Weanling on stall rest, goat or neighbor?

I’ve got a 6mo weanling who got a major cut to a leg. Vet said “it will be a very long recovery” but no actual months have been mentioned. My current barn has no other horses stalled and she is very upset about it. I am debating moving her to another barn that maybe has another full time or most time stalled horse next to her or breaking down and buying her a goat or other companion. Anyone have experience on this? Would a horse generally prefer a horse neighbor she can’t really touch, over a non-horse in her stall she can have more interaction with? What issues do you have with goats? I think adding a small pony would probably be out of budget. She’s a large pony foal, so about 400 lbs right now. The current stall is, I believe, 14’x14’. Vet said she can be in a double wide stall, but no hand walking, no round pen turn out, we’re trying to keep that leg fairly still. One of the stalls we’re looking at today is 10x20, but from pictures online I don’t think it has windows/bars to the side stalls, only to horses across from her. Would close contact to a neighbor beat out a larger stall?

Where are you located? Could you ask your FB network/local areas for a short term loan of a goat or mini? Goats are not cheaper than minis in terms of upkeep - they need shots, trimming, and dental work too — and they can be a bit difficult to feed when housed with horses.

I would think living with is better than separated, for that young a horse.

Many can live just fine with horses - it’s very common at tracks even. If you did go the goat route I would consider an older doe over a wether, as they can be more sensible than the boys — even our wethers play rough. Make sure you find one that is debudded, my two cents here, but their horns can get caught in things and hurt horses accidentally.


I’m in Oregon, USA. From what I’ve seen in my area, people want $2500 or so for a pony and $100-200 for a goat. So for the somewhat short term of stall rest, purchase price is likely to be bigger than any upkeep concerns. I swear 5 years ago you could find a $300 unregistered pony, but that does not seem to be the case today. And right now, the vet bills are really restricting my budget. That said, I haven’t had a goat since I was a kid and I don’t really know how difficult they will be to keep. I would definitely be looking at debudded or naturally polled. I’m a bit worried about borrowing an animal, as right now, luck has not been on my side with injuries.

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Goats are way cheaper than minis/ponies, but not all horses like goats. Ask me how I know.

Could you borrow a pony or mini from a local rescue short term instead?


See if you can borrow a goat. Put out a plea on a local Facebook page. It may or may not work for you, it’s up to your injured weanling to let you know if this attempt will be successful or not. Good luck!

We have all three, a weanling, miniatures and goats

I would lean toward an older miniature gelding, a goat I believe would not fit well unless the weanling and goat were just real buddies, I believe either goat or the weanling could harm either (even the best of goats are head banging that appear to love to butt any and everything (and climb on top of stuff). And weanlings can/will play pretty rough

The twenty five year old miniature gelding is pretty laid back and will tolerate the misbehavior of the weanling

As note, the weanling we have has as many toys in his stall as our dogs have. It is not uncommon to find one his toys thrown out of the stall by him. Personally I cannot image the amount of penned up energy that injured weanling will after watching ours yesterday who had only been up for 36 hours due to rain, once out in the pasture he ran for about thirty minutes.

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I would not advise putting a goat in with a stall bound weanling. While goats and horses do fine together the goats need to be able to get away from them if they choose.

My bucks share the horses pasture and my young gelding gets ramped up occasionally, running and bucking and if the goats are anywhere near they usually come racing back to the safety of their dry lot/ shelter. Even though they aren’t being actively threatened.

A pony friend/ neighbor would be my choice.


Offer free board for a mini. See if you can find any takers


I would cast my net far and wide to borrow an ancient, very patient mini.


Another idea is to see if you can buy/borrow 4 or more corral panels and make an outdoor stall in the field with the other horses. I’ve also used electric fence and step in posts to accomplish the same thing, if the horse will respect it.

Or, try to work out a deal with other people at your barn to keep one horse in at a time in 12h shifts.


I had to keep a weanling stalled after surgery. We built a solid half door panel so he could look out and kept him in the busy lesson barn. Closed up at night he couldn’t see anyone but during the day there was plenty going on. If he’s not supposed to move around, a smaller stall may be better. If it’s practical to move to a busier barn for the short term that may be your easiest option. Hope you have an uneventful recovery!

Toys and a borrowed mini or very calm goat that has been around horses. You don’t need a rambunctious one. Head butting would be bad.

I imagine your weanling is on some growth type feed which could cause founder in a fat little mini or pony. Also too rich for a goat to share. A neighbor during the day would be better than a shared stall.

Also a heads up on something my vet recommended recently: https://anicellbiotech.com/amnion-faq-top-10-things-know-latest-regenerative-treatments-animals/

Quick goat education if you go that route.

  1. The goat must be debudded, dehorned.
  2. Castrated male goats are called whethers and generally inexpensive except for this time of year. The young males recently born will be part of religious meals in the upcoming months so the price for them is high right now.
  3. There are goats from dairy breeds and meat breeds. These are nice size goats.
  4. Do not get a Pygmy or Fainting goat to keep with a young foal. The foal will hurt them.
  5. Goats are genetically wired to seek high ground for safety.
  6. The goat would need a place to get away from the foal pushing it around.
  7. A goat will impart zero horse manners on the foal like a mini or small pony would.
  8. Goats are browsers and their diet needs are simple when just companion animals. IOW the goat shouldn’t eat the foals high protein diet day in and day out.

For myself, a pony/large mini would be the most suitable companion for a large breed foal.


be aware some goat feeds contain an ingredient that can be lethal to horses. Rumensin (monensin sodium) is often included in commercial feeds designed for ruminants like cattle and goats.

We built a solid half door panel so he could look out

our weanling’s stall has a door to an outside paddock with window, he looks outside all the time.

Another idea is to see if you can buy/borrow 4 or more corral panels and make an outdoor stall in the field

we have done just that for wife’s gelding who has been on stall rest for about eight months, now use this pen to contain all the inflatable horse toy balls that get blown around

We had one mare who had to stand in ice water for nearly two weeks (she was cross tied in place, never tried to breal loose), we set up a TV for her to watch , her most favorite program was the old Mission Impossible shows as there was a lot of action


Other animals watch TV, too. I was reading that the National Zoo added a television to the gorillas’ habitat; they liked game shows.

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She can’t get wet, so an outdoor section or even open window is a no-go for us. It’s Oregon, so it’s raining every day and the bandage goes all the way under her hoof and must stay dry. I checked out one barn yesterday, but it’s solid walls on 3 sides, and of the 4 empty stalls, only one had a horse directly across from it. I’ve got plans to get out another barn in the area that might have better visibility. She is supposed to stay fairly still, there’s a cracked bone as well as the huge open wound, but vet did say double wide stall would be fine.

If it were me I would be going for a neighbor (defeats the purpose of stall rest if a roommate and your weanling decided to roughhouse. And proper sedation to keep weanling quiet. There is no shame in using reserpine or the like to keep him manageable and prevent self distraction. They typically quiet down after an adjustment period and you may be able to wean off of it.


This was my thought too.
A roommate is going to lead to lots of playing and silliness I would think.

Better living thru chemicals seems like a good answer in this situation. This has to be so hard for everyone.


Gosh I just feel terrible for her. She’s settling better in the stall, not really slamming the walls any more, but she’s starting to get rebellious. She’s getting nippy, she swings her butt to me sometimes. Just about every time she sees me I’m putting something nasty in her mouth, jabbing a needle into her neck, or messing with her very sore leg. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to make up for all the bad stuff I have to put her through. I hope we don’t undo all the good handling her breeder put into her with this pent up energy that she just has no way to expel. So far, she doesn’t really mess with the Jolly Ball. I’ve got one of those lik-it apple things somewhere in storage and I’ll need to dig it out.