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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve posted before about my very lonely new mare.

I’ve decided to get a companion, however I really want a gelding. The guy I’m going to see (tomorrow) has been described as a gentlemen and easy going. I have not seen my mare in with another horse. I do not know her history with other horses.

Bottom line is I have to do this because I don’t want her stressed the way she is. And it will be nice to be able to hack out with a friend (he’s “bombproof” so looking forward to that since all my riding buddies on my road have moved on somewhere else.)

I would like to hear opinions on putting them together. How to do it safely, average time of acclimation, etc. I want them to live in the same paddock together.
 

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Unfortunately, there is no real way to know if horses are going to get along until they are actually together. If it is very important that they will be in the same field together, I'd ask to have a trial period just in case.
For example, I know a gelding that is very gentle and a nice riding horse. However, he will not tolerate any other horses in his field, and has to be kept across the fence from others.

Something also to realize is that if two horses are kept together, either one or both may throw a fuss when you remove one from the field to go out riding. It sounds like you may have someone to ride one of your horses and go out with you? That would be ideal. Otherwise you may have some work to do teaching them to be calm when separated. This type of behavior can actually form very quickly, within days of introducing two horses to each other.

For safety, before turning two horses out together they should be introduced either on lead ropes or over a fence. It is usually best to see how they interact for a period of time in adjoining fields before putting them together. If there is any defensive or aggressive behavior, they should not be turned loose together until it appears that they accept each other.
I just introduced a pony to my two horses, and first I kept the bigger horses on lead ropes and let them sniff the pony. When no one squealed or made a fuss, I let the bigger horses loose in the pen but kept their lead ropes on just in case. Next I tried giving them food to see if they would get aggressive toward each other while I was supervising. After that I put them all loose together and watched them. Since they were all OK, I tried this again another couple of times, and since all went well I put them all in a field together.
 

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In your situation I ended up with a companion pony for my horse --they are both mares-- plus a goat to keep my pony company when I took my horse out, and another goat to keep my first goat happy (and warm in the winter). They are all one herd now. Four animals just to have my riding horse at home!

They are all fun though.
 

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You don’t have to keep them in the same paddock. It’s nice, I’m sure, but my mare and gelding have been in adjacent paddocks for 10 years and have gotten on well. She had (and always will have dietary restrictions) and he’s a super duper easy keeper, so I couldn’t keep them together because of that. She was also very nervous about feeding, having been in a pasture herd and low mare on the totem pole. Being apart means I can separate their feeders and she’s much more relaxed about it rather than looking over her shoulder all the time. They have contact with each other across the fence, and will stand close to each other at times, but are perfectly happy to be apart (one at one end of the corral, the other at the other end).

Cleaning time is when I’ll open the gate between the paddocks since I’m there to supervise, but what usually happens is they just end up switching sides and exploring the other paddock as something more interesting rather than hang out. A friend of mine had two Arabians (geldings that were gelded late, one at 8 and one at 4) that would do that too. They just wait by the gate and take turns changing sides. If I put them in the round pen, they’ll spend more time together, but Mitch (ever the food-obsessed Haflinger) spends more of that time trying to graze through the round pen panels than being with Jet. There’s less separation anxiety too, if I take Mitch out for a ride, Jet will call from time to time, but not always. Mitch only hollers if she’s out because he’s probably convinced that she’s getting to graze for a long time when he doesn’t get much of that (and he would be right). They pony out well too, as she’s retired and can’t be ridden anymore.

My advice would be to set up adjacent paddocks if you can with a gate between them. If you’ve only got one, but it’s plenty big, my friend with the Arabians just installed pipe corral panels down the center of hers, that way you could take it down if you ever wanted to. That way you can allow them to acclimate without having them together right away. I like having separate paddocks. I know horses are social herd creatures, but mine seem perfectly content to have contact across a fence. They can see and smell and hear each other, but they can’t get rough with one another and they each have the ability to walk away and not get bothered. They get playtime together if I’m there.
 

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Its great to want to get another for company for your horse...
A drawback though is added expenses...as in double what it is you pay now to keep 2 whether they are of the same size or not, most services for horses of hooves and vet are the same price and actually I have seen where some charge more for significantly smaller, like minis, because they are more stressful to the farriers back working that low to the ground position needed.
Now add the cost of tack....
Now add the feed and maintenance of pasture that a second animal can create...not everyone has enough land to just drag and let it be...

Bottom line is, there are good and bad to having a second hay-burner as my parents referred to my horse{s} who they were very attached to too.
You could have more issues than you do now with another horse, a trial period to make sure this "works" is a good idea...
🐴...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its great to want to get another for company for your horse...
A drawback though is added expenses...as in double what it is you pay now to keep 2 whether they are of the same size or not, most services for horses of hooves and vet are the same price and actually I have seen where some charge more for significantly smaller, like minis, because they are more stressful to the farriers back working that low to the ground position needed.
Now add the cost of tack....
Now add the feed and maintenance of pasture that a second animal can create...not everyone has enough land to just drag and let it be...

Bottom line is, there are good and bad to having a second hay-burner as my parents referred to my horse{s} who they were very attached to too.
You could have more issues than you do now with another horse, a trial period to make sure this "works" is a good idea...
🐴...
I’m not too worried about expensive since neither require maintenance. Just teff and go.
I have trimmed my horses so don’t need to worry about farrier (he is also barefoot).

Vet will be another issue, though. Floating, etc annually will certainly add up. It’s about $280/horse here (San Diego)

My goal is to make her happy and to be able to have someone on him for rides. Literally all of my riding buddies have left the boarding barn on my road and it’s just me out alone. I do enjoy a solo trail ride, but it’s so much more fun and safe with a buddy.

my mare is also insecure (we are working on building confidence) and this guy is very sure footed and not spooky so I think it would help her ultimately.
 

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That is a great Idea. Horses need at least one other horse or mini with them since they are herd animals. You should keep them in separate paddocks until they get to know each other, In the barn keep them close as well. If you have a round pen to put them in together while you supervise that would be great as well. Since your getting a gelding they should get along better than two mares would. Your mare will most likely top in pecking order so honestly at that point you should be making sure your mare isn't acting out aggressively towards the new gelding.
 

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If this horse you're going to see doesn't work out, have you considered going to a rescue? That would have the advantage of being able to return the horse if it doesn't get along with your horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If this horse you're going to see doesn't work out, have you considered going to a rescue? That would have the advantage of being able to return the horse if it doesn't get along with your horse.
He didn’t work out. In fact, the person wasted my time and sold him the day before and tricked me in to coming to see some unmanageable mares. Some people! Ugh!

I have contacted several rescues and because of Covid, they are not able to do test rides or meet and greets. :(
 

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He didn’t work out. In fact, the person wasted my time and sold him the day before and tricked me in to coming to see some unmanageable mares. Some people! Ugh!

I have contacted several rescues and because of Covid, they are not able to do test rides or meet and greets. :(
You’re in San Diego, right? Trying to think of the rescues I know of in the area.
 

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Yes! I’ve tried Red Bucket and Falcon Ridge. They are the only ones I know if with “rideable” horses right now. The rest seem to be companion only.
I was going to mention Falcon Ridge, but ... S&S Finally Loved Horses doesn’t have anything? I thought I saw a few on their FB. If you’re willing to go a bit further a-field, Love This Horse up in Mojave has some fantastic ones.
 
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