How to pick a good buddy???
Hello, I am new here, just posted in the intro section and I need some advice. My horse is Scooter, he is a 13 yr old gelding and I think he is lonely. He is the only horse we have right now. I know that in the past when he has been with other horses he needs to be the dominant horse, (even though he is only 14.5 hands) I am not sure if I should avoid getting another male horse for this reason, or does it matter? I am looking for an older mellow horse and I am just not sure how to pick. Should I stick with mares? is there any way to really know? I know in the past he has gotten along well with mares, but I also know he had a buddy who was a male pony that he seemed to get along with. I just don't want to get the wrong horse buddy and end up having to get rid of it because they are fighting. Any info/suggestions would be appreciated.
Horses placed together will always have a hierarchy which they will have to work out. A mare will always be domant over a gelding. That is the way they are in the wild, and it is their instinct. Some horses have likes and dislikes, there really is no way to know until you introduce them.
A horse that does not have a companion is lonely, but that doesn't mean he/she can't deal with it. My mare is alone, she has me, and there are three others she can see, but not easily. They are in a neighbor's yard. Christy does quite well.
As long as your horse will lay down, stretch out and sleep, he is ok. If he doesn't do this, then you need to get a companion or he will have sleep deprivation.
There is a herd instinct which all horses have. The mare is the boss, even over the stallion. Then, among mares there is an order that has to be established. One will be the boss, the others will follow, but again, in a hierarchy order. They work it out by biting, kicking, and aggression. Once the order is worked out, they usually do fine. With an occasional minor problem.
If you get another horse, don't put it immediately in the same pen, keep it close, but not touching. This way they can become acquainted before being put together. It is actually best if they can be kept seperate, close, but seperate. That way you can avoid the dominance issue and at the same time they will not be alone. If you do put them together make sure you have two seperate feeding places and put feed at both places. That way when the dominant horse runs the other away, the other can still eat. :)
As for gelding vs. mare... It depends on you and which you would prefer. Most geldings get along well, they will work out who is boss, and then settle down (well, mostly :? :D .) The mare will be the boss, so there might be a bit of fighting at the beginning, however most geldings will accept the mare as boss without a problem. So, it really depends on what you want.
Hope this helps.
He does seem to be doing okay. He has been the only horse since November when I moved him from where he was being boarded to our place. We do have dogs and 2 goats and chickens so it is not like he is the only animal, we also have 5 kids, maybe he's okay alone. He seems to be, he sleeps fine, I see him napping during the day, standing up though, he doesn't lay down much although he has plenty of room to do so. He is plenty spirited also, so he is probably fine. I have just heard so much about horses being herd animals and I want what is best for him. I do know that at the last place I boarded him he was with a large herd of horses and he had alot of scratches, bite marks etc. So, maybe he didn't get along with them so well.
Thanks again for the info!
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