Keeping horses alone

Date posted: 16th August 2009

I am frequently asked if I think it is ok to keep a horse alone.

Personally I feel that it is unfair to keep a horse without a companion. Horses are herd animals and in most cases are much happier and more content if they have another horse for company.
Many people have asked me for advise on what to do with their “problem horse” on a number of occassions the problem has been caused because the horse has been seperated from his or her companions. Some horses just can not cope with being alone and can develop serious behavioural problems because of it.

I know one horse who has developed such serious behavioural problems due to being kept inside and in solitary confinement that he is now extremely dangerous to be around, he is also a complete danger to other horses purely because he has become so wound up and stressed. The sad part about it is that the horse could have been a very good horse both under saddle and to handle but being kept alone has sent him crazy and it is blatently obvious that all he wants is company.

Some horses can cope with being alone or just sharing a field with sheep or cattle but i would never recommend it. In my experience horses are at their happiest when they are in groups of their own kind.

When it comes to keeping horses stabled all of the time and never turned out to a field as many people do with stallions, I think this is not only unhealthy for the horse but is also cruel and should not be considered a suitable life for any horse.

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