Is it cruel to a horse to have just one? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-13-2009, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Is it cruel to a horse to have just one?

I would be interested in opinions and/or stories and experiences one way or the other about this.

Since horses are herd animals, is it okay to own just one horse?

This is assuming the horse is kept on your property, and the neighbors do not have horses. Would it make a difference if the neighbors do have horses?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-13-2009, 08:52 PM
Yearling
 
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I started off with one horse.She never seemed lonely or anything.I think she liked being alone so she wouldn't be bullied. I got another horse this year tho for barrels so they seem happy.
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post #3 of 17 Old 11-13-2009, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Did she have anything to keep her company, like a goat?

We have two dogs, and some chickens, but I don't know how good company they would be for a horse.

Also, I wonder if some horses are just more naturally independent than others.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-13-2009, 11:52 PM
Yearling
 
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I have goats but they weren't near the horse pen so I doubt she bonded with them. Of course the first few days I got her she was kinda wary of the new place but she settled in quickly.I had her alone for a year before I bought Shocks.I think your right,they are more independent than other livestock like goats or cows. A few of my friends have just one horse.

Are you thinking about getting a horse ?
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-14-2009, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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We're working on getting a place with land first in order to have room for a horse/horses. I've been doing a crash course on all things horsie for the last six months. I've been horse crazy all my life, but never approached horses from the adult, fully responsible for all the details and finances before.

I'd like to start with one horse, but started to worry about ending up with a lonely, unhappy horse for lack of a buddy.
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-14-2009, 01:50 AM
Yearling
 
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Well,hope it works out for ya !
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-14-2009, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Thanks :)
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post #8 of 17 Old 11-14-2009, 03:53 PM
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When we first got Molly years & years ago she was alone for a year. We thought she might be lonely but when I bought her a little 11 hand pony pal she kept chasing the pony threw the fence! In her particular case she was fine living alone but shes a independent and quite bossy horse. We had two dogs and a few cats, plus I was out with her night and day :)
I do know it depends from horse to horse how they will handle it, I've met a few who I would never suggest live as a only horse but for the most part he/she should be OK.
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post #9 of 17 Old 11-17-2009, 08:33 PM
Yearling
 
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I believe it depends on the type of horse you own. I have two horses (well ones my moms but we basically 'share' them), my horse Starlite is the alpha and is always telling other horses what to do. Dream, my mom's horse, HATES to be alone. I couldn't imagine ever keeping her alone!

One time we had to move Starlite to a barn with no other horses and she LOVED it! The neighbors had horses but she had to go far up in the pasture to see them, when she felt like it she'd go see them but it was rare when she did.

Starlite seems to stress with too many horses. As of now she's happy being pastured with Dream and bossing her around, Dream is happy taking her bossing. LOL. But really Starlite would probably be happiest all alone.

It allllll depends on the individual horse.
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post #10 of 17 Old 11-18-2009, 04:45 PM
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It depends on the horse. Some are just fine by themselves, and some need companionship. There are some horses who won't tolerate any other animal in their pasture, but those are pretty rare. If your horse is lonely and you don't want/can't afford another horse, you could get a goat or sheep. Any herd animal can be a companion for a horse.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.
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