Stabled horses may exhibit bad behaviors, such as wall-kicking, self-biting, box-walking, weaving, and other inapt behaviors, the more stressed it becomes, like the longer it stays indoors in its stall. But there as there are practical reasons why responsible horse owners do just that, so you may just have to know how to take care of stabled horses if you have been keeping yours in a stable. This will ensure that your horse will remain healthy and happy even in a controlled environment.
Why Are Horses Kept in Stables?
Aside from the inconvenience that keeping a horse inside a stable lends to its owners and carers, there are other obvious reasons why they do. Perhaps one of these is to provide a secure shelter when the horse is injured or in experiencing any health issue. Horses also need a safe place during the times of the day when the sun shines its brightest, when it is raining or snowing, or when there is just a bad weather in general.
It is also a way to secure their feeds, especially when there are pasture bullies in the herd. It is also the best way to gauge whether your horse is getting the right amount and appropriate type of feed that it needs.
What Are the Disadvantages of Keeping a Horse in a Stable?
A horse needs small quantities of feed since its digestive system is designed to take only as much. They should be provided with food at regular intervals, nonetheless. Since a stabled horse does not have constant access to pasture, you would need to feed it more and often. As they don’t have the freedom to graze anywhere other than where they are and with what you offer to them, stabled horses need to be attended twice within a day since they don’t have access to grazing.
Stabled horses may also be prone to acquiring joint problems as the area where they spend most of their time is inside their stalls. It is necessary then that as their owner, you will need to do everything to ensure that the horses’ physical needs are met. That includes not only addressing their nutritional needs but also relieving any other elements that would cause any form of stress for them.
How to Take Care of Stabled Horses
Horses are just like any other domesticated animal. Not all of them behave the same. There are some that will create more problems than expected. You might find some to be sloppier than others. One may learn to have its droppings in one spot. Others may leave their dung in every possible space in the stable.
However, your horse would like to have their stall look, you will have make sure it will be safe enough for your horse to remain healthy and well. Remember that dirt can cling to any part of the horse’s body, especially its hooves. If the stall is not cleaned properly, your horse may catch any air-borne bacteria and get sick.
Considering that, you will need to have your horse cleaned regularly. Its hooves need a thorough wash every day to make sure that there won’t be any dung trapped anywhere them. You need to have hoof supplements for horses as soon as their nails show signs of weakness
One of the serious forms of health issues that your horse may acquire from inhabiting an unkempt stable is thrush infection. This condition may cause a black substance to form on the sole and the frog of the hoof. It also creates a repulsive scent and crumbly hoof horns. If not treated properly, it can lead to the degeneration of the frog and later on, lameness.
That being said, you need to make sure that the stable is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized at least twice a day. It is best to have the horse kept outside of the stall while it is being cleaned for you and your horse’s safety. Beddings should be replaced whenever necessary as well.
Other Means of Keeping Stabled Horses Happy and Healthy
Stabled horses need regular exercise to relieve stress. It also creates a stronger bond between the owner and the horse. The amount and frequency of the training or exercise will depend on factors such as the overall health condition, age, weight, workload, and other environmental factors.
A good indicator of a well cared for horse is its overall health condition. A horse that looks deprived of the things that it is supposed to be provided for will eventually feel neglected, stressed out, and later on, will succumb to illness. And you would not want that.
Making sure that you know how to take care of stabled horses will ensure that you will be able to provide what your horse needs. If you need additional recommendation, you can always consult a veterinarian. Just make sure to follow as directed to be sure that your horse will leave well for the duration of its stay under your care.