This document on HORSES came from a magazine and I think it makes a lot of sense. NOTE: It has been edited.

IS YOUR HORSE LONELY?

Horses need horses, not goats, chickens, cows, cats, dogs, llamas just to name a few, but other horses. They are social animals, meant to live in a herd environment. For healthy Mental and Physical well being, they need to socialize with each other. Even two or three horses constitutes a HERD for them. You don't need several horses, even two or three is fine.

Having horse company allows them to play, fight, chase and protect each other. They look to each other for safety, direction, comfort and companionship. Lone horses can become bored, leading to behavioural problems. When they see humans enter their domain, they may become pushy or instead intimidated by our presence. Pushy because they are treating us like another horse. Or intimidated because they are prey animals and we are seen as a predator.

Horses raised on their own do not have good social skills. This is seen in many race/show horses that are stalled and kept alone for many years. Once allowed to go free, they often get beat up by the other herd members, not even knowing how to defend themselves. Or are savage with other horses not understanding the social interaction of horse herd behavior.

Horses learn social and behaviour skills from other horses. We are unable to teach horses to learn our human language, yet we can learn the horse language and apply it so horse and human understand each other (this is called horse whispering for some and just plain COMMON SENSE for the rest of us). So, if your horse is doing something you don’t understand why, take the time to watch horses in their own herd environment. There is always a leader who everyone watches, trusts or learns from.

Horses need interaction with other horses and as humans, it is our duty to watch and learn how they treat each other. This will teach us how to effectively teach them.

Next time you pass a lone horse out in the field, consider this – is he lonely? I wonder if he needs his back scratched by another? Or, if he needs to stand head to tail to have the flies swished from his eyes? Or, who rubs his withers with compassion, or chases to play tag with him? And who stands over him and protects him when he sleeps?

A lone horse misses out on quite a bit. Is he lonely? I’d say yes! Remember, horses have horse needs, not people needs. They do not think like humans or interact like humans, they are Horses!!!

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