26 August 2008 14:53
I’m moving to a new house with its own land, and want to know if I should get a companion for my horse. I’m worried that, with just the two of them, they will get over-attached and there’ll be problems when I want to ride out.
By Your Horse
YRC Instructor Alison Ritchie replies:
Although horses do form friendships with other animals, equines are always their first choice – it’s hard to groom a sheep! You’re right that they can form overly-strong attachments to each other, and splitting them up can be a challenge – if you could get more than one companion, your horse would have several friends to bond with. If you do get just one other horse, here are some tips:
● Get into the habit right away of separating the two horses on a regular basis.
● Bring them both in together, but leave one stabled with plenty of hay while you
ride the other. Turn them back out together afterwards.
● If you establish this as a routine, they will realise the friend will always return, and you shouldn’t have a problem.
● Be careful not to bring just one horse in from the field and leave the other out – this can cause the anxiety you want to avoid. The horse left on his own will be much happier coming into a stable with some hay.