Lucy2603

Getting a Second horse?

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What are the pros and cons of owning two horses, I have a bay mare and would like to get a second horse. I don’t have to pay board and buy all hay and extra feed so my parents haven’t had to buy anything. What are some things that you could recommend to convince my parents to let me get a second horse, don’t get me wrong my current horse is great, but she is getting older, and does get sore quite easily.

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Well, horses are herd animals and they tend to do better in groups.  Groups of 2 work well, especially if they get along.  My 2 became best buddies right away.  I added a 3rd horse and he is odd-man-out though they aren't making as many ugly faces at him as they used to.
One thing I noticed with 2, whenever I rode/took one away and left the other at home, the one left behind would raise a ruckus - calling and running the fence before settling down.  If I take horse #3 away, the other 2 don't care.  I do wonder what would happen if I took one of the buddy-pair away if the other buddy would be friendlier to horse #3.

Another point in your favor could be that the new horse could allow you to ride more consistently when the older horse is unable to be ridden, as you state they get sore easily.

If you are paying for all costs, I don't really see what their objection could be.  As long as the facilities (shelter, fencing, acreage) are safe, secure and sufficient they should be fine.

*I wanted to add:
If you get a second horse, be sure you can feed (hay/pellets/supplements) them separately so each gets their fair share.  If you feed free-choice hay, there is less of a problem keeping fast/slow eaters together.

Good luck!

Edited by Heidi n Q

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Heidi makes good points, and I've seen the whole "buddy sour" thing happen too.  Of course, you could do things like pony your older horse along to give it some exercise without having weight on it.  

There's also the opposite problem of having them be too friendly with each other, what if one of them is bullying the other?  Some horses just hate each other.  Would you be able to see how they get along before deciding to keep the new horse?  

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My friend is selling the horse I want, he needs a lot of work and I thought it would be a fun summer project and my friends/Brothers could come ride with me too. I want to see if they will let me do a one month trial to see if they get along and if we get along and so my parents can see that I can handle two horses. My current horse isn't super old but she is in the 14-17 year old range, we will be getting her papers to confirm her age soon. I do believe that I could handle two horses, I do have a dog though so that may be a reason they don't want me to have another animal, but she comes out with me on my rides and loves to spend time with Lucy and I. She does have neighbor horses, but thats not the same as having a horse in the same pasture and in the summer she is in a different pasture with no neighbors so she does get quite lonely.

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How old are you?  I've always maintained that having two horses is not double the work. It's triple the work.

Your current horse is not that old. Have you had a vet diagnose why she is getting sore?

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I’m fifteen, but all my friends my age have two or more horses and they don’t have any trouble with it, but that’s not why I want a second horse, I want one so my current horse doesn’t have to work so much. I have not had a vet but I think it might be the rocks in her pasture that she gets sore from.

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You need to find out why she's sore. If it's the pasture, another horse will get sore too. It could be Cushings disease which some older horses get. She may need a better farrier. There are a lot of possibilities, but you shoudn't consider another horse until you know.

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We are looking into something more efficient for removing the rocks than just by hand but can’t really find anything.

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There is a machine called a rock picker. This one is small but if you have a tractor you can get bigger

 

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Getting a second horse can be an adventure. You will always have unique relationships with all your horses. So when you get horse #2, it won’t diminish your love for your first horse in any way. Like in parenting, the new horse always benefits from the experiences you have had with the older one. The new horse benefits from the lessons you’ve learned 

Having two horses has obvious benefits. Unless there is some serious infection going around, both the horses will fall ill at different times. So you will always have one horse to ride when the other one lies low. 

If you love to ride, and you think you give a little too much exercise to your horse, having two saves you from this anxiety. You won’t tire your horses. You can ride them both during the day without fearing that you will tire them out. And you get your fill of happy rides. 

You do need to consider that your expenses will double and you will need the right team to care for them. You must also have ample space for them.   

And yes. Once you get the two horses together, the kind of relationship they will share is difficult to predict. They could hate each other or end up being pals - doing everything together. A lonely horse generally is not a happy horse. Horses are social animals so there are pretty good chances things will turn out well. So go ahead, keep your fingers crossed, and get your second horse.

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