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Stress Less

A checklist to help reduce stress in your horse's living environment.

By Cynthia McFarland | July 2012 Extra

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mesh stall door 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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