A checklist to help reduce stress in your horse's living environment.
Cynthia McFarland |
July 2012 Extra
The following factors help decrease stabling stress:
- Stall fronts and doors made of steel mesh or grillwork to increase your horse’s visual area.
- Grillwork or bars between stalls so horses can see and smell each other.
- Open windows.
- A second door or window facing outside to allow more visual and sensory stimulation; it also allows more light in the stall.
- A partial door or stall guard that allows your horse to put his head out of the stall.
- Adequate lighting.
- Good ventilation.
- Level flooring with adequate bedding.
Recommended management practices:
- Allow your horse to eat forage (hay or pasture) most of the day.
- Turn your horse out as much as possible.
- When turning out in groups, make sure horses are compatible so no horse is bullied.
- Provide an environment with interesting things for your horse to see and do (sensory, motor and cognitive diversity).
- Develop a training plan that provides proper exercise and gives your horse something he enjoys doing.
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