A Shetland pony could use 1 to 2 acres of good pasture land or alittle less ( and acre of and acre and a halph would'nt be bad). A friend is always a plus for a pony but its not a requirment. It really depends on the animal and its personality. But again if you spend enough time with your pony it may not become lonely and be just fine with you. Before you get a shetland i would study up alot figure out wether you want a already trained pony or a yearling you also need to figure out what you will be using your pony for. Also you should figure out wether you want a mare, gelding, or stallion and do you want a American Shetland (bigger and looks less like the regular Scotland born Shetland ponies we are so much more familer with) or a regular Shetland. Shetlands of course can make great pets and be nice obedient ponies (as long as a person trains her well enough) shetlands are known for their stubborn nature but not always. They have exellent eyesite and are sure footed which made them such great pit Ponies and regular farm ponies being the strongest pony of their size. They are awsome starter ponies but must not be spoilt or the pony will develop a difficult temperment. My Shetland mare Skittles is a regular diva lol but well behaved. She came from a riding school and was well trained and very in tune with herself. Im not saying you won't have problems and im not saying you will.