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Does My Horse Need a Companion?

Providing a Companion For Your Horse

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Horse and Donkey

Bubba and Red, a horse and donkey live quite happily together.

2006 Runsfr2ndchances An alpaca with a horse.

While another horse is the ideal companion for your horse, other animals like goats, alpacas and llamas may also keep your horse company.

2006 Runsfr2ndchances

A reader asks: We are moving to a new hobby farm and have room for several horses. I know it's better if horses have a companion, but we can only afford to buy one horse. We'd like our horse to have a buddy. What should we do?

You're right that horses need companions. They are herd animals and feel safer if they have there own kind to live with. They'll be less bored and less likely to indulge in stable vices . It's better physically and emotionally for your horse if he can be part of a herd. But when you can't afford another horse, what can you do? Here are a few ideas:

Offer boarding. That way your pasture might make a little money to support your own horse while providing a buddy.

Look for a free companion horse. Contact a horse rescue, search online horse classifieds, or ask around for a free companion horse. Many people are glad to find good homes for older horses or horse that can't be used for some reason. This will solve two problems; give your horse company, and provide a loving home for a horse that may be running out of options. Be aware that you may be getting a horse that needs extra care, so be sure you're able to look after a horse with special needs.

Try finding a non-equine friend for your horse. A goat, donkey, calf or some other four legged creature (not a dog) could be a buddy for your horse. Be aware that if you get a calf, they have been known to chew horse's tails off, and some horses really don't like cattle.

Share your ideas for providing horse companions by clicking the "Share Your Tips" link below.

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