Importance of companionship

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MHT Supporter
MHT Supporter
Apr 20, 2021
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Fort Worth, Texas
How important is companionship to your horse? Does your horse need another horse? Would a goat or sheep be ok? Is being across the fence from another horse enough? Every horse is different but what is your experience?

When we moved here a year ago my neighbors horse Doc, her other 2 horses had died from old age so she only has the one left, had been by himself for years. When my horses moved in across the fence line he was absolutely thrilled! If I did anything with one of my horses (big or small) he would scream and scream, he was so scared they would leave and never come back. He was very happy having horses next door and sharing a fence line. Now he has finally quieted down and gotten use to our ways… well, until last week.

Doc has really become attached to my biggie, Riffics. In the middle of winter during a sleet storm, he would stand right next to Riffics. Riffics wold stand under cover but not poor Doc standing out there in the freezing bad weather. He doesnt like to leave Riffics side across the fence. Last week we decided to put Doc & Riffics out together. OMG! Like two kids in a candy store! The LOVE being together! Doc is 20 and Riffics is 23! Perfect match! They both have NEVER been happier! When Riffics first gets to Docs pasture for their “play date” Doc follows Riffics around as if saying, “don’t leave me! Don’t leave me!” When I bring Riffics home for the night Doc screams & screams for him. As soon as Riffics is back in his own pasture he heads straight to the fence line to be next to his best bud. The new arrangement is benefitting Riffics too, he is FINALLY sleeping! Riffics is a very dominant horse and has to look after “his herd”. I hardly ever see him laying down snoozing. Riffics has been sleep crashing for so long now but finally he is laying down getting some much needed rest! For these two old farts being across the fence just wasn’t enough, they needed to be in the same pasture together.

Do you have any cool horse stories about companionship??
A very sweet story.💞 You know, they are seniors but could realistically have a good amount of time left to hang together. So glad Doc has a friend!

I do think horses need companionship and another horse is best, especially if they are similarly sized for back scratching!
I have really seen our poor Apaché go through so much since we bought him. I think he would have been happiest if I left him out in woop woop on 25 acres with his seven head herd. A very balanced herd where Apaché, although the smallest was a well respected member of the herd. I abducted him and put him in a small yard in suburbia where the only contact he had with other horses was a small, very controlled playdate with the party unicorns that lived down the road. It was too heartbreaking so I was happy when I agisted him for a while on 5 acres with a couple of mares. I really think he was gelded a bit late as he is such a ladies man. Luckily his size has acted as a natural contraceptive 🤣🙃.

And then we brought him here where he was alone again for a loooong time, but at least with bigger yard and horses next door and in the area. He would have been happier then but the fence between us and the neighbours is quite high and solid wood, So he couldn’t see them or touch them… But then one day I couldn’t see Apaché anywhere in the paddock… and then I found him!! The lady next door is the daughter of the man who lived here so they had a low gate up the back to get through and I saw dear Apaché having a lovely time talking over the gate with one of the haflingers they have. Every now and again I noticed his shoulder was a little wet too 🥰 I was so relieved he was having some friend time but also felt how this was not enough for him and in a way it was teasing him… My poor little guy! So happy he finally has his own friend!! They totally lose it when one of them leaves the paddock without the other but neither minds being the one to leave the other behind. It’s also been nice watching Apaché become more relaxed and happy and friendly as he finally is having his needs met properly!!

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