Pretty much the title says it all. Since I moved my horse (scroll down a bit) out to my new farm, he’s been very lonely. The plans I made to bring a companion horse out with him fell through. My neighbor’s father raises burros and said I could get one for about $100. I could also buy a goat for about the same cost. But I’ve been looking at Rerun.org and could adopt a rehabbed racehorse. (I really like Crimson Creek) I don’t really have a need for another riding horse, but it wouldn’t be bad to have another mount in case a visitor wants to go for a ride.
Cost is a factor, too. I lost my job recently, and money is tight. Not so tight that I couldn’t keep them properly, but still an issue. And while I wait, Irish just gets lonelier. He’s losing weight because he’s fretting. Horses are herd animals and need companions.
Anybody have experience with other critters as equine companions?
No experience with equines, but, hey, if money is tight, a buck for a burro isn’t a bad deal.
I’ve heard of people getting burros as companion animals for lonely horses, and the arrangement seems to work out quite well.
My mother in law is getting a horse from the SPCA as a companion to hers - gives a home to a homeless horse and gives her horse a companion. Not sure what you would have to pay where you are, there is a fee here.
The Asbestos Mango - It’s $100 for the burro. Still not a great deal of money.
MelCthefirst - I already asked the local SPCA. They don’t have any horses now, although they do get them sometimes.
Forgot to add that in the last SPCA mag, there was a lovely story of a cat and a horse who were close companions - maybe species doesn’t matter, but you can’t ofcourse predict these things.
ooOOoo Burro, they are soooo cute=)
The farm down the road has a couple, they are very social, and I would love one but we can’t manage one right now.
Don’t forget about maintenance. You’re not going to have to shoe a goat (maybe do some trimming though), and I think Burros also have tough little feet. They certainly eat less.
If you get another horse, you’re going to have all of your expenses doubled - shoeing, worming, feed, vet bills. Our horses are also a little picky about who they want to be friends with - some horses just don’t match up with each other. Granted, we don’t have a burro, but there’s one in our future (they’re also good to practice heeling on; you can get them leg guards and everything).
The horses all took to my pygmy goat within a couple of days. He’s so small that I was worried about him getting stepped on (he’s more of a yard pet), but he’d go right under them with no problem. If I were getting a horse’s pet, I’d go bigger than a pygmy, but I think a full size goat or a donkey would be a good companion animal. Is there a pony rescue in your area?
Before I met my wife, she had a horse that was freinds with a goat. She has a picture of the horse with the goat standing on his back. She said that they were best buddies.
Ooooh! I looked at “Crimson Creek”…he’s gorgeous! and nice and tall, too! Too bad he’s in Kentucky or I’d take him myself!
Burros are nice…they can be very affectionate. We used to have one at the ranch where my friend and I keep our horses. His only problem was that it was very difficult to trim his feet. We had to dope him up with a couple of Be-Calms before our farrier could get near him.
I think a goat would probably be the least expensive over all. But man, $300 for a perfectly rideable 16hh gelding is an awesome deal.
MelCthefirst - My cat wouldn’t put her precious little feet out of doors for anything. I have 4 dogs, but they mostly just harrass Irish. Although it’s been good for him to become used to dogs barking at him.
aruvqan - And burros are so cute! However, besides companions their usefulness is sort of limited. Still in the running, though.
Cowgirl Jules - Yep - I’ve factored all that in. My Irish is a pretty easy keeper, especially for a TB. I’ve found the best offense against spending a lot of money on your horse is a good defense - frequent wormings, vaccinations regularly, etc. There’s no doubt, though, that there will be added expense. Fortunately, in my part of the country, feed isn’t exorbitant (yet) and hay is delivered to my barn by my neighbor.
**hlanelee[/b[ - I hadn’t thought until your post, but at my old barn we had a stray pot-bellied pig that Irish was buddies with. I’m not sure how they’d do with the coyotes around here, though.
Rhiannon8404 - Isn’t Crimson Creek a beauty? And his adoption feee, along with Rainy Day’s have been waived, so if he hasn’t been adopted, he’s basically free if you’re approved to adopt him! Rainy Day is a sweet-looking filly. My Irish is a 16+ hh TB. I’ve had him since he was a yearling and trained him myself. He’s really more like a dog than a horse in many repsects. He follows me around. Today I had him in the yard to give him some companionship and he begged 1/2 of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He’s a sweetheart.
Right, not everybody on the boards speaks Las Vegan.
A buck is dealer shorthand for a $100 bill.
Anyway, I think a buck for a burro is a pretty good deal.
And they’re sooooo cute.
StGermain : Irish is a beauty as well! A couple of the horses we have are like dogs as well. Follow us around and nudge us for loves. Peanut butter sandwich? That is too cute!
My stable mate Wendy has an old grey Arabian gelding that is quite fond of Bass Ale. Wendy and I were having a beer while we were making up feeds one evening and I set mine down to open a new bag of cubes. Tesoro reached his head way around the side of the stall and started licking my bottle. I poured a little into my hand and he lapped it up! Silly boy!
I just found out this morning Wendy’s mom is getting two TB mares…they arrive Sunday. It will be nice to have tall horses to ride. Right now we have 4 Arabians (14.1-15hh) and my QH two year old…he’ll be tall when he’s through growing.
Of course…I’m still voting for you to get Crimson Creek!
I don’t think a goat is that uncommon a solution. One of my friends kept a goat with her very highstrung TB cross, and it worked wonderfully. But then another friend needed a place to stable her horse, so now it’s the two horses.
I can recall both reading and seeing on TV where TBs have had goats as companions.
StGermain, where are you located? There’s a horse rescue in Frankfort, Indiana with a website [url=http://www.esfrescue.com/] here**. I’m not sure what their adoption fees are.
Best of luck!
slu - Thanks for the suggestion, but I already have one.
Averie537 - I live just south of Nashville. I went to the website, but they didn’t post most of their adoption fees. I’ll keep it bookmarked, though. Thanks!
Rhiannon - I sent an e-mail to see if Crimson Creek is still available. Thanks for the compliment for Irish, I think he’s the most beautiful horse in the world!
IIRC, the expression “to get one’s goat” comes from keeping a goat with your horse. If you got the horse’s goat, the horse would get upset.
Oh, if you’re getting a goat, ask for a “disbudded wether”. Why? Search the boards (the BOARDS, I say) for “goat porn” by Scylla.
I just left the nest, but my parents still own 6 equines… 2 horses, 2 donkeys, 2 pony mules (pony sized mules) The animals still have their herd order and are quite content with one another as long as each one stays in the pecking order .
I am in complete agreement with the burro as a companion. Most are very passive and will bond quite well with a horse. Of course you still need an introductory period. As far as the burro, though, you do not have to shoe him, but make sure his feet are shaped and taken care of by the farrier. As far as vet bills, just the vaccinations and worming, which are just for maintenence.
How is the feeding situation? Do you have a lot of grass or clover to feed on? If so, then you shouldn’t need to hay or grain for the summer months, or if you like to anyway you can do it at a minimum to cut costs waaaaaay down.
My only reservation on goats … they are tempermental. They are fiesty and if you play rough with them in any way, that is how they will act in the majority of the time. We have had goats as well and one ended up hating my mother so much that the goat almost took a chunk out of my mother’s leg with her horns. Since we do not believe in dehorning a goat, we sold her As far as a compaion, goats seem to be their own creature and bonding with another species is low on their list …
I just find donkeys to be likeable and they are much like horses so there isn’t anything majorly ‘new’ to get used to.
<B>Rhiannon</b> - I received a reply from my e-mail. The wman ar ReRun said Crimson Creek isn’t sound enough for what I consider basic riding (a little dressage, going over small jumps) but invited me to send in an application and they’d see what they might match me up with.
The horse that I bought came from a place where he’d had a goat companion. They were so cute together.