Looking for a companion for my horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
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Looking for a companion for my horse

A few months ago I moved my horse to my backyard. She was quite attached (though not buddy sour) to my friend's older gelding when she was being boarded. The first week she was here she would call out for him. That has since stopped, but she is still more vocal than she ever used to be. She also goes out if her way to peer over the fences so she can see the horses in the backyard behind us.
So she does have horses close enough to see and communicate with, but still too far to get any real interaction. My CKCS dog keeps her company when he goes outside, but he's more of an inside dog + we have a lot of hawks and coyotes around.
I want to get her a companion that can stay out with her 24/7. Something low maintenance and agile. We're thinking about a goat or a large dog. I'm leaning more towards dog because it could also protect her.
How hard is it to care for a goat? Are there any other animals I should consider? The property doesn't have room for larger animals like another horse, donkey, alpaca, etc.
Thanks in advance!

c'est la vie
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 02:50 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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What is the size of your backyard?
Is there any shelter for her?
What is your climate?

Don't have any answers but subbing to see what ideas others may have.

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: USA
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My backyard is a little less than half an acre. She has a large shelter (unsure of the exact dimensions) and I live in the desert.

ADD: I also want to ask how to tell if an animal will get along with a horse? This is probably more geared towards dogs. My mare is absolutely fine with dogs. She only gets nervous if they jump at her and try to bite. A few days ago a neighbor's lab followed so close behind her while she was walking that it looked like it was licking her hocks and she was completely fine with it.

c'est la vie
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 08:09 AM
Green Broke
 
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If you have a small area, I'd suggest a goat or donkey. Donkeys will keep everything away and they're just so darn cute!
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 10:06 AM
Yearling
 
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Goats are easy to keep-at least easier than horses. If you can care for a horse, you can care for a goat. It's just a little different.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 12:07 PM
Trained
 
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Goats are easy to keep, but you need a good fence as they are escape artists.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 12:27 PM
Showing
 
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Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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Also, you need to see what your property is zoned for. As an example, our property is zoned for horses, but not other farm animals (goats, pigs, chickens, cows, etc).
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 01:56 PM
Weanling
 
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I'd say a donkey.
They'll protect the property from wild animals.

There's a few farms around here that have them, they seem to hang out with the horses well and keep the singles company. Although I don't know how they do with establishing pecking order.
Maybe someone with experience with donkeys will chime in?

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post #9 of 10 Old 06-12-2015, 02:52 AM
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Get a Shetland!
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-12-2015, 10:09 AM
Green Broke
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4hoofbeat View Post
I'd say a donkey.
They'll protect the property from wild animals.

There's a few farms around here that have them, they seem to hang out with the horses well and keep the singles company. Although I don't know how they do with establishing pecking order.
Maybe someone with experience with donkeys will chime in?

Some donkeys will protect their herd mates, others will not. This is highly individualistic to each donkey and not all donkeys make good guardians- miniatures should NEVER be used in this capacity because they simply don't have the physical heft to deal with predators like stray dogs.

Donkeys are also much quieter in establishing the pecking order, as they do not have the same herd structure as horses do. In the wild, jacks tend to set up a territory alongside other jacks, and jennets/young donkeys travel around in loosely-organized herds, usually pairing off with a "friend" or two that they stick together with. Odds are that the horse will be afraid of the donkey for a while if she is not used to them.
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