At our horse rescue each horse has a turn out as it would be unsafe for the horses being all together as some are blind, inured or crippled while others have behavioral issues which make them unsafe in herds. The fences are connected so they can groom each other oer the fence. Most days we turn them out they romp for the first minute the stand stationary over the hay for the rest of the day, moving no more than a few steps. The few who can go out in pairs or triples will bicker, but not move much. Horses enjoy not having to move, this isn't healthy so we exercise them, just as the op does by taking her pony on a lead.
Very often our horses don't go outside, as when put outside they stand at the gate and holler to be inside. When its excessively buggy, hot, cold, or when the neighoring construction company is making lots of noise, some of our horses woild RATHER be inside. When the snow is very bright it hurts our blind horse's eyes, so he stays inside. Inside they are comfortable, get food and attention, they enjoy it better. We accomodate for their needs individually, one of our horses never leaves her stall do to a serious injury, the alternative is killing her, but she is happy, comfortable and sane in her stall, but a danger to herself outside.
Horses don't need to go outside all the time, exercise and day lught is healthy for them but it's not healthy for them to be eatten alive by insects, seriously hot or cold or wet or miserable.
It requires balances developed for each individual horse.
The op's horse is learning how to function as a pet and companion animal, you don't know her situation, at this point turning her out in a field could terrify the poor pony, she needs time to learn how to be a horse.
Also when photographing- it's easier in a stall or on a lead perhaps it's just the photo's - don't be so quick to judge.
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