The Need For Companionship

Some people that contact us looking to adopt a horse or donkey ask why we will not let one go to a home where it will not have one of it’s fellow kind for company and this post is just to touch on some of the reasons companionship is so important.

Some of the herd at BARHorses & donkeys are herd animals who belong to the “prey – fight or flight” species which means that its first instinct when frightened is to escape.  If running is not possible, the horse may resort to biting, kicking, striking or rearing to protect itself.  Many of the horse’s (donkey’s) natural behavior patterns, such as herd formation, are directly related to their being a prey species.

morning sceneBeing part of a herd (even if the herd is as small as two!) enables:

  • natural grooming
  • greater opportunities for sleep/rest times as one can be on guard watching for predators whilst the other sleeps/rests
  • natural exercise through playtime/running, etc
  • communicating with one of their own kind – horses & donkeys communicate through body language more so than vocally so just because you do not hear neighing, etc does not mean your horse (donkey) is a loner
  • leadership qualities

Whilst in our care the horses and donkeys all live together as a herd so for us to allow one to go to a home where it would have no other companion would be just plain wrong.

Of course we are aware that in some rare cases a horse or donkey may prefer it’s own company and if/when we get one who fits this category we will rehome it to a home on it’s own but otherwise we hold firm to our companionship rule. 


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