Horses are naturally herd animals this is a fact. So it is best in most all cases to have them with another horse so yes if you are thinking about buying a horse also think about buying two. Now we aren’t saying you have to have two horses in order for them to thrive. My aunt has had a single mare paint horse by itself for many years as the pasture companions have passed, but she does spend a lot of time with her horse as she is retired.
So can you get a goat for your mini horse?
Yes of course you can. Goats can make great pasture companions for mini’s especially since they are around the same size normally. This is more of a hit or miss kind of thing with horses and goats. Some will get along with them and some won’t. So make sure you move slowly with the introduction unless they are both really young and they may be fine and lifetime companions quickly.
Goats can be great companion animals for both minis and regular sized horses. It might take a few tries to get them to not try to run one another over based on their age and temperament, but sometimes it can be done pretty easily.
So introduce slowly maybe share a fenceline if possible then you can try just realized them together as long as the pasture if big enough to get away from each other. There are other strategies of course to introduce horses and goats to each other that we will go over.
First we have gone out and gathered information on other miniature horse owners and their opinions on goats and mini’s sharing the same pasture.
Goats And Minis Co-Existing Companions?
Real Answers From Real Mini Horse Owners
1. Elevan “They Can Butt Heads” – They can be friends. They can get along.
One problem with not having another goat is that goats like to butt heads and head butting a horse isn’t a good thing.
2. Pearce Pasture “2 Goats and 1 Mini Probably Better” – The best thing to do for both the horse and the goat would be to get another goat. The goats would have a same-species companion that way, which is best for goats, and the horse would be less likely to get treated like a goat-substitute (and I just got done clean up my goats head because two of them got a little too rough headbutting each other. Goats play rough with each other).
3. PurpleQueenVt “I advise against it” – I have 3 goats and 3 miniature horses, and, while it might work for some people, I would not put mine together. My horses like to chase small ruminates and nip at them. That would be my biggest concern.
4. Catahoula “May Or May Not Work” – It may or may not work with keeping your goat with another barnyard animal. I think the bottom line is a goat is best with another goat. When you have two goats together, they are really fun to watch. They play games and follow each other. My goats also love my dog but the dog doesn’t know how to play like the goats. Often one of the goat would lower his head and try to butt the dog who just stood there like a dummy!
5. Shalakominiatureshowhorses “They keep their space” – I have 2 goats pastured with my horses. Mine don’t chew, they don’t like the horses LOL but they don’t come into contact with them at all. Sorry that happened! Hopefully it will grow out fast! I walked to the barn one day and a huge chunk of jazzy’s mane was gone. But it wasn’t chewed, you could tell, but still I just thought it was funny!
6. Shalakmini “Horns and all” – Y’all might not like this, but we have goats with horns in with the horses. Don’t get me wrong, we have cut their horn tips so that it is blunt. We let them keep the horns because our yearlings would try to attack them ( especially when they were in heat ) and breed with them. Weird. Anyway, my goats actually dont go anywhere near the horses, they hate the horses LOL but every once in a while Holly the goat will think she is a horse and run with the boys out in the pasture! Missy just hides in the barn LOL she wouldn’t like to get run over
7. SueMahree “During the day together at night separate” – I have 3 rescued pigmy goats…they don’t have horns but as soon as the horses came they thought their whole world had come to an end. We have separate areas for them at night but during the day the horses and the goats are together. Maggie the smallest of the mini’s will tear after the goats if they get to close to her hay but most of the time so far knock on wood things have been pretty peaceful between the girls and the goats. Maggie will be foaling in april or may so we have to change the barn up a little so that she will have plenty of room with the baby without the goats bothering her.
8. LittleLady “Ours Were Best Friends” – Well our first and only goat(the one we just lost)was my APHA mares best friend and one of our cats was very attached to this goat, she doesn’t care for other horses, he never chewed on her tail,mane or anything for that matter. He also had acess through the fence with the mini’s and never bothered them either and they pretty much ignored him also. But when this new goat came they all thought the boogie man had landed. The first day was quite amuzing for all involved(people, horses and goat), but I think our little world will be just fine for awhile without a goat.
9. SDust “Mini’s Best Friend” – II Love I love my goat!!! I had one Nigerian Dwarf goat named Dobby from the time he was 4 months old until I lost him to cancer two years ago. He was 6 1/2 years old and was my mini’s very best friend. Dobby did not have horns and was always fed in his own stall at night. Mini and goat only shared hay. It was a very sad day when Dobby was put to sleep. He was cremated and is at home on the mantle… My second goat is also a Nigerian Dwarf and Maxwell is as good a friend as Dobby was. My mini loves his goat and their time together has been issue free. I did get Maxwell (the piggy goat) as a 10 week old kid and after a couple of weeks of getting to know one another they do very well together. No head butting, hair chewing or any other bad things. Trey and Maxwell love to play and I love watching them interact with each other. Since Trey does not have a horse friend this has worked out perfectly for me as well as the critters. I believe the age of the goat as well as the adult size does make a difference. I am not saying it is for everyone but I do know it works great for me. Also after Dobby passed away Trey was ALWAYS looking for him and calling for him. He was without a friend for 6 months while I looked for the right fit. When I bought the goat home Trey just went goofy over that goat…
10. Shorthorsemom “Great at fenceline, bad in same pasture” – I have minis and goats. They share a common fenceline and seem to enjoy seeing each other… However, on the two occasions when the goat got in with the horses.. The horses HATED the goat and bit and chased. It was scary. They don’t mind sharing a fence, they hate sharing common space.
I have heard many times that folks have done this, but it has not worked here.
Do Mini Horses And Mini Donkeys Get Along?
Yes miniature horses and mini donkeys almost always get along great depending on their individual temperament. They make great companions and lifetimes friends. You can get multiples of them going in the same pasture as well. So if you have 3 mini donkeys and 3 mini horses throw them in the same pasture if needed.
The only downside may be their diets can differ quite a bit so the grain you feed a mini donkey may not work for a mini horse and vice versa. If you aren’t showing your mini’s this may be a non issue.
If you have multiples of each you will notice they herd together but are still separate. Mini the mini donkeys will herd up with the other mini donkeys and the mini horses will herd up close with the other mini horses. They will keep a bit of distance from a donkey to horse though which is normal.
How About A Mini With A Cow Or Sheep?
You may be looking to combine your animals into a big pasture or combination of pastures this is definitely doable just take precautions and proceed slowly. Cows and Sheep can definitely get along with mini horses as long as they both have room to get away from each other needed.
It is 100% that they will get along just like with fellow horses even not getting along with each other. And it may take time to get them acclimated and buddied up as it doesn’t normally happen overnight.
As with goats you will run into the problem of their diets. For example sheep shouldn’t eat most horse grains as it is high in copper which also happens to be toxic to sheep.
Also I have heard of cow feed being somewhat medicated and toxic to horses. The simple fix is to separate your horses from the other animals when feeding grain pretty much.
So we have covered sheep, cows, mini donkeys and of course the original question of goats. All of these can work with your miniature horses, but none of them may work so you need to proceed with caution and slowly.
Let’s say for example somebody is moving and getting rid of their goat well try to see if you can take for a trial period maybe and if it doesn’t workout return the goat or help that individual get rid of to somebody else.
They should be fine in the pasture where it may be difficult is with feeding time with grain as most all animals are different from horses needs. That is what brings us to another option why not try another Mini or Full Size Horse? There are probably tons of reasons why you want to have a goat and that is fine.
We are just throwing out the full horse option because mini’s do get along with full size horses and can actually thrive with them. Most will actually become the boss of the pasture believe or not. But just like with goats, sheep and cows proceed slowly and make sure the mini and full size horse have room to get away from each other.
Other Options For Mini Horse
Dog – dogs believe it or not usually will get along with mini horses. Our lab and mini get along great and play all the time in the barn mostly. Dogs can also travel with minis if needed and will watch over each other as well. Some of the breeds that are more then likely to get along are australian shepherds (we have toys), golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and australian cattle dogs.
Cat – if you don’t have a barn cat it is never too late to get one. We have a female that just loves all the animals in the barn including our mini. Our cat even goes out into the pasture to hang out with the horses. While in the barn they will hang out in close quarters as well.