. What does stalling do for the horse? All anyone one can say is it keeps them warm and dry and they can separate them to feed - these are for convenience and dry/warm is what humans want - neither is a good reason to lock a herd animal in solitaire confinement over night. So what does a stall benefit a horse? Whos idea was it to take a wild and free spirited herd animal used for countless years of transportation then "So its safe, warm and dry" box it up over night? Doesn't that seem just a little funny?
To tell me you are trying to get me to see another way is quite funny. I do see it. I see the barns I've boarded at, worked at and rode at. I see the horses that bite when you walk past there stalls, I see in EVERY boarding barn stall walls lined with holes from kicking horses. I see horses built to handle the cold, not the heat, wearing winter blankets in 50 degree temps! I see horses kept indoors for days in the rainy season because it makes owners happier to see dry ponies not wet and muddy ones. I see cribbers, weavers, pacing horses, bored horses, stressed horses, dulled horses, horses that refuse to go in barns, horses that run out of stalls if you open the door, horses that were left in for so long (And yes this is true) that at the ripe old age of 19 he slipped and fell in his stall, fractured a hip and was put to sleep. Horses age in stalls. I see horses breathing in dust and ammonia and owners asking what to do about there horse with heaves. I see people lounging horses for 20 minutes before they climb on, lounging to relieve energy due to lack of turnout.
I do see the other way, really, that's when I ask whats the point? If you stall, that's fine. But don't ask me to agree with it - I'm not asking you to agree with me, just simply stating my reasons NOT to stall and wondering why to. If you feel your horse was born into the world a stall lover, great! Doubtful but wonderful! I dare you to set up a camera in your barn and watch the whole thing threw, even in a well vented barn stalled for only 10 hours over night so turned out for a great portion of the day and health issues (Closed barn) aside, you'll be bored spitless. Turn them out, watch them graze, roll, play - Ahhhhhhhhhh :)
Seriously? I see horses who have been housed outside all their lives, chew wood, weave, bite people and develop heaves (round bales are the culprit a lot of the time, or poor quality hay) ...get a grip...not all horses that are stalled turn in to neurotic animals....the ones with not enough turnout-yes can
get such vices, but they are by no means limited to stalled horses don't fool yourself. Outside isn't perfect for all horses either, majority yes, but not all.
I do agree it is by far better.....this is why my horses get a large amount of turnout.
That being said I have one horse who CANNOT live outside 24/7! She would have died years ago. She is a older TB mare. She cannot handle the cold temperatures of our winters....she drops weight FAST...even w a blanket and run in shed. WE couldn't keep enough food in front of her to keep her at a healthy weight, she just stood and shivered, pretty much withering away. So she comes in at night where she is nice and warm.
She also does not do well with fly season, she stand and stomps working up a HUGE sweat, and gets so upset she is litterly panting...so in summer she comes in for the day away from the flies, gnats, mosquitoes etc, and turn-out over night so her schedule is just reversed. This works for her, and if we didn't do this she would not be a healthy happy old girl that she is.
Dogs were originally wild animals as well, that ran in packs, bred at will, so why do we neuter our dogs, keep them confined in our homes and yards...isn't that cruel? Shouldn't they be allowed to just be dogs?
Also originally horses were idle during the day spending the majority of the day sleeping, and relaxing. And they did the most of their grazing eating and moving from one area to another at night....this was because they needed to be alert for predators (who generally stalked and hunted at night). It is only once the horse became domesticated did we change their pattern around to suit our needs.
So with my horses who are out 24/7...I see them laying down sleeping during the day, they rarely graze or move around, they are pretty much idle, but once the day progresses, they do start to move more, and eat more....(their natural instinct kicks in)
Where as my horses that are stalled over night, graze and move around from time of turnout till turn in, and they are standing by gate ready to come in when its time. Once in they do their sleeping, and relaxing.
So to me what's the difference? The fact that they happen to be "confined" in a stall? If they weren't happy and felt confined and trapped..., they'd show it, and they are more than content to just hang out and relax.
I don't think anyone is saying being outside is terrible. In fact most will agree (as do I ) that outside if possible is great. But I think the problem is that you say it is CRUEL. And that there is NO good reason. I gave you one, for my mare, problem is it is not of your opinion so I'm thinking it wont be good enough. I could give you another reason why my two QH's stay in over night, but I don't need to justify myself.
I know my horses are happy, healthy, are good natured, and have no vices...so that is good enough for me
I do have cameras in my barn, and as I say they sleep, eat that is the jest of it, no different than sleeping and eating outside....watching that for 10 hours would be just as boring wouldn't be anymore exciting just because its outside. Last time I checked horses don't run buck, and roll 10 hours during the day