Wondering about companion horses - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-20-2013, 12:06 PM
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I spent a year searching for a companion for my mare. I was concerned most about compatibility. I, too, thought it would be great to have a little mini and had visions of it hopping in the backseat for a spin w me. ;) But, I decided against it b/c of the possibility of intentional or accidental injury to the "little one". I didn't want to have to have two types of hay to accommodate a new guy, so donkeys went off the list (that and they stress when left by their buddy). In the end, I got a haffie filly b/c I always wanted one - and I think that blinded me to the time she would require. I am not complaining, I am just saying that if you get another horse they will deserve equal attention unless they can only function as a companion. I think you have to really think of all the factors (e.g., your time) to determine what you need/want in a companion, then look and stick to your plan. I say this b/c there are a lot of horses out there that you can go look at and your well thought out "plan" can start evaporating pretty quickly.
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There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-20-2013, 12:46 PM
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I am just saying that if you get another horse they will deserve equal attention unless they can only function as a companion.
THIS!

Another thought I just had, that helped me with figuring that^ out last summer, was fostering a rescue horse for a local horse rescue.
Last summer I decided to foster a horse, thinking that having another horse was a logical 'next step' for myself. Someone on HF suggested fostering to me, I looked into it, and within a few weeks I had another horse to take care of.

And boy, that was a huge wake up call. I've done plenty of work with herds of horses but never just two horses and never with my personal mare in the mix. I also realized that if I were going to get another horse, I had very specific training+temperament requirements. I had thought that pretty much any horse in need could cut it = NO.
I ended up spending a whole lot more time dealing with the shenanigans of this foster mare, training the foster mare to a point where she was less likely to kill someone just by being a dork, working the foster mare so wasn't going nuts from energy build-up... It was just way more time and energy than I had had any idea of and way more work than I really needed. Not to mention that my mare was constantly stressed by the really high excitement level of the foster.
I think, out of the seven days in each week, I spent time with my mare exclusively MAYBE once a week. The rest of the time I was using my mare to pony the foster, or doing other activities with the foster. Because my mare wasn't an issue, she really got the short end of the attention stick while I tried to put out the 'fire' that was the foster. The foster was a super sweet, great, horse and in any other context I would have LOVED her...but she was just not right for my situation or my mare.

I feel good about helping that mare on her journey towards finding her forever home BUT I'm glad I didn't get another permanent horse. The goats are much better in terms of energy levels, training requirements, etc, and I never would have even considered goats if I hadn't done the foster thing first.

Anyway, fostering might be something to consider. Many rescues have 'pasture pal'-type horses available to foster homes. That might be a good way to dip your toes in "the water," find out if another horse would be the right move, and maybe you'll even find your horse's perfect companion!
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Last edited by Wallaby; 07-20-2013 at 12:51 PM.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-20-2013, 04:49 PM
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I have been thinking about that for when we move my horse to our property (he is currently boarded). Goats are nice, fun and pretty classic horse companions in Europe.
But in the end we decided to offer free pasture board to a retired horse, or maybe to a student who can't afford boarding. That way the training, responsibility, feed and vet bills would be covered by someone else and my horse would still have a horse companion...
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-20-2013, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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When I was about 10 I had a pet goat for a while and he was a darling but he thought he was a cow and also followed the neighbours. He went missing and we are still not sure what happened to him. If i did get a goat I might have to fix up some of the fences and gates.
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-21-2013, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Missy May View Post
But, I decided against it b/c of the possibility of intentional or accidental injury to the "little one".
Thats a very fair thing to say, thats something you should always be careful of.

Quote:
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I didn't want to have to have two types of hay to accommodate a new guy
Not something you need to do for a miniature. They eat the same a full sized horse does.

There is also the option of looking for a free horse in your area who is no longer sound for riding, or has some other issue that no one wants to continue spending money on but that would benefit you greatly.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-21-2013, 02:51 AM
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My2geldings. 2 types for donkeys in my case b/c I feed alfalfa which reportedly you can't feed it to donkeys w/o problems.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-26-2013, 08:20 PM
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Hi!
Sheep are the best! They eat weeds like crazy (especially thistles), great for Keri g area around dugout down). The sheep will follow the horse wherever they go (and since you already have a horse, no need to worry about coyotes). They're low maintenance and have a good resale value (ewes and rams only).
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-26-2013, 11:39 PM
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Missy, for what it's worth, we've always had donkeys and mules up here and for a great many years, they were fed nothing but straight alfalfa. Other than eventually having to be put down due to old age or arthritis, they did fine. My one mini-donk is 29 and still kicking.

A QH mule might be an idea for a companion if there are any to be found at local rescues or anything. Mules are much lower maintenance than horses...and they can act as a herd protector as well. Most mules will chase down and kill a dog that invades their property or aggravates them in any way.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-27-2013, 10:48 AM
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Missy, for what it's worth, we've always had donkeys and mules up here and for a great many years, they were fed nothing but straight alfalfa. Other than eventually having to be put down due to old age or arthritis, they did fine. My one mini-donk is 29 and still kicking.
Well, now ya tell me. They had two donkeys at a rescue I was in contact w at the time and several in the area for sale or for free to a good home. The rescue stressed the diet, and I kept hearing "no alfalfa". Dang, I really wanted one, too!

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-27-2013, 10:54 AM
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Rare Italian-born Baby Zonkey in Good Health - Yahoo!

This is all you need to see - this photo right here!!

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