Horses are wild creatures at heart. The confines of an enclosed space such as a stall or paddock goes against their instinct to move, graze and be free. Keeping your horse confined for long periods of time can even have dangerous effects such as negative reactive behaviour. We’ve rounded up five ways to help keep your stabled horse happy and loving his home no matter what your situation is: options are key to keeping him healthy and happy.
Take a Walk About
Like any domesticated animal, the importance of daily walks is foremost for whole horse wellbeing. And we do mean walking on a lunge-line, even if you don’t have time for a full-blown exercise routine! Of course, whenever you can pre-plan a good workout for the both of you is even better.
Merely being turned out in the arena with some hay and a companion can do your horse a world of good. If you have the space, consider creating a fenced area attached to your horse’s stable that gives them free reign to wander in and out.
Change of Scenery
When choosing a stable or building one of your own, consider the option of swapping stalls with another horse, or simply having an “extra” your horse can be stabled in for part of the time. If you tie up your horse, change up the location in the yard; but only if it’s safe and someone is guaranteed to be around.
Friendly neighbours can go a long way for a stabled horse. The horses should have the ability to touch and mutually groom each other for maximum positive effect. Set up playdates! If your horse’s best buddy is stabled elsewhere, go for a visit. This is also the perfect opportunity to get that exercise in.
Horses love to play. Like dogs, they appreciate toys that make them think. Ask at your local tack shop, or make some with household items like towels and staple-free, treat-filled cardboard boxes. Play time should always be supervised, and change up the items when possible to prevent boredom.
What’s your favourite way to keep your stabled horse happy? Share with us!