Companion Homes - do they work?

Dolphin

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23 January 2006
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81
I am doing some research into companion homes and would love to hear your stories good or bad.

Have you had to find a companion home for your horse? Why? How did it work out and did you stay in touch?

Or have you offered a home for a companion? And again why? And did it work out?

If you have offered a home for a companion, who pays for things like insurance, dentist, shoes, vet visits etc etc?

The more information the better please! Many thanks to anyone who replies.
 

CazD

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18 May 2007
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949
Hi. I have a companion horse on loan from a sanctuary. We got her because one of our own 2 horses wouldnt stay safely on her own and because of hubby's work, I often ride on my own. The companion is fantastic. I wouldnt be without her and she has a home for life with us. We pay all her costs plus a small yearly "donation" to the sanctuary. We are supposed to pay insurance for her but due to medical problems most insurers wont touch her - so we cover her medical fees ourselves. Hope that helps!
 

Booboos

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5 January 2008
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12,776
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South of France
I had a gelding who needed a companion and advertised on horsemart. I got quite a few unsuitable responses (people didn't really read what I needed) but one turned out great. The owners of the pony came up to see my place (I keep the horses at home) and meet us. This went very well, so I went to see their pony, seemed perfect for the job (live out 24/7 to keep company to my retired chap), picked him up and had him for about 4-5 years. His owners stayed in touch through-out, mainly via e-mail and phone but they would also visit once or twice a year. Towards the end both horses were suffering a bit with a series of problems and we decided it would be fairer to put them to sleep together. I paid for farrier (no shoes), dentist, vaccinations, vet and feed, his owners paid for his vets insurance (external injury only as he was very elderly) and third party liability.
 

BigRed

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7 January 2008
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4,145
I had a "spare" pony whom I loaned out as a companion, the people who used him were very nice and there were no problems, other than two of them suddenly deciding they no longer needed him and back he came with no real notice. I managed to find him an excellent home with two little girls who love him to bits, the family has plenty of small children to ride him and they run a professional showing yard, so I am happy he has a good home now.
 

SmokingBabe

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10 June 2008
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424
I have a lovely aged mare as a companion for Minnie.Min's is unable to cope with the comings and goings of other horses which is why I found her a full time friend!

Her owner pays for all her veterinary and insurance needs, I pay all food, farrier , worming and dentist costs. I get on really well with her owner and she knows she can see her whenever she likes, an appointment is not required !

I feel I've offerered a fantastic, caring home to a much loved pony whose ridden days are over. Sugar enjoy's walks out in hand once or twice a week and receives as much attention as Min's.

 

BigBird146

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29 January 2008
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558
Location
Oop north
I have a companion pony, a 13hh welsh mountain. I needed one quick when I decided that the girl who kept her horse with mine, at my home, was taking the mickey just a bit too much (considering she had free livery!!) so I wanted a horse without an owner, as they're what usually causes the problems! I asked a lady who has quite a few waifs and strays if she had a suitable pony and as Con can't be ridden due to a very bad knee injury, he got the job!
As companions go he's pretty much perfect
. He's easy to do as he doesn't need rugs or much foodwise, just hay in winter and a bit of Happy Hoof, he has his feet trimmed every other time my horse is shod, he is wormed when mine is but generally only half the dose I have to give my horse, and jab wise I just keep him up to date with tetanus (no need for flu as he doesn't leave his field). I do need to keep an eye out for lami so he's muzzled part of the time through summer and he's had to stay in a couple of times, but he's not really been bothered by that.
I've had him nearly 2 years now and he's about the same age as my horse (16). They both have homes for life.. Connie was offically given to me after about a year as his previous owner was happy for him to stay with me.
 

DaisyMae

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15 May 2008
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310
I sold a mare with Navicular as a companion for a small fee, thought i'd found her a lovely home with someone who needed company for his other horse but only a day after he'd taken her he turned up at a friends yard to look at another cheap horse! I phoned him and asked him why, he was full of excuses but i think he might have been a dealer who was just gonna sell her on as a riding horse. Was really upset that i was so gullable and i pray thats shes ok.
 

ladyt25

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30 November 2007
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Leeds
We took on an ex racehorse a few years bak (4 I think). We'd previopsuly had him for 'fattening' up as he'd been to a loan home (as a ridden horse) and had proved too much and they'd basically starved him and let himget into a terrible state.

He then went to another loan hoem but again proved too much so was sent back to owner. We'd recently lost 2 oldies of our own and their devoted 36 yr old friend was quite distraught. We then heard the owner of the racehorse was going to have him put to sleep as she had nowhere for him to go so mum jumped in and offered him a home to keep our other oldie company if we took the others out.

He is now 24 and fit and healthy, we do not ride him although we did initially and he would be perfectly happy to go out but we don't have time with our others so he is just happy hooning about our fields with his pals!

I am sure we would do it again if we found out another healthy horse was going to be PTS, I think they all deserve a happy retirement!
 

Dolphin

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Joined
23 January 2006
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81
Thanks for all the replies - exactly what I was after so keep them coming!

For those who had to find a companion home - how did you find one? Did you advertise or was it through word of mouth?
Was it a hard decision to make? And how far away did your horse go?
 

louisewatcham

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14 June 2007
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230
Location
Huntingdon
My retired mare went on loan as a companion to a fellow livery who bought a house with land. As our two mares got on really well she offered to take mine on permanent loan as she knew I was short of time with a young family.

It was a very easy decision to make as I knew the other lady quite well, and she moved to her house about 40 miles away with lovely new stables and good grazing.

Unfortunately it all ended very badly after just 6 months. She ignored my instructions on not feeding any hard feed and my mare got exceptionally fat and she persistently over-rugged her, so when I visited I would find her sweating and unhappy.


Then my mare went lame with a foot abcess and the loaner said they didn't have time to poultice etc and expected me to drive there every day to do it. It turned out she had a keratoma and I was advised to have her PTS but loaner would not accept the decision and refused to let me have it done on her premises. She said she would report me for cruelty for 'putting a healthy horse down', and also tried to report the vet for the same. Ultimately we had a huge fall-out and I had to go and get my lovely mare to bring her home so I could do the right thing by her.
 

louisewatcham

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14 June 2007
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230
Location
Huntingdon
Thank you JJ, it took a long time to get over it. I let my horse down by thinking of myself. I shouldn't have let her go and will never put another horse on loan.
 
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