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Lone Horse

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  • Lone Horse

    I'm not sure which forum this fits in, so I'll ask here since this is where I "frequent".

    I have one horse at home. I sold my second horse a month or so ago. I have "borrowed" a friend's horse to keep him company. Now this borrowed horse is to be sold and I will have to do something. Can a horse do okay on it's own for a few weeks? I know it's not ideal, but has anyone done it with no ill effects? I'm concerned, but I may not have a choice at the moment. Other than taking him to a boarding barn for a month, which would seem like a lot of money when I have all the hay/feed/shavings here. This is an older horse (18) that I do ride. Any feedback would be appreciated.
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    My mom's horse is 21 and he's been doing fine alone since 2009. He sees my mom & dad everyday and the dog is often in the lot next to his pasture & they share the barn. I'm sure it depends on the horse, but it can work.
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"

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    • #3
      Depends on the horse but generally they will be okay on their own for a little while. A 3 year old home bred I bought a long time ago lived on his own with the previous owner. It took some time for him to get into the herd where I took him but he figured it out with some help from his four legged friends. They, of course, prefer friends.
      You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!

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      • #4
        As long as they are not the type of horse that relies on having a buddy, he should be fine for a little while.

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        • #5
          Depends on the horse entirely.

          My friend's gelding spent a little over a month alone at my farm when I first bought it. I'd already paid board on my gelding for the month and my ex owned the horse at the time. He wanted him in our backyard ASAP so he moved him as soon as we had fence up. We waited until the end of the month to move my gelding in. He didn't seem bothered by being alone for that time.

          His grandparents kept his old contesting horse (and by old, I mean he was horribly arthritic and pushing 30) alone for the better part of a decade by himself. During the warmer months when they were actively showing, the rest of the horses would periodically stay there for a weekend, but that was about all the company he got from horses. He didn't really seem to care.

          I've known other horses though who flip out and can't stand being alone for a few hours let alone weeks.

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          • #6
            As others have said, it totally depends on the horse. I knew a girl who has a Paint gelding she kept at home all by himself for years with no trouble. She said she tried to board him once and it didn't go well - she said he actually preferred being alone.

            My gelding would/will go nuts if he is ever alone. He can't be alone - he'll pace and run the fence and sweat himself up into a tizzy.

            My mare calls out if she's alone, but doesn't get terribly upset. I've seen her run around for a hot minute, then calm down to pacing for a little while, then get completely relaxed and accept the situation.

            Best of luck to you and your handsome boy! I hope it all works out well.
            ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

            The equine love of my life: Gabriel
            4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks, all. Thanks ClassyRide. He is a cutey. . I think he will do okay. He is a confident horse, and not really an overly clingy horse. I will just be sure I pay him some extra attention. And hopefully I will find another horse soon!
              “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
              ¯ Oscar Wilde

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              • #8
                When we moved to a farm when I was a teenager my horse spent probably a year by himself and then only got 2 cows for company. He didn't mind it.
                When we moved DD's horse to our current barn she was in quarantine for 3 weeks by herself and didn't care either. She never minds leaving the other horses or the hay when we come out to ride her. She seems to like people better than other horses anyway.

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                • #9
                  I'm a firm believer that horses need other horses, and hair to hair contact as well.

                  But when my mare had to be alone for a few weeks she was fine, but I felt she had started to need company by soe of her behaviours she was exhibiting. I now have a mini and everything is fine. She is naturally gentle and the mini costs practically $0 to feed!
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                  • #10
                    Some horses are fine alone, though I think the vast majority do better with a horse friend. They are a herd animal after all. If its just for a few weeks, I'm sure your horse will be fine though.

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                    • #11
                      Some horses are natural loners but even they like being able to eyeball another equine. That being said, for a short period of time, he should be fine. If you see the pacing, worrying behavior you may need to re-think things but as long as there is grass or hay and room to move around, I'd bet your boy will adjust.

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                      • #12
                        This is a lovely excuse to acquire a mini-donk.
                        Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sing Mia Song View Post
                          This is a lovely excuse to acquire a mini-donk.
                          That's what we did.
                          I have a Fjord! Life With Oden

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                          • #14
                            Pictures of your mini-donks please, ladies!

                            On topic: My mare was alone for about 6 weeks when I was moving and had her stashed at a neighbour's place. Until that point she had normally been very herd bound but being alone she did great and ever since then she hasn't been as clingy with her equine buddies.

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