Should I get a companion horse or not??
I'm getting very frustrated with this issue. Here's the set up: I have a 30 year old mare that I've owned for over 20 years. I have her at home in pasture/lean-to during the summer and boarded in a heated barn in the winter. I also have a project H/J that is boarded full time since I don't have riding facilities. My 2 minis are at home full time.
So here's the problem: Last year I brought my mare home for the summer and she had a companion so all was fine. I sold the companion in fall (he needed to be worked more and we were not a good fit) so now she came home to just the minis. They are in a separate pasture and apparently they do no count in her eyes as companionship. My fencing is not appropriate for the minis to be out with her and, even if it was, they would blow up like little balloons on the grass so that's not an option. My mare is now just flat out depressed. She's never been alone and she really doesn't like it.
Then 2 weeks ago my Dad sent me his horse that is for sale to see if I could work with her and get some videos. We figured Magic would like the companionship, well if I wasn't sure it was depression and not just an old age thing we know for sure now. There is a spark in her eye & she prances around out there like a teenager. I'm so happy to see her happy but the problem is obvious; she can't be alone.
So do I, A: get another mouth to feed (that would make 5) and try and find one that would make a nice trail horse for my Mom/friends/husband or B: just board her down the street where she has lots of friends?
Yes, I know this is a decision that only I can make but you guys always offer such good advice and encouragement and I need both right now. I've been looking for inexpensive trail horses and to find one that is safe for beginners just seems impossible. :cry:
If you can afford to keep her boarded, that seems to be a great option rather then have the expense of another horse.
If you have a use for a new horse, that's the way I would go. I like having a back up and a horse to be able to take a friend riding with me. Trouble is that if I don't have someone to ride #2, then I have to, which takes time away from working with my main horse.
The option I came up with is to take in a boarder. That serves many purposes including a riding partner.
Thanks for the thoughts. A boarder would be great but I don't think I can deal with that.
I only have a use for the second horse if I can afford to buy one that's safe for green riders. That's the tough part cuz if a horse is safe for beginners people tend to charge more.... Ugh
Get a nice pony that's mature and a good all round riding height. Or consider rescuing a retrained ex-race standardbred. They often make excellent trail AND beginners horses. They are supper smart and full of character and humour. I have one named Maloney who I rescued and he is amazing.
That's why I'll probably always board my horse, lots of other horses for him to hang out with!
It is probably cheaper overall to board her in a relatively inexpensibe pasture board situation than buy another horse.
The other thing you should take into account is what is going to happen when she dies? In general, would you rather downsize to 3 or keep 5 permanently? Would you create a self-perpetuating situation and get the companion horse another companion, or would you try to sell the companion again?
At 30, it is unsure how many summers she has left, so if you don't really want another horse, it doesn't make much sense to get one.
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Do you have a good relationship with your equine vet and the people that work there?
I am down to my last two horses. When it comes down to "the last horse standing", I have already made arrangements to borrow a horse from the office admin at the equine facility I use.
We were talking about my hope to do that, as I am retired and do not want to worry about yet another horse, if something happens to me first.
She replied she wanted first dibs on loaning me a horse and I could have my pick of anything running in the pasture.
A lot of equine vets and their staff manage to end up with a few "I felt sorry for it" horses, to add to their own. It is possible you could borrow one to keep your mare company, then send it back at the appropriate time, without having to worry about having another horse to sell.
Just a thought :cowboy:
I bet if you put the word out there that you are looking for a companion horse or pony to lease you would be inundated with options. I know we have a couple of horses that are lifers for one reason or other but we would be thrilled to have on someone else's property for a period of time. lol
Then you can give the companion horse back when you no longer have need of the horse.
I agree that looking to free lease a companion would be the best option. I would have loved to free lease my 2 year old filly to someone with a good reputation for a while as just a companion while she matured and enjoyed being young if someone had offered.
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