Is It Okay To Keep One Horse Alone? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 30 Old 09-14-2009, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Is It Okay To Keep One Horse Alone?

Hey everyone, I was wondering if anyone here has just one horse? I have two geldings, and I'm thinking about selling one. What are your thoughts on keeping one horse alone?

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post #2 of 30 Old 09-14-2009, 10:15 PM
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I wouldn't do it. Horses are herd animals, they need to be in group settings where they can socialize with their own kind *gosh that sounds weird when I read it back to myself*

Yes, they go through depression when they bond with a buddy and get taken away from them.

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post #3 of 30 Old 09-14-2009, 10:21 PM
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My horse is alone. It works good for training them, they have there attention more on you and they also listen better and "lean" on you more, but also it can have its draw backs. Like my horse jumped out of her pen to go visit some neighbor horses and cut her foot, but she has not done it since, so it just depends on your horse. Like my horse was always wiht at least 10+ horses at a time, then I bought her and she went down to only one horse and she was just fine wiht me being her friend, but then I left for 3 weeks and that's when she got only and went to go visit.

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post #4 of 30 Old 09-14-2009, 10:21 PM
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I've had horses kept by themselves and they were fine. As long as you've got some kind of other herd animal such as a sheep or goat etc. in there with them, they'll often bond to the other animal and be perfectly happy.
I actually prefer to keep my horses by themselves sometimes or at least shift them around so they don't get too attached to one 'friend'. I've always had mares so not sure with geldings, but I find they are just so much better behaved when they don't get to friendly with one particular horse!!
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-14-2009, 10:53 PM
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After the death of my boarders horse, my mare got very clingy to me and I could barely leave the barn without her neighing for me.

So I got Dixie to keep her company.

Now that Dixie is sick and has to stay in the barn, Gandy is doing well outside as an only horse.

So I guess it depends on the horse and the circumstance.
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-14-2009, 11:27 PM
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I think horses need other horses. They are heard animals...

this might sound odd, but when I got my horse, he couldn't even see another horse around. And he didn't have a goat friend or anything. And he was alone like that for several years before I got him. Now to watch him with other horses, it's like he's a little bit socially dumb, like he doesn't know how to behave with other horses. Thankfully he has gotten better. He now gets turned out with a bunch of other geldings, and is doing well with them. It's like he lost his horsey communication skills for a few years.
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 12:24 AM
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I would do everything in my power to give my horse a friend if she was alone.... even if it was a goat. Lol. Horses really do get bored and depressed when they're on their own....
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 12:28 AM
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socialization is critical for herd animals like horses its in their genetic amkeup to be with others of their own kind, my grandpa had a horse who he got when he was just a baby and grew never seeing another horse so when my friend bought him when he was 4 he was terrified of other horses, among many other mental and emotional problems he had. Even if you consider yourself their herdmate, they need constant contact, so if you can't be with them every minute theyll need a companion and if you want a horse who doesnt thnk he is a goat id advise you to keep another horse... that said I know for economic reasons most people nowadays have trouble keeping more than one, in that case just try to keep him with stall toys or a companion animal, nothing substitutes another horse, but any contact is better than none...

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post #9 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackInTheSaddleAgain View Post
I would do everything in my power to give my horse a friend if she was alone.... even if it was a goat. Lol. Horses really do get bored and depressed when they're on their own....
I agree. A horse needs a friend. Where do you think the expression "get your goat" came from'? Goats make good friends for horses but some goats like to eat the tails off the horse. I would look at a small pony as a friend, doesn't eat much, needs only a small pen when in the barn ,keeps your guy company and doesn't eat tails.

The " get your goat" comes from a horse story. A goat was often kept as a friend for a high strung race horse. It was a friend who kept the race horse calm. Before a big race if a competitor could steal your goat the horse would have a bad night, be very upset and not in racing form the next day. Stealing a goat was not a big deal by itself but what it did to the horse was worth alot so the expression " get your goat " was born.
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-15-2009, 07:57 PM
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you should try natural horsemanship so you can act more like another horse around him. Also, work with him and interact with him a lot every day. You can also get a goat. :P

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