Horses are herd animals, and are generally happiest when they’re able to interact with other horses. Sometimes, though, situations necessitate that a horse is housed alone, without any other horses nearby. This situation can work as long as you take some steps to give your horse companionship and entertainment. Here are six tips to keep a horse alone.
1. Provide a Companion Animal
One of the best ways to keep your horse happy when he has to live alone is to provide him with a companion animal. Goats are very popular as companion animals for horses. Sometimes horse owners use sheep, cats, and pigs, and even miniature horses to ensure that a solitary horse has the companionship that he needs.
2. Give the Horse Toys and Other Entertainment
Boredom can become an issue for a horse who is alone. Luckily, there are many ways that you can combat boredom in your horse. Consider providing your horse with various stall toys to keep him entertained. You can also give your horse toys out in his pasture.
3. Promote Movement in the Pasture
When horses are turned out together, they naturally move about and play. If your horse is turned out alone, he may tend to be more sedentary. Try to spread your horse’s feed out in different areas of the pasture so that he has to walk around as he eats his hay throughout the day.
4. Groom Your Horse Regularly
A horse who is all alone will miss out on the mutual grooming that horses perform when they’re together in a herd. Make it a point to groom your horse regularly. Be sure to spend plenty of time currying your horse, which closely resembles the feel of mutual grooming. You may find that your horse offers to groom you, too.
5. Play a Radio
Playing a radio softly in your barn can help to break up the silence during the day. Some horses appear to find music soothing. If you choose to play a radio, select a station which offers a soothing music, such as classical music. It’s best not to leave a radio plugged in when you’re not present in the barn.
6. Spend Time With Your Horse
You can help to give your horse both companionship and entertainment with just your presence. Try to spend time with your horse every day. Even if you can’t ride your horse, you can still do activities like groundwork and hand walking. Expecting a visit from you can help to break up your horse’s day.