*Sigh* I am so verbose.
I am a huge advocate for horses being in a herd with other horses.
Horses are masters of adaptation, especially when they don't have a choice. While, yes, a lot of horses can learn to live alone, most would prefer to be in a herd. Horses are herd animals; they find comfort in a herd. They like the extra security of having extra eyes and ears for danger; they also like the companionship. When horses are in a herd, they take turns keeping watch (figuratively, as horses, alone or in a herd, are always watching). That means while some horses are "patrolling", others can relax, lie down, eat, or play. When a horse is alone, they loose some of that extra security and it's always, "I need to watch out for me, myself, and I." That constant hypervigilance and over-surveillance can put undue stress on a horse. Again, a lot horses can eventually learn to live alone and some of that anxiety will eventually become more subdued.
In terms of companionship, I believe there is a ladder of preference. Horses > Some other form of equine (such as a donkey or mule) > Some other form prey animal (such as a goat or a chicken) > Predator (such as a dog or a barn cat). Of course, it depends on the individual, but you get the idea.
Keep in mind the saying, "being alone is better than being in a toxic relationship." Some horses, for whatever reason, just can't be together. It is better to keep a horse alone than it is to keep it with another horse that is constantly extremely aggressive towards them.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when you work with a horse, you are a herd of two. That means that if, for whatever reason, you decide to keep your horse alone, you can be a substitute herd member and provide that little extra security and companionship. Ideally, if you choose to do this, you should be out there with your horse every day.
Originally Posted by The Humble Horseman View Post
I'm a little curious how many people might admit to buying a horse just because it was 'pretty'.
Oh, cliché quotes, where art thou?
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
"Beauty is only skin deep."
If you are talking about "pretty" being a physical look (outside of conformation), then, no, I will not admit to it because I have never done that. There are many things I take into consideration before looks.
If you are just talking about "pretty" in a broad sense, all horses are pretty to me and even more so when they are good minded. My horse is just a common, small black horse; you can find some on every corner, and they are a dime a dozen. However, she is my
"common, small black horse", and that's what makes her pretty.