Does anyone have a creative solution for a pasture pal for my pony?
My first call is out to the barn where she's living now (via the owner, I'm not taking food out of anyone's mouth!) to see if there are any retirees/in need of a break ponies that would like to come live at her brand new home in a few months.
The problem is that we really live in horse country (okay, that is NOT a problem) but I have nothing to more offer a boarder then a paddock and a stall (no riding ring yet or anything), and most horses around here get that in their owners backyards.
If I can't find a boarder, I really don't want to own a second horse. One is enough money and work for me right now. Yes, we could get her a second farm animal, but last time she was out with cows - she tried to steal their babies... I think an other equine pal would be the best bet.
Do shelters ever foster our horses like dogs & cats?
I had a similar situation in that I was down to just one horse and didn't want to buy another so I offered free board to the RIGHT retiree. Owner still has to pay vet, farrier, supplements but I do everything else. I put an ad in our Saddle Club newsletter several months before I did need another companion and had probably 30 or more people interested.
If you decide to do this though, make certain you still have a 'boarding contract' that spells out just what you will do and what you expect the owner to do.
Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!
I have a borrowed mini - I don't charge board because she does not eat enough to justify, but the owner is glad to have a good home for her and pays for worming and 'costs' of any kind. It is a perfect arrangement for me and even the difference in feeding is ok - she lives on leftovers from my big mare and her little mouth eats slower than the mare's, so they seem to get the right amount each, even grain is divided. She will not go out to pasture, though (maybe the lawn for an hour in the summer) due to old founder. I do not believe in keeping them separate - horses need hair to hair connection. Despite the size difference, never a flicked ear or swished tail and they move each other about.
You may also try your mare alone.
There are plenty of horses that do fine alone, the ones I have right now, any of them is fine if the others are gone for days, don't nicker and I think they like the peace and having the whole barn, food and attention for themselves.
Then, they are older horses and ranch horses, they know alone is ok, learned that when young.
We have had the odd horse that preferred being alone, didn't like anyone else around and with others kept to himself anyway.
Have one like that now, grumpy old soul always standing by himself, rarely with the others, he is middle of the pack when feeding and no one fights anyway, it is just him.
So, you may be fretting for naught and, although most horses do better with some friend, your mare may be that one, not so rare exception.