Is an Only Horse a Lonely Horse?

Takoy is now an only horse.  In an ideal situation, he would have a little band of fellow horses to hang out with. Horses are herd animals, so it’s natural for them to want the company of fellow horses. In a less ideal situation he would have one horse companion, a pasture buddy. The next option would be having a pasture buddy that is not a horse, like a goat or a donkey.

I’m a little worried now. I’m open to a 2nd horse, but haven’t found a suitable one yet.  I was considering getting him a goat, but I decided that I don’t really want to take care of a goat. They are escape artists. If I got a goat, it would have to be tied up all the time to protect our trees. A miniature donkey sounds like it would be extremely cute. They are supposed to be friendly and dog-like.  But I don’t think there and any here in the Philippines.

Some people have told me not to worry and that he’ll be fine by himself because he is older, emotionally stable, and not that dependent on other horses. Still, I’m keeping an eye on him for signs of loneliness or depression. Some behaviors to look out for are: pacing, whinnying, and even aggression.

After Batman left, we expected Takoy to be running around frantically and calling out for Batman.  That’s not what happened! We were surprised at how subdued he was. He only called out on the day Batman left. The next day, he didn’t call out anymore and he just stayed inside his horse shed, not venturing out like before. A little too subdued. Normal horse behavior is walking around and grazing the whole day.

Uh oh. I needed to cheer up Takoy! I took him to see the carabao in the field next door. Sometimes just the sight of a fellow grass-eater is enough to make a horse feel less lonely.

horse and carabao
horse and carabao

I also took him for a walk so he could look for his favorite plants.

And we spent more time just hanging out with him.

some horses like dogs, but they're not natural companions
some horses like dogs, but they’re not natural companions

I think it helped. When the gate of the paddock is open, he now goes outside and walks around. That looks like more normal horse behavior to me. He also seems more excited to see us. I’m hoping that plus some exercise will keep him happy. Still open to other options though!

5 thoughts on “Is an Only Horse a Lonely Horse?”

  1. How heartwarming. 🙂 I wish people will also learn from this story, especially children with ageing parents or grandparents. Thanks for sharing, Syl. I was also imagining Takoy story in a comic strip as I read the article. Is there one? I’m your fan. 😉

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