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RMR's Horsepeople's Forum

Horses Need Other Horses

 

In the June 2011 issue of Rocky Mountain Rider Magazine, a reader writes in to suggest that horse owners consider how lonely a solitary horse would be if it did not have at least one companion. Horses are herd animals, after all. 
You can click here to read the article.

What do you think? Do you feel horses should have companionship? Are equines the best companions for each other? Is it okay to board a horse all by itself on a pasture or in a corral, with no other living creatures close by?

13 Comments

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Friday, April 5, 2013 4:07 PM

Colorado

I do not own a horse, but am interested in their welfare

I'm young so I don't know a lot, but I love horses! Horses should have other horses to be with, it's healthy. 2 horses can be to much money for some, so other herd animals are a SUBSTITUTE, and allow your horse a little bit of confert. Only mankind as a herdmate is not so good for horses.

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9:29:03 AM

Colorado

I own 6-15 horses

I would say yes. They need that interacting, they are a herd animal. I have been lucking to have a place, where I watch my horses and mules interact. The most interesting thing I have noticed is how they watch out for each, from the lead mare to the old mule of the herd. I have an old red dun that is 28 to 29 years old ( the old man), and a broad mare (lady) who is the boss of a small herd of seven horses and mules. I watched how Lady waits for the old man to come off of the high pasture and walks with him to grass pasture below. It is like watching an older couple take care of each other. And when I take a horse or mule out on a ride and come back, the herd is there waiting to greet it, happy to have it back with them. To me they need that companionship and at times as humans I think all of us would like to be greeted like that when we return home.

 

Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:33:15 PM

Idaho

I own 1-5 horses

Horses do need other horses. They learn from one another and are very social animals that are co-dependent emotionally. They enjoy the comrodorie of another animal.

 

Friday, August 12, 2011 7:57:06 PM

Maryland

I own 1-5 horses

I just lost my 30 yr. old Quarter Horse mare to colic. She lived with my other QH mare that is now 15 yrs. for 11 yrs. They were very close. Now I only have Reba and she is doing very well as far as she only nickered the first couple days for Macie. I know she still thinks of her as I see her looking through the trees or just listening . I think she is actually beginning to ajust very well ,but I find it very sad to see one horse alone. I definitly plan on adopting or taking in another equine to be a friend to my remaining mare. It is true the mutual contact of another as for grooming or interacting is very important. Finding the right horse is very important to, allowing over fence time for adjusting to each other for a couple weeks.

 

Friday, June 24, 2011 4:11:51 PM

Montana  
I own 1-5 horses

Yes, yes and YES! Grandpa always said "a horse can die of loneliness".

 

Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:03:54 PM

Utah

I own 1-5 horses

I know for a fact that horses need the companionship of other horses. I learned this the hard way last year. I had moved my gelding from my friend's home where he lived with 2 mares to a very nice pasture right behind my house. He was there for a month and got fat and glossy on the grass. I thought all was well until one night my friend rode one of the mares to my house for a visit. My horse never liked this particular mare, but he was ecstatic to see her after being alone. He whinnied so loud and ran around the pasture when we took the mare across the river to set up a campsite. I've never seen him act like that at any other time, and his whinnies were heartbreaking. I felt awful. This year he turned 28 years old and I know he could use the nice feed that pasture would give him, but my friend refuses to move either of her mares and I don't have the heart to put him out there alone again. I learned my lesson. I will never keep another horse alone.

 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 10:46:52 AM

North Dakota

I own more than 15 horses

Of course they do - that's why it's called a herd. Horses are very dependent on their 'herd' - but luckily they're pretty flexible. Their herd can be about anything living, including people - They need their own kind if possible. It is what was intending in creation.

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 5:33:20 AM

Utah

I own 1-5 horses

Horses are a herd animal and do need companionship from other horses, if not they are lonely, can act out and just plain depressed.

 

Sunday, June 5, 2011 9:09:08 PM

Washington

I own more than 15 horses

Horses need a companion, be it a goat, llama, cattle. I have a llama that thinks he is a horse, he is too cute for words. The horse may be afraid of the goat or llama at first but they warm up fast. If you get another horse for a companion then you frequently end up with 2 buddy sour horses

 

Sunday, June 5, 2011 10:08:27 AM

Florida

I do not own a horse, but am interested in their welfare

Think about it. The worst punishment for felons in prison is SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. Need I say more?? HorseLover

 

Saturday, June 4, 2011 8:28:18 AM

Montana

I own 6-15 horses

YES! Horses are herd animals, every horse should have another as a companion, to groom each other, to watch over each other, to encourage exercise, and for their overall mental and emotional well being. Having other animals with them (goats, pigs, sheep, cattle, etc.) is NOT the same, horses want and need a "friend".

 

Saturday, June 4, 2011 5:40:02 AM

Wyoming

I own 1-5 horses

Look at wild horses, horses are herd animals. I think the closer we can keep our animals to their natural state the better. I grew up with ranch horses, and they all ran together mares and geldings, in a large pasture. A gelding would take the place of the stallion, or, like I called it, boss horse. One can observe wild behavior in horses without going to a wild horse range when they are run together like this. Where I work now, they raise polo ponies, and the young horses in training run together, mares and geldings, in large pastures. They act like horses, not like backyard pets. A resounding YES to horses do need other horses. Thanks for the article and a chance for readers to comment. Cynthia Rhoades

 

Friday, June 3, 2011 8:20:06 PM

Montana

I own 1-5 horses

Right on, Jane! Great Suggestions. I am going to secretly send this to my neighbors.

 

 

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