Can a horse live alone? What animal can he live with?

Not everyone can afford to own several horses, given their cost acquisition and maintenance as well as time necessary to take care of it properly. Does the equine support the solitude ? If not why ? What animals can he live with? And if he finds himself alone, how will he react? Our answers to all your questions.

Can a horse live alone?

The answer is no. The equine indeed has an instinct gregarious, a characteristic that pushes individuals of the same species to to assemble and to adopt the same behavior. The horse’s gregariousness responds to two needs fundamentals:

  • The social interactions. Whether in a box, in a stall or in the meadow, the animal must be able to rub shoulders with congeners, communicate with them, to touch them. Maintaining social relationships is one of the needs primary equine, such as feeding, sleeping or drinking. The company of a single congener may not, moreover, not enough for the horse is made to live in a herd.
  • the feeling of security. Apart from its imposing and dissuasive size, the horse has little means of defending itself. In case of’attack, it owes its survival only to the flight or the intimidating presence of a herd. In order to fall asleep, an equine needs to know that it can count on its companions for to watch Area. Under these conditions only, he will be able to rest in full serenity.

What if the horse is left alone?

Taking into account the two basic needs of the horse (above), loneliness has a negative impact on its balance. physical and mental :

  • the lack of social interactions can quickly lead to depression in equine animals. In addition to being deeply bored, he may not move a lot, eat less, suffer from gastric ulcers and then colic. On the other hand, the fact of not being around his fellows is likely to make him associable to the point of no longer being able to cohabit with fellow creatures thereafter;
  • the feeling of insecurity generates sleep problems in the horse which has no companions to keep watch. In the wild, the equine is a prey which has therefore developed a natural worry. During his REM sleep, he lies on his side, in total muscle relaxation. But without a secure environment, the horse constantly remains on his guards and cannot find the rest that it physiologically needs. His health inevitably suffers from this constant awakening.

What animal can the horse live with?

Whether for reasons financial or due to lack of time, it is not always possible to own several horses. Finding a companion is a good solution to save this species from loneliness. gregarious. In general, the equine gets along rather well with the animals of the closed and community life can function while respecting the living conditions of each one.

  • Horse and sheep. These two animals can share the same meadow. The sheep feed on pasture grasses, horse hay and cereals when the greenery becomes scarce. Regular veterinary follow-up is however necessary because the sheep are sometimes carriers of diseases transmissible to horses, such as fluke. On the other hand, sheep require annual shearing;
  • Horse and goat. This cheerful horned animal has an affectionate temperament and is constantly active. Good company, it will distract the horse while getting rid of weeds, brambles and other unwanted plants. However, it will be necessary to consider strengthening the fences that the goat risks deteriorating and going around to sneak into the neighboring meadow.
  • Horse and cow. Their alliance is possible because these two species herbivores adopt different eating behaviors but complementary. Horses are fond of young shoots of grass when cows prefer forages. Thus, each species eats what the other refuses. To sleep, cattle perform a watch tower, like equines. In this way, the cows feel soothed by the presence of a horse pulling the same profits of this promiscuity;
  • Horse and donkey. Not considering itself as prey, the donkey has no instinct to leak and bravely faces danger by charging his opponent. As such, his company can reassure the horse who thus finds peace in his sleep. On the other hand, the donkey is more afraid of cold and humidity than the horse and requires shelter during bad days. Namely that some horses are terrified of donkeys which emit a strong odor and whose braying surprises;
  • Horse and pony. Having the same needs, these two species can live together without problem. The company of another equine remains the best option to ensure the welfare of a horse. If you cannot afford to acquire or support a pony, there are ad sites on the internet offering cohabitation.

The horse in separate cohabitation

Good understanding between a horse and another animal is not guaranteed 100%. The companions can form a solid friendship but also ignore each other, even quarrel. If after a reasonable period ofadaptation, cohabitation does not work, one solution is to create a separate space equipped with contact areas. This alternative allows animals to hear each other, see each other, touch each other through a fence and to reassure mutually by their presence.