Goats and Horses - Companionship

Wind Kachet Gold (Golden)

by Jody Miller

When bringing my dream horse home in August of '93, right away I knew she missed her four other horse friends. Even though she had a new pasture and barn with a lot of attention from my family and neighborhood, I could tell something was missing. She was crying out to the Amish buggies and the horse down the hill. I knew Golden, my Arabian, was lonely. But with only one acre cut into two areas, our farm was small. Golden was the only horse we could handle in this amount of space.

Over the next few months, Golden seemed a little less lonely and she loved me as I loved her. But still, I could see loneliness. I read some books and a few articles on company for a single horse and this is what I found:

Golden's Goats

A horse is a very social animal and therefore lives among a herd. Without a buddy or another horse they will get lonely, frustrated, hyper, or develop bad habits from boredom. Golden chewed the fence. I was also told that a goat will take a cold from a horse and eat all poisonous or fatal plants or shrubs (!).

My good friend and neighbor Shirley had goats from time to time. She had told me stories about 'Nancy the Goat' and others, and told me how much fun they are. She said that they are very compatible to horses. So off we were to find a small goat as a friend for Golden. My son Patrick picked out a boy goat (or really the goat picked him!) and he called him Goatie. He is white with light brown patches.

Girlie Goat and Golden sharing the last of the hay.

Keep in mind the condition of my pasture by then. Golden took care of the grass, but not the weeds. I had to mow or pull them. When Goatie arrived, he took care of the weeds and trim around the fence. He even took care of trimming my willow trees and backyard grass. Goatie ate hay and feed with Golden. Golden and Goatie were the best of friends. Goatie chewed on Golden's tail (!) and Golden liked it. Hmmmm.

Bingo, right where he likes to be.

Then along came Girlie Goat (Patrick named her too.) She needed a home and seemed like a nice goat. She is black and was not bottle raised like Goatie, so was not quite as affectionate to Golden, and thankfully did not chew her tail.

Then came Bingo, the black and white baby goat, and my barn family was complete. Golden and her goats (I had them fixed and dehorned) were all happy and we all have a lot of fun with our barn family.