There is a strong possibility the Stinky Pony will get to be a backyard pony when we move. He is our only equine and I really had not considered getting another at this time. I would not want him to be without a pasture buddy and I am exploring alternative options to getting another full sized friend. I am interested to hear what others have and how their horses liked them. Thanks!
Another option is to take someone's retiree until you no longer need a companion. That way, if pony leaves you aren't stuck finding a companion for your companion. Put the word out you are looking for a companion horse and you will be innundated!
Sheep! My old pony was in LOVE with the sheep she lived with, and they are VERY easy keepers. A clip job once a year, no grain, they share the hay with the pony, and, if you get them as lambs, they are like giant wooly dogs. We used to walk ours down the road. They had collars and leashes, too. And they're super cute. (We did have bigger sheep than most, ours were the size of mini's, maybe a little bigger, so they could run around with the pony, who was a large.)
"On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."
If you go with goats invest in awesome awesome fencing.. goats are great escape artists. My fried has dairy goats with her horses, she breeds them and then milks them and has fresh goats milk. (she has her own pasturizer) The milk is so good when it is fresh.
___._/> I don't suffer from insanity.. I enjoy every
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//__\\<-- Don't feed the llama!
Growing up we had a few sheep and just one horse. The horse LOVED his sheep. They were easy keepers, but make sure to keep your grain bin/room locked, because if they get into it, they don't know when to stop eating and might kill themselves.
Goat---I had adopted a rescue a while back, she was older and came with her goat Billy. He mainly kept to himself and the horses and occasionally would wander into our yard to munch on the bushes/trees. He was a great companion, don't know what kind he was, but he was huge and got along well with everyone.
As for sheep, I have heard they graze down to the earth and really do harm to a horse's field, but I have never had experience with them, just hearsay.
Check out the local rescues. Older horses or ones that can't be ridden will probably make great companions too.
One of my horses has a serious thing for pigs. No joke. He could take or leave the goats he used to live with, he's terrified of minis (both of the donkey and horse persuasion) and he thinks cows and sheep are out for blood. But pigs and dogs are as marvelous as people in his opinion (and I don't think turning a person or a puppy out with him would be a very viable option! )
I don't know jack about pigs as companion animals, but I always say that if he ever needed one, he'd be getting his very own (gelded) potbelly! I have a few friends that have pigs as both livestock and as pets and they all think they're wonderful animals. :::shrug::: if nothing else, it would make for a conversation piece! (This is my horse Dobbin and his pig, Babe!)
Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.