't be too naughty.. some are naughtier than others.

Sheep, chickens, cow.. alpaca, llama, pig..
Corporal likes this.
    02-17-2013, 09:29 PM
A pony would be nice. Goats are too hard to keep fenced in.
    02-17-2013, 09:43 PM
Pigs can be very hard to keep fenced as they dig under.
They also like to rut everything up.
I don't like them.

Mini ponies are a lot cheaper.
Still gotta have hooves done, shots, feed and normal check ups.... I don't really think they need a crap load of attention.

Maybe a llama would work?

Or one of those mini cows.
    02-18-2013, 05:10 PM
Sky, chickens? I never thought they'd be a good herd member haha! Yeah pigs are out as I'll have NO grazing left hehe just one big mud pit!

I wouldn't mind a little dexter cow. I think cows can be lovely!

A few years ago I'd have loved a llama or an alpaca, but they're daft! I will still consider them though.

The problem is, I know mostly about horses, but I don't really want another equine, as they require a lot of love and general maintenance. But, all of these other animals, I know little about (just general care Etc)

What a pickle :/
    02-18-2013, 05:40 PM
I have a pet rooster that hangs around the barn. The horses don't particularly like him. My pony ignores him. My Arabs chase him away.
    02-18-2013, 06:08 PM
I'd go for a llama or an alpaca. They're just cool and make cool sounds.

I really, really want a goat...but I understand the complications with keeping them penned.

Maybe a minidonk? Upkeeps still the same bit its not a minihorse ;)
    02-19-2013, 03:30 PM
Thanks for your input guys. It's difficult, because she's actually quite antisocial to other horses, so I don't really want another equine, as I think she'll bully them. But, it wouldn't be fair to keep her with nothing (although she looks really content on her own, it just doesn't seem right!)

Might just get her a plastic horse ;) hehe
    02-19-2013, 03:52 PM
I would say a mini donk would be best.... They are still in your area of comfort/experience but different than horses. Llamas/alpacas are nice but they still need hooves trimmed, wormer, and all that other stuff. Plus you have to get them sheared at least once a year.
HollyLolly likes this.
    02-19-2013, 03:52 PM
WSArabians, HollyLolly and Celeste like this.

companion, donkey, friend, herd, miniature

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