Best Pasture mate ?? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-12-2010, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ohio
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Best Pasture mate ??

I have two horses and want to take one away for lessons and trail riding. What is the best pasture mate for the horse left behind? - a minature mule, cow, or possibly another horse. Never owned a minature before, do they require extra fencing - I have four strand electric rope. would the minature be enough to keep the horse company? anyone have experiences with mini's and horses?

What does a cow require? Never owned a cow before?

Last option is my most comfortable one but the added cost of owning another horse . . .

I look forward to your replies and advice.

Thanks in advance,
Jan
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-12-2010, 04:37 PM
Green Broke
 
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The best thing you could do would be a miniature horse. Mini's require the same care as a full sized horse and tend to very easy keepers.

If you want something more interesting, you could go for a donkey or mule. As you can see with my avatar, I'm a longears fan. Some horses who weren't raised with donkeys and mules don't know what to do with them at first and I've found they don't tend to bond as well as a horse to horse relationship. Mules, however, tend love horses more than other mules or donkeys. Horses don't return the affection as often.

The upside of mules and donkeys is that they are super easy to care for. They don't get sick as often as a horse, don't usually require grain, and tend to live much longer. Mules usually live to their mid 30's and I've known donkeys to live to 40.

As far as cows, I have no advice to offer. I know they are quite messy and require different care than a horse. I know a few members who own cows and keep them with horses, so I'll leave it to them to answer.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-12-2010, 04:38 PM
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That is great of you to be thinking of your horse's needs! I would actually recommend a goat. Another horse or miniature will require the same care as your horse would. A goat can require lesser care (you can trim their hooves easily yourself), plus have the added benefit of keeping junk eaten down around your property. Goats and horses can bond just fine, if you introduce them carefully.

If you don't mind the upkeep of another equine, what about a pony? They probably cost less than true miniatures, unless you might be interested in showing minis at some point. Mules are very cool, too. :)

The benefit of a cow is it can eat your old hay you couldn't feed your horses. ;)

Ha--Brighteyes was typing at the same time I was! Ditto her comments on the mules/donkeys. Donkeys are awesome. Everyone should have a donkey.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-13-2010, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your advice. I'm leaning towards the minature mule. I have one in mind and he is absolutely adorable. I doubt my horses have seen a mule, what is the best way to introduce them? The mule is pastured with other horses so he is use to them. I just don't want to see him hurt during an introduction.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to your replies on introducing him to my horses.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-13-2010, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Forgot to ask? Do I have to worry about how much grass he might eat? My pastures aren't huge but usually aren't overgrazed. I rotate a lot. Is a minature mule the same in care as a small pony? You have to watch that they don't get too fat? Sorry for the basic questions.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-13-2010, 07:04 AM
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I wouldn't worry about the grass--it would be comparable to a small pony in its eating. But don't feed it grain, sweet feed or corn! It should get by just fine on grass and hay, with a mineral block.

I would introduce them just like any other horse. Let them spend time together with a fence between them, until they get used to each others' smells. Put them together on lead ropes for short periods of time until you feel comfortable they will be okay. Supervise their unleashed time at first until you feel things will be okay.

Good luck! You will love the little mule. They're really neat.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-17-2010, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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It's been decided!!! We have a adorable minature mule coming in Sept. He's a bay, and should grow within the Class A standard. We've named him Joseph. My daughter is very excited. We hope to teach him to drive next year when he's old enough. Thanks for all the great advice here!
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