1 Help a horse recover from illness
As owners, the need to stable our horses for a long period to allow recovery from illness or injury can be daunting. Will our well-mannered horse turn into a door-kicking, box-walking nightmare? Don’t worry, most horses acclimatise well, but there are plenty of things you can do to help!
- Keep your horse occupied, stable toys and mirrors are a great form of entertainment and even putting a radio on can offer a comforting atmosphere.
- Be sure to groom them well, with specific attention on foot hygiene to avoid the risk of thrush.
- Your vet may recommend a specific type and layout of bedding to suit your horse’s injury or illness. Don’t shy away from asking them for advice!
- It’s important to encourage your horse to be as active as possible when boxed, walking around naturally stimulates their gut which can prevent colic. Choosing an ad lib forage method accompanied with plenty of fresh water can assist this.
- It’s vital to pick appropriate hard fed for your horse’s needs and give it in small wet feeds.
- Especially in winter, lukewarm water can be more enticing for your horse, be sure to monitor their intake, it’s key to achieving a healthy boxed horse.
- The most important thing is to consider your horse as an individual. What do they prefer, peace and quiet or a social, companion filled environment? Take these factors and make stable arrangements to match.
- Your horse can produce 7kg of manure a day! It’s essential for their health to clean there stable removing manure and urine stained bedding regularly.
2 Provide comfort
Your horses stable should be a safe sanctuary that’s free of risk and offers comfort and wellbeing to your horse. It’s important to remember that stabling isn’t there to provide warmth necessary but protection from rain, snow, sleet, and wind. Your horse can comfortably withstand temperatures as low as 0° but in harsh conditions, the natural shelter their pastures offer may not be enough. The straw bedding, feed access, fresh water and protection a stable provides can make all the difference. Teaming this with quality ventilation and adequate drainage can provide a healthy, dust-free and clean environment that encourages your horse to be the best version of themselves.
- A stable should be constructed with no exposed surfaces or projections that could cause injury.
- Fittings & Fixtures such as water bowls, tie rings, and hay racks should be free of sharp edges and positioned tactfully.
- Make sure you use a non-slip stable floor, and that is designed to give good drainage.
- Pick stable frontages that are suitable for your horse size; it’s essential that your horse can look out and about. If they feel trapped, they can grow very uncomfortable and unpredictable.
- Stable roofs should offer quality ventilation; there should be at least a 1m gap between the roof and the withers of your horse when in its normal standing position.
- A bright and airy stable is the best method in securing the comfort of your horse; stable windows provide natural light that will prevent them from feeling claustrophobic.
- Make sure you’re stable it a suitable size for your horse. The BHS recommends-
– horses: 3.65m x 3.65m (12ft x 12ft)
– large horses: 3.65m x 4.25m (12ft x 14ft)
– ponies: 3.05m x 3.05m (10ft x 10ft)
– large ponies: 3.05m x 3.65m (10ft x 12ft)
– foaling box: (horse): 4.25m x 4.25m (14ft x 14ft)
3 Convenient for you
Everything we do, as owners, is for our horses. However, anything that could make our lives easier is always welcomed with open arms! Stabled horses tend to be cleaner, easily-accessible when you want to ride and less prone to injury than those who are turned out full time.
- When picking a stable consider your material choice. Choose low maintenance, fully and easily washable material that will withstand wear and tear and is long-lasting.
- Internal stables are a simple way of turning any building into stables, fitting into your day to day operations easily and providing your horse with everything they need.
- Stabling can allow you to monitor and control your horse’s diet. Limiting the energy your horse needs for movement and keeping themselves warm means, you can reduce their forage and remove the temptation for them to overindulge on luscious and healthy pastures.
- In wet, muddy conditions your horse can get very dirty. Bringing them in at night will give you the chance to wash and dry them off.
- Overnight stabling gives your acreage time to improve until the spring, resulting in a better pasture in general and so better-quality forage for your horse.