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Hi, I’m sorry if this has been done before, or if this is the wrong sport for this thread, but I’m just curious. I’m in the process of buying a 3 year old Quarter horse mare. She will be staying at my neighbors property as they just sold their horse and have the room. However, she will be living alone. She will be coming from a barn where she has friends to hang out with. I do have the opportunity of possible getting a 15 year old mare as well. My confers are will she be happy alone as she is used to being with other horses. And will one or both of them be upset if one goes out not the trail and one has to stay behind. ( I will be mostly trail riding) Again sorry if thsi tread has been done already and I’ve missed it.
 

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Some horses do just fine alone and others are miserable. Some horses are fine when their barn buddy goes out riding without them and others scream, race the fence, and tear themselves up. I've had both over the years. You really have to see with the horse that you have and do what you have to do.

I had a mare who lived alone for most of her life, but when I got another horse because she had to retire, she tore herself up every time I went out for a ride with the new horse. I had to find her another home just to retire her. Each situation is different.
 

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What Knightrider said.



Superman gives no figs about other horses. He's never close to them out in the pasture, doesn't care if we leave him at camp, tied to the trailer or the hi-line. Doesn't care if he's turned out in a pasture alone, no other horse in sight. He just gives no figs. None.


Sarge, OTOH, when I had him, was the type to scream and panic and nearly kill himself if he was alone. He'd walk a trench in front of the fence when I'd separate him from the herd to try to get him out of acting like that.


MOST horses are, however, happier with other equine companions in their pasture.



With the exception of Sarge, none of my horses have trouble on trail rides with the buddy left at home. I DO NOT try to ride them on 'home ground' very much - they're absolute jack wagons at home. So we haul away and camp. My only problem that I've had is I had Gina break her lead rope (at a splice) at camp her first trip out as a spare camping horse, and went off on her own, tracking us to try to catch up. I found her about an hour after we made it back to camp, on the 'shortcut back to camp trail', soaked in nervous sweat, big eyed, and happy I'd gone looking for her.
 

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Generally speaking, horses, like dogs & people... & most animals, don't do well alone. They will be miserable, depressed, anxious, develop neuroses, health probs... etc. But of course, like 'hermit' people & the occasional dog, particularly if they were brought up alone so no social skills, the occasional horse may be fine, even prefer to be alone. And most of them will cope with being alone, so while I'd be wanting to get her a mate asap, if she's alone for a short spell, wouldn't stress about it too much.

As to their separation anxiety if one of 2 horses is taken out, yes they will often stress about that. I dont believe that's a good excuse for keeping horses solitary though, just because this inconveniences us when we want to use them. And it can be minimized/avoided with gradual desensitization & making sure the horse is confident & going out with you is a Good Thing for them.

I find my horses are happy to go out alone with me(with previous & a little ongoing effort on my part to encourage this attitude), but if there's one left behind(or one of mine who stresses when any of his mates leave), it's that one who stresses.
 

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Some horses do fine alone, but most need a companion.

I'm moving my mare next month, she's currently in a field w/ 3 other horses, she's not buddy sour though. She's gonna have her own pasture, but next to her pasture is another one with 4 minis, & across from her pasture there will be another one with 4-5 other horses. So she won't technically be 'alone'. And the neighbor has 3 horses as well.

If you get another, be prepared because usually one of them will be upset if the other is not around, especially in such a small tight herd of 2.
 

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What everyone else said. I just wanted to add that you may want to have a plan B in case you bring the horse home and it goes crazy. You do not want an injured horse, or one who is running loose, especially when you have no relationship with that horse yet and he doesn't know where "home" is yet. I brought home our gelding who was kept at neighbors and ended up bringing him back there until our second horse arrived only two days later. You'd never have thought he'd need other horses so much because he was pretty independant, but when I turned him out alone in my pasture, he went crazy, running around screaming even though there was fresh green grass everywhere. I thought he might bust through the brand-new fence so I put him in a stall to let him calm down, then brought him back to the neighbors who had three other horses. When my second horse arrived, I brought him back, and it was fine. They both just grazed alongside each other on either side of the a fence for a couple of days, then I put them in together. No drama at all.

I do believe that horses are much happier with companions. They may call to each other when separated, but that can be fixed by frequently separating them right from the start so they accept it. We would take horse # 1 to shows all day, sometimes even overnight, and horse # 2 was fine. They were just very glad to see each other again when we got back, but it was never a big issue to separate them.
 

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Thanks for all the advice. If she she needs a friend I will defiantly get her a friend regardless if her buddy is a bit anxious if I ride her out on a trail alone. I was just trying to see if she would be ok alone for a few months, I cant afford to h=get her a buddy right now. She will have cows right over the fence and a few horses that are with the cows as well. I know its not the same as having a pasture buddy, but I hope that will help while I search for a friend for her. After reading the advice you guys gave getting her a buddy is the only logical conclusion, be it a mini, donkey, or another horse. Thanks for your advice. I’ll keep you guys posted.
 

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Chase didn't have a pasture buddy and he began cribbing. Of course he probably had previous cribbing experience from the race track but being alone is what we believe made him start it again.

We got him a buddy and now the new horse freaks out when hes gone. Pacing the fence, calling out, and he managed to tear down an entire fence. However, we deal with it because I'd rather have Bee being buddy sour then Chase being lonely.
 

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Thanks for all the advice. If she she needs a friend I will defiantly get her a friend regardless if her buddy is a bit anxious if I ride her out on a trail alone. I was just trying to see if she would be ok alone for a few months, I cant afford to h=get her a buddy right now. She will have cows right over the fence and a few horses that are with the cows as well. I know its not the same as having a pasture buddy, but I hope that will help while I search for a friend for her. After reading the advice you guys gave getting her a buddy is the only logical conclusion, be it a mini, donkey, or another horse. Thanks for your advice. I’ll keep you guys posted.
If there are horses literally right over the fence and they remain in her line of sight, she'll probably fret the first few days but settle down and be fine. If she does fret a bunch, I'd look into a mini donk, they seem to be pretty self sufficient creatures and don't seem to stress much if you pull the horse out to go for a ride. I'm sure there are exceptions to every rule, but rather than take on another horse that I wouldn't have time to ride, I'd go for the mini donk.
 

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If there are several horses together, maybe more than several, the left behind horses seem to do fine... at least, I don't remember any huge drama with the left behinders at any boarding stable I was at. Sometimes the leaver would be a little barn sour, but that was less of an issue.

Is that generally the case? Multiple horses behind being easier in this regard?
 

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Some do fine alone others not so much. My old guy could of careless about the other horse's. He lived alone before and was fine.

Two I currently have can be left alone and do fine. Only time the one has issues is spring time beginning of riding season. The black gelding has his tizzy screaming and running around when buddy gets out of sight. Thats out in corral will do same in barn but he's tied up dances around having a fit, same deal leave him to have fit till he stands quite.

Took about 4 days of doing this and he's over it and fine with being left alone.

You'll have to see how horse does don't want it going through fence. Yeah a mini donkey would make a good buddy. Having 2 horse's won't necessarily solve anything one left behind when riding will have a tizzy. So back to issues.
 

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Like others said some horses dont mind living alone and others cant handle it. Its hard to say how this mare will do alone but one way to get an idea is to ask the owner. Also, make sure to have a backup plan in case she can't handle being alone.

When we got my mare Luna she was with other mares in a pasture at her old owner's place she had friends but she really could care less about staying with them or leaving them. When she got here she was all alone for several weeks and could have cared less that she was alone. Even after we got our gelding you pull in out of the pasture to work with him and she could care less. She actually prefers people companions over horse companions.

Now our gelding, on the other hand, is the opposit. He can't stand being alone if you leave him alone in the pasture he works himself up into a tizzy, Pacing the fence line and calling out. When we first got him it was bad, we have gotten him so that hes not so bad now but he still will work himself up good for the first few min hes alone.
 
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