As social herd animals, horses really need the company of other horses to stay emotionally healthy. Even if you ride it every day, feed it, love it, groom it, play with it, you are still a human and not a horse. And let’s not forget the fact that you will not be there at night or whenever you are at school or work.
Just having another horse nearby helps
They feel more at ease and stable in a group since, as prey animals, there is safety in numbers. Many vices can be traced to the stress horses feel when they are alone. You don’t necessarily need to get a second riding horse – an old retired horse or pony will do just fine. Someone in your area might just need a retirement home for a horse and should pay for it’s expenses so you can work out a deal that costs you nothing, but gets your horse some company.
A young horse owner recalls:
When I was young, I kept my first horse by himself for several years and I thought it was fine. I guess I wasn’t old enough or experienced enough to know better. When I took him to college with me, he got to be with other horses for the first time in a long time. If you had seen the absolute joy and glee he expressed when he first saw the other horses and realized he could play and run with them, you would understand the instant regret and sorrow I felt over having kept him alone. I promised him that day that he would never be alone again, and I kept that promise.