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The odd pony out. Thinking help please...

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  • The odd pony out. Thinking help please...

    I have a small "herd" of 3 at my home. I know animals usually pair up and buddy buddy with their partner in question. In my case its red paired with Spring.

    I refer to the herd dynamic as "a bad relationship" Red and Spring don't want to deal with Poco but they cant stand it if she does something out of sight etc.

    I don't live there anymore so go off of reports. I'm told that Red and Spring will pick on Poco, play ring around they hay piles if she comes to eat, bite/kick at her, etc. Dont get me wrong she gets to eat plenty but you get my drift.

    I'm trying to figure out what to do. The original plan was to sell Red or Spring and that would pretty much solve that problem. Poco has lived with both individually for lengths of time and gets along with both *individually* but together she is the odd pony out. Now that I may have use enough to keep Red and Spring that leaves the current problem of Poco being the odd pony out.

    Ive seen when i go to visit that Poco want attention, she is fine alone and everything but she wants someone to scratch her back too so to speak. She is feeling out of place and I'm not saying that to anthropomorphize(sp?/word usage?) her. When Poco has one on one company with another horse her attitude is different towards people in general. She isn't as needy attention wise. By herself or now that she doesn't have one horse to be with she is more people oriented and will seek people out.

    Now the options that I've seen so far are;
    Sell Red or Spring anyway
    Buy another horse
    Leave things as they are.

    Selling was my idea in the first place because I didn't have time for 3 horses. But if my family, etc are joining me in riding more often then I would wind up selling my 2 trail beginner safe horses.

    I've toyed with the idea of buying another horse but I don't know. I don't want to buy another horse just to have the interest in a family thing to do die out and I'm stuck with not 3 but 4 horses. I could always get a mini or a small pony but then the option of riding said new animal are out. Ive considered possibly doing a co-ownership thing with the horse if i went that route. I pay for the feet, worming, shots, etc they help pay for hay. But I dont know. I can afford another horse, but I'm not sure I want to.

    Option 3 is where I'm stuck at, I could always just not do anything at all and leave things as they are. They don't beat Poco up, just mainly exclude her and pick on her option presenting itself.
    Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
    I am pro-Slaughter

  • #2
    You could foster a horse for a rescue in your area. It would solve your problem without actually commiting to owning another horse.
    \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


    • #3
      Luvmytbs has a very good idea..

      I also have a herd of 3 and Hickory and Nikki will exclude Lark a lot of the time. It's the exact same situation as yourself, Lark is just the bottom horse on the totem pole. Usually when I feed and ride I'll try to spend a little more time with Lark...It's also seemed to get better with time, at first Hickory would 'protect' Nikki from Lark and chase her away from the round bale..things like that. But now that Hick has realized Lark isn't going to take Nikki away from him or steal all of the hay Hickory tolerates her more...Hopefully time will just let them work it out. Until then I would just give Poco a little more attention when you're out with the horses.
      Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.


      • #4
        I think horses are like teenage girls...if there are three, one is always the odd man out.

        I have a retired boarder who makes a fourth. Works out really well, and I love the old guy too, as an added benefit.

        Maybe a foster for a rescue (pick the rescue very, very carefully, though).


        • #5
          Just throwing in a caveat here--adding a fourth horse *may* not solve your problem. I had three here for over a year and they all got along fine--Beamer and Robin are clearly besties, but they were friendly to Allegro as well. Then my other horse George came home from a lease, and for some reason he has a grudge against Allegro. He chases her away from food and is basically a complete jerk to her at every opportunity. The result is that she can't really be part of the herd because he always sends her away.

          So I guess my point is, I wouldn't recommend that you buy a fourth horse, because it may not solve the problem at all. Fostering might be a better choice simply because that way you're not committed to the horse if it doesn't work out.

          Hey, where are you located? You can have George if you want.


          • Original Poster

            But if I foster aren't I still responsible for all the cost and care? Dont think I'm very eligable though. I have barbed wire in some fence sections.
            Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
            I am pro-Slaughter


            • #7
              Depends where you live—if you're west coast, I'll try to give you a pony! I know a bunch in Western Washington who really need homes and you could foster in the short term.
              My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

              Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives


              • Original Poster

                I googled and looked at our state horse counsel for rescues. I only really found one legit rescue, links didn't work on others so I'm not sure if they are still around. Didn't like the terms. I don't mind visits, but I need notification that your coming so *someone* could be there on the visit. I'm responsible for everything they wont pay a dime for anything. Horse needs to be put down I *have* to have their permission first and a vet has to do it no matter the circumstances. Shelter wise I dont comply. They have a large area sheltered by trees and a smaller overhang area that they never use but the rescue specifies a 3 sided cover large enough for all.
                The only really plus I see is if I cant afford it anymore then I can return it. Personally if I'm responsible for everything then i might as well buy the horse straight up ya know? I've been browsing online and have seen a couple cute looking and sounding ponies/smaller horses. But this is all still up in the air anyway. Going to talk to mom about it this weekend.
                Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
                I am pro-Slaughter


                • #9
                  Where are you located?
                  \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


                  • #10
                    You could try removing one of the two buddy horses for a week or so, and see if that makes any difference in their treatment of the odd one out.

                    My three all did fine - nobody bullied or left out. I have a fourth as a foster now, and I think my youngest mare is buddying up with her, but it's only been 2 weeks, so that could change again.

                    I foster and have barbed wire, but it is perimeter fencing only, and they are on 30 acres. It really depends on the rescue.


                    • Original Poster

                      Alabama. The horses are in Deatsville.

                      I guess another option is also to move Poco closer to me. Or Red or Spring. I hadn't considered that one. I'll look into doing that. Then I could ride more often if one was closer.
                      Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
                      I am pro-Slaughter


                      • #12
                        You could board a retired horse, for free or cheap. I know I would be *thrilled* to have my retired/time off for injury horse live somewhere for cheap as long as I knew he was getting good care. Then you don't need to worry if things don't work out.