I used to be the kind of person that always thought horses liked stalls to an extent, but of course prefer being loose in a pasture. So I always leaned towards having a stall for every horse with a lot of turn out. Only recently did I start rethinking my theory, (since this is a PG rated forum) I will word it like this; due to myself being in the wrong place at the wrong time I found myself in a "stall" for a little while (a day or so) and even in that short amount of time, since I am always thinking horses, I noticed a trend of my own seeming to form.
I view it like this, horses and humans are both very social creatures an have a bit of a "herd" mentality if you will. So the way I felt might be similar to the way a horse might feel in the same situation.
While in my "stall" and locked in I felt an initial comfort, that progressed to a sinking-bored feeling, eventually to being either very restless or finding that I had nothing else to do but sleep. A very boring feeling. And I found that I was seeking contact from other people but was unable to get it because there was a wall between us. I find this might be compatible to a horse that is in its stall nearly 24/7 maybe only being turned out rarely if at all and taken out to be ridden/exercised. Of course not the best or most common horse keeping practice, we all know its done.
Next, when they would open my "stall" door and let me move freely in and out was when I was most comfortable. I got to see other "horses" talk with them, be close to them and just not be alone. I could stretch my legs when I wanted and have a nice place to go to relax when I wanted as well. This may be comparable to a stall with an attached paddock with other neighboring stalls with attached paddocks, or a field with run in sheds.
They never did it, but I also thought about how I would feel if I was to be locked out of my stall, and I imagined myself being unsettled feeling like I had no place to go to be safe should some of the other "horses" try to pick a fight with me or if I just wanted some alone time. This seems like the field kept pony or the "horse that's treated like a horse" style of horse keeping, which I know is very favorable with some, but in my mental experience I felt uneasy with this way of keeping me.
And last but not least I never experienced it myself since I wasn't there long enough (thank God ), but some of the ponies got to go outside and play. If I was kept in this manner I think I would feel possibly relaxed/bored as with the first method of "horse" keeping, but also very anxious at the same time and perhaps a bit on edge knowing that there's something more exciting that's going to happen and it only happens once a day, but then I would get to come back to my "stall" and relax. Stall keeping with daily turn out.
So lastly I'd like to ask a (hopely) thought provoking question, What method do you keep your horse(s) in and why? Have you kept them in a different way? How have your horses reacted to the different keeping methods? If you have or have had more than one horse either at the same time or throughout your life do they all seem to lean towards one type of keeping or do they each seem to have their own preferences?
And of course I suppose the most important question in regards to this thread, How to your horses reactions to different methods of stabling compare to mine/a humans?
Also if you absolutely MUST know what I did to be such a bad pony I will tell if asked (it's truly not that bad), but I would prefer not to just start off the thread with it since this is a horse forum not a human stabling forum. Also try to keep discussion about it to a minimum for the same reason. It's all in the name of horses!...and ponies.