We recently moved our horse to a new barn very close to our house. The biggest drawback to this place is that the stall is enclosed and not connected with any paddock. We have been having wonderful weather so Lily has been staying outside in one of the small paddocks 24/7 and seems very happy. She is alone on the property but the neighbor has 2 horses that she visits with through the fence and she doesn't seem to be showing any signs of being lonely. She has a couple of trees for protection but with fall coming and leaves falling off she won't be protected for long. I'm thinking it might be time to start stalling her at night for a couple of reasons. First, in the last few days there are a couple of reported cougar sightings (VERY RARE around here) within 6 or 7 miles from us. I know it sounds far away, however we are in a city and the most likely migration route would be near us. Second, this week it is supposed to be rainy and windy (but not too cold) and I'm not sure that Lily will enjoy standing out all night in the weather. In her old barn she would prefer staying in her stall rather than out in the pasture or paddock when it was nasty outside (she had access to her paddock 24/7).
I just keep thinking that 10-12 hours in a stall is a long time for a horse. We will be letting her out in the paddock right after breakfast and she'll be out all day. Does anyone else have a similar schedule? How is it working for you? Should I have any concerns?