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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I’m not new to horses but I am new to keeping a single horse. I recently moved back to my childhood farm after my fathers passing. Missing horses I bought a Mini mare from a kill pen. She’s three years old and although it doesn’t seem she’s abused, she hasn’t been handled a lot. She leads beautifully and loves neck and back scratches but tries to nip or threatens to kick when you push her comfort zone. In the two weeks she’s been here she has made great strides and loves to go on long walks with me. But she is so lonely! She calls for me and also is super interested in the neighbors minis. Since we have lots of coyotes in the neighborhood her stall time is with the barn doors closed. We also have a young dog who I like to supervise when they interact. Currently she’s in a 12x12 stall and is turned out in a 36x36 paddock for hours a day. If she hears another horse she starts pacing trying to find a way out of the fence.
I have so many questions but my main one right now is does she need a friend? I have the opportunity to add a 7 month old mini colt weanling. I never had problems with a mixed herd ( other than a late gelded stallion who would mount the mares but they all loved him and were buddies.) but the more I read on here a mare and (future) gelding could be trouble together? Also will it slow her progress or help her settle in and feel safe? How do I introduce them if I do get him?
It seems silly that I was so confident with all kinds of troublesome large horses and I’m a worry wart about this little adventurous mare!thanks in advance for any advice! Lauren
 

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Hi Lauren! Welcome to the forum!
Is there any way you could board your mare, beside the neighbors minis? Like, in a field next to them or something? If she doesn't seem to change after that, you could try getting a smaller buddy for her like a sheep, or a goat, before taking on the responsibility of another horse. They are a lot cheaper! If that still doesn't work, I would go ahead and buy the colt. Since she is a mini, the colt wouldn't be able to beat her up to much, and since she is so much older, she won't put up with his crap as much, and may get him to calm down!
If it were my horse, I would try boarding the horse next to the minis if possible for a week or so, if that didn't work, I would then proceed to buying the colt.
Good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! There are no fences adjoining their pasture but I do plan on putting one up there In the next year... it is about four acres. I was going to fence the pasture closest to the barn first. It’s only about two acres. My dad (82 at the time) cut all of the fences down about 8 years ago when he rehomed his last mare so I wouldn’t bring any horses home!!! Haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you! There are no fences adjoining their pasture but I do plan on putting one up there In the next year... it is about four acres. I was going to fence the pasture closest to the barn first. It’s only about two acres. My dad (82 at the time) cut all of the fences down about 8 years ago when he rehomed his last mare so I wouldn’t bring any horses home!!! Haha
PS: he’s a mini, too!
 

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It really depends on the horse. Some are ok being by themselves and some aren't. I have 2 minis and if the gelding was alone he'd be fine, the mare not so much, even though I have full size horses too (I don't let them out together). Be careful of letting your mini have too much pasture, they can't handle lush grass without foundering. I've never had any trouble keeping mares and geldings in the same herd. I do have 2 geldings that can't be in the same pasture without trying to kill each other.
 

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I just wanted to add that I have a mare and two geldings in my "herd" and I've never had any problems. When my three got put in with the big herd, the mare, Moonshine, would instigate trouble with other horses and then run back to one of "her" two geldings and make them protect her. Fortunately no one got hurt. But when they've all been in a paddock by themselves, or, as now, with some other ponies, they've been fine. But yeah you'd need to get this guy gelded like yesterday.

There are plenty of people who will tell you about a horse they had that was fine by itself. I think this is the exception rather than the rule. I'd get that guy you're looking at (and, again, get him gelded). If it were me, I wouldn't care about hurting her "progress" -- I'd be more concerned about her mental well being.

People have different ways of introducing new horses. Some do it over the fence. Some just put them in together. If your small paddock is the only space you have, I wouldn't just put them in together without having them meet over the fence first. It's a really small space and it would be hard for one of them to get away from the other.
 

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Agree that a lone horse is never a happy horse. Causes all kinds of emotional problems. Other animals with them does help, but not like one of the own species. They seem to be very hard wired in that way. We are too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you thank you for taking the time to reply. It makes me feel much better about the decision to add a second. And I will definitely be careful about how much pasture they are let out on. Right now we only have the paddock but I’m going to be putting up the small pasture fence this month. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to catch her in a bigger space but I sat and read a book with her yesterday in the paddock and she softened SO much and practically wanted to sit in my lap and stood at the gate waiting for her lead line so we could go to check the mail. Oh and he will be gelded ASAP! He apparently hasn’t dropped yet!
 

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she is cute and if you can, as suggested try a couple of sheep or a goat, if that works you might not have the separation anxiety as can happen with another horse; If you do get the little colt, I would suggest that you work with them and separate them at times right from the first day so they adjust to each other and can handle being separated for short times. Leave one in a stall the take the other out for a walk and switch about on different days. Only having two can lead to them being herd bound and you want to avoid that. They will get used to it even if they fuss at first.
Also I might mention, don't know if others have, minis need very little pasture. If they are out on pasture they can founder or just get obese which you want to avoid.
I'm glad you take your little one for walks, Sis has a mini and does this with him or the grandchildren take him out, just like having a dog go with you;
 

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Another pony, a donkey, a goat or two. Anything but being alone! Horses can become numb to being alone, and there a a few who even prefer it, but the vast majority need society -- just like we do, in fact.

I have a pony for my horse, a goat for my pony, and another goat for my goat. Seriously! They are a happy family. Even if one or even two are extracted from the group for a time, they always have someone there to be their friend. I think it is one of the most important things you can do for a horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Zackary Nubs on TikTok the colt didn’t work out. He turned out to be an untouched ungelded one year old. And a goat was down sick in the pasture with him. The search continues! Thank you all for taking the time to answer and give advice!
 
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