companion dilemma

cattyniccy

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7 August 2012
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I am having such a headache and need some horsey peoples help and opinions! I am 27 years old, and have a 2 acre paddock attached to my garden, I have a 14.2hh pony I broke in myself and have owned for 6 years, I happy hack on 3 times a week, and not much more than this as I work full time and am hugely int omy 2 dogs. I need a companion for my pony but I dont have the time for riding out 2 and in the next year or 2 my circumstances may change if we have kids. Therefore my options are;

Get a pony such as a section A cob or shetland just purely for company who I handle but nothing else, but I worry about laminitis here.
Get a donkey but I worry about noise
Get a youngster who I handle and then sell on when he gets to about 3 or 4, or break him in if I suddenly have more time to ride 2. But not sure if I should get something like a 15.2hh cob who lots of people could ride, or a childs pony, but then hard to break in myself as I am about 9 stone and worry its not the same as a child riding it if I break it! This is a larger sum of money now but I could get something back when/if I sell.
Get one from the bluecross, but they insist on insuring which with the donation makes it quite expensive, and if I put all the work in I can never sell it, however I can give it back and take on a new one if my circumstances change
Get a totally different animal such as alpacas or sheep, but not sure if she'll bond?!

Anyone any pony or other animal experience or suggestions?!
 

mandwhy

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Do you dare delve into dragondriving.co.UK... I think a youngster pony of some solid variety maybe a bit bulkier type, you could do everything but back it and then sell on without making a great deal of profit, get it well accustomed to walking out in hand etc, and you never know you can probably find a teenager to help if you are worried about squashing it. You might fall in love with it, have it backed and ready for your kids! You could contact pony club or a riding school to find someone to ride it in the meantime thereby giving some ponyless child a chance :)

Laminitis wise you could just have it fenced off at one end with your other horse next door.
 

POLLDARK

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Get a Mini Shetland & create a small grazing area for it that you can move around ie electric fence so that grazing is restrcted. That will give company enough.
 

hayinamanger

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Just a couple of points re companions. Keeping two together can, and often does, create separation anxiety issues. If you are going to keep two together, it is essential that they have the same nutritional requirements.
 

Pearlsasinger

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The first thing you need to bear in mind is that you only have 2 acres available. The usual rule is 2 acres for the first horse and 1 acre for every horse thereafter, so you haven't really got room for a large companion. I'm sure that with careful management you would have enough available for a smaller companion and would never advocate keeping a single horse. You could pick up a small unbroken pony for very little money and possibly break it for any future children to ride. I have a friend who has a miniature shetland which she drives and which is ridden by local children, her grand-daughter is almost old enough now!
 

WelshD

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I have a youngster on his own at the moment awaiting the loan of a friends horse as a companion

I have sheep and goats, the pony is fine with the sheep but doesnt spend time with them but he does love the goats and they play, gallop and graze together a lot, there is a horse over the fence who he enjoys grooming with but he does like those goats!
 

Vodkagirly

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Offer low cost grazing to someone on the basis that there horse can be a companion to yours and theres is fine left on its own?
 

cattyniccy

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Wow thanks already everyone!
Seperation issues worry me too, so yes, would get it used to being left by leading it our and riding my pony out.
The acre situation is minimum, however it is more like 2.25 acres and it has had 2 before and I usually find I am sectioning off bits due to them getting too fat, so possibly only winter where I would struggle with this.
Goat-escpae artist comes to mind?! Do they bond with other animals?
mandwhy - do you mean a cobby type? This is what Id go for if I had the choice, but what size?! kiddy or non kiddy?!
PS in regards to having a livery-not keen due to different ideas, and them being on my land and potentially getting on my nerves?! Harsh but how I feel!
 

HazyXmas

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When i found myself in need of a companion pony, daughter & I had a little trip to the New Forest Sales & bought a couple of little fillies.

The filly foals start at about £50, colts at about £10 :-(

It was a gr8 experience for us, we went back the following year & bought two more!!!!!

Not a cheap option & they have been much more trouble & work than i thought they should be, but we've enjoyed it & three of the four are now sold. We kept them till 4 & backed them then sold on to local family homes.

One of the original ones was the nicest, sweetest, most genuine pony that i have EVER come across & i really wished that i had access to a small child as desperately wanted to keep her. As it is, she is just down the road doing a super job as pc pony.

Good luck.
 

Fransurrey

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I would get two shetlands. A doddle to keep. They stay together while ridden pony goes out and they'll carry 9 stone no problem if you need to back them!
 

bryngelenponies

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The only thing I would say is that be aware that not all horses take too kindly to shetlands...I know quite a few horses who have been introduced to shetlands and simply couldn't cope with the pressure or get their head around the concept of a tiny horse :rolleyes: Just a thought for you if your horse hasn't been introduced to little ones before :)
 

WelshD

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ref goats - the bigger dairy goats are far less likely to want to escape than a pygmy

If you can go for an equine companion I would but of the available alternatives I think goats are good. A friend keeps her horse with llamas.
 

Milanesa

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You could try an ex polo pony there are loads going free and u could ride and lead if that is something you wanted to do, or I'm sure it would be fine on it's own whilst you rode.
 

YasandCrystal

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I would get two shetlands. A doddle to keep. They stay together while ridden pony goes out and they'll carry 9 stone no problem if you need to back them!
I wouldn't unless OP has money to burn. That would be 2 sets of vaccinations, 2 sets of trims every few weeks, 2 lots of dentistry every 9 or so months............................2 more lots of worming every 12 weeks :eek::eek:

They may be small but no pony is 'cheap to keep'. Just imo. One small loan rescue from WHW could be a solution.
 

mandwhy

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Well I was thinking something like an exmoor or new forest or something, as Hazyxmas says you can get ponies at the sales for ridiculous prices and at least then they won't be going for meat the poor wee things, although I suppose you'd want something about 13.2ish? I have never ridden small ponies as have always been tall and big so I don't know how a very small child would feel on 13.2, but I think it is a good versatile size as suitable for children, teenagers and small adults. Pretty sure at 9 stone you could ride 13.2 couldn't you? I am a heavy person so not sure haha.

I love exmoor ponies, I'd probably buy one as I am half looking for a companion but no chance of me riding it!

http://www.preloved.co.uk/adverts/show/106176554/registered-exmoors.html


You could turn it into a delightful pony like this :-D


http://www.preloved.co.uk/adverts/show/106173448/jet-black-13hh-fell-x-exmoor-x-cob.html
 

McNally

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I have a shetland who keeps my TB company. He's pony perfection! stays alone for however long without even looking up. Yes he costs a bit to keep but tbh its not the same as a horse in some ways- He only has half a syringe of wormer (based on his weight) he eats very very little. His feet are amazing and my farrier usually does him free with the others. He is massivly needle shy so i dont actually have boosters (obviously not recommending this but it took me 5 months to catch and be able to touch him after last injection) but he stays at home anyway and the others do have theirs done yearly.
He's a lovely little chap to have around he's either asleep or going flat out bucking and squealing!
Id recommend one but as someone else has pointed out be careful on the introduction! Id febce a tiny patch and let them say hello over the fence for a week first.
 

roanwitch

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I used to have 2 pygmy goats with mine, absolutely gorgeouse little creatures, but have to say Very noisy, everytime a neighbour came out of the house they wouldn't shut up! Also the paperwork with Defra for them was a nightmare, they went to live with my friends alpacas in the end after a couple of the neighbours commented on how noisy they were, and I got a section B as a companion for my boy.
 

Mister Ted

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If he is happy on his own mainly you could try a couple of sheep .Iknow someone with this setup and the two are practically joined at the nose grazing happily.Ithink a donkey is as much work as another pony and you have to be more vigilant with worming. Mini shetlands make great companions in the field as long as the fencing is secure! We used to bring them in during the day and a grazing muzzle in the evening.They are tough in the winter and dont need rugged,and dont need a lot of fussing.If you work full time the weight issue could be a problem,muzzling before going to work and leaving it off in the evening.Ideally another equine for company but again its all more work so I would try the sheep!
 

smellsofhorse

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Get a small elderly companion.
Anything that needs working on will take time that you just don't have.
Some electric fencing once set up is easy to maintain for weight watching.
Getting it from a charity would be ideal.
You would surely need to insure it any way so say is the blue cross no go?
 

cattyniccy

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Do you think it would be totally random to have alpacas?! Been offered trial use of them to see how they are with Ebony and then £200-250 each if they work from a customer?!
 

FfionWinnie

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What area are they coming from. Alpacas should be tested for TB and you need to have them shorn. They do not like being shorn. They spit at things they don't like and can be quite shy if not well handled.
 

Dancing Queen

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The lack of land would bother me and your commitments may change in a year or 2 - are you being fair to the horses? Do you have enough time for everything? Even a companion will require time.

I dont mean to offend just throwing those questions at you for you to consider.

If you are happy and feel that you can cope and you have the adequate support network around you then fair enough.

Personally I would get an elderly pony who needs would love a relaxed, enjoyable retirement or a rescue who needs some love and who needs to restore faith in humans. I find the native ponies fairly easy to look after. There are often ponies who are advertised as they are no longer wanted by people.

good luck in your search.
 

cattyniccy

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Dancing queen-you have not offended me at all, in fact you are saying what I am thinking, hence this massive thought procedure-my circumstances will change and I dont want to have something I cant handle, hence why non equine may be better, but I dont want Ebony upset with no equine companion! I have enough time for her and it makes sense to use my 2 acres and have her on my back garden where I can handle and see her everyday, but possibly not two horses depending on the future!
Land, I dont think is a problem, like I said beofre I partition now as there's too much as she is prone to weight gain!
 

Dancing Queen

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Phew!
A Goat may seem like a good idea - the one goat companion i know of ate pretty much all the wooden fencing!
Donkeys -carry lungworm so you would need to keep you the worming programme and dung collection (requiring more time).

Ideally another pony, but there are stories of chickens being useful companions. Good Luck
 
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