How to tell if a horse is "lonely"... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 32 Old 08-23-2013, 05:22 PM
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I knew someone who had a horse alone at home, and thought the horse was perfectly happy. There wasn't anything you could point out and say "that horse is lonely." But, she later ended up moving her to a boarding barn for other reasons, and realized how much better the horse was doing being around other horses. I think some horses do OK with no horses (or farm animal companions) but that even these horses do better with companionship. It doesn't necessarily need to be a horse, but they do need something (goat, cow, sheep, etc.) there with them.
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post #12 of 32 Old 08-26-2013, 02:26 AM
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I have had my horse at home alone, and boarded with other horses. When I first got him, I had him at home with a couple horses, after we sold those horses, he was alone. He seemed okay, but he got to leave for lessons and shows pretty often so he was around other horses periodically. Then he was boarded with other horses for a while, then we moved and I had him and my other horse at home, after selling my other horse during the winter, he was alone. He lost a bit of weight, and seemed sort of depressed, but those were the only problems I had. Once he was boarded again he put back on the weight and interacts normally with other horses. I think it really depends on the horse, but if your horse can see other horses close by, and has contact with you fairly often, he should be fine. :)

~Naturally Seirian "Seirian"~
14 year old 16.1hh Welsh Sport Horse
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post #13 of 32 Old 08-26-2013, 10:38 AM
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I know of plenty of horses that were kept by themselves and were fine. But it's not a choice that I would make for myself. If I decided to keep a horse at home, I would get him a companion of some sort (another horse, alpaca, goat, etcetera...). That's just how I would handle the situation.
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post #14 of 32 Old 08-28-2013, 01:47 PM
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Yes horses can & do survive alone & the rare few do actually cope well or even prefer it. But horses are social herd animals & also being prey animals, their safety(mostly mentally for the ones in captivity) & so well being depends on being part of a herd, if only a herd of 2. If you can't get another horse/pony, a cow, goat, sheep etc would be better than nothing.

Horses in sight across the road don't count for anything really. I know some people prefer a hermits life, but how would most of us feel kept in solitary confinement with only 'company' being strangers within shouting distance?
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Last edited by loosie; 08-28-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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post #15 of 32 Old 08-28-2013, 02:36 PM
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I would assume he was lonely. Horses are herd animals. I myself have always had my horse(s) in a herd of at least 4 or more.
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post #16 of 32 Old 08-28-2013, 11:35 PM
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Our pony is quite happy with her herd mates, two sheep! And she's not even top of the pecking order LOL!
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post #17 of 32 Old 08-28-2013, 11:52 PM
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Is the same true for a horse that is put in turnout with other horses but spends the night in his own stall? Do these horses suffer from loneliness also? will playing a radio make a difference?
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post #18 of 32 Old 08-29-2013, 12:00 AM
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If he can see the other horses in their stalls, no. My horse freaks if he's alone but does just fine being stalled at night and being on stall rest since we always have another horse in the barn with him.
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post #19 of 32 Old 08-29-2013, 12:07 AM
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^ During the night, he is alone. But, during the day he has the ability to see the other horses during their turnout time. And watch the family next door while they enjoy their pool.

Unfortunately, he is in a two horse barn and is the only occupant. But, he has a generously sized stall so i thought this was a better choice than the main barn in a smaller stall.
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post #20 of 32 Old 08-29-2013, 12:20 AM
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When I first brought my horse up to ND from IL, he was in a pasture by himself for over a month. He was a total gentleman. His manners were impeccable. He sees horses from a pasture away, but never got nose to nose contact. I would take him out to rodeos and he showed no particular interest in the other horses. No fence running or cribbing or any other signs of distress.

I bought another mare a few weeks ago and that has all gone to hell. He's disrespectful and difficult. He is lower in the herd than her and she is passing along her bad habits. I really can't wait to sell this mare and have my boy back. I am thinking I will get him a goat, if it will stay in my fences.

Proud owner of ~Mana: 6yo Arabian gelding~Pearl 13yo Arabian~Danzer 14yo Arabian mare~ Tiny mini filly
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