Stalls vs. No stalls or anywhere inbetween. What's your opinion. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Stalls vs. No stalls or anywhere inbetween. What's your opinion.

Before you start reading and think I'm a horrible person, I'm really not a bad kid and have never been in a "stall" before in my life, and honestly still never should have been, but anywho...

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.
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post #2 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 09:07 PM
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In the day, my horses are kept out together at pasture. In the evening they're brought up into separate large paddocks for their feed and hay. They paddocks are large enough to move around in and trot. Each has a stall and we keep the doors open so the horses can go in or out as they please. They can interact over the fence if they want to, keeping my horses happy and their social needs fulfilled is very important to me. I really like my set up because if they want to move they can, if they want interaction they can get it, and if they want to hide inside on a rainy day, they have that option.
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post #3 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 09:15 PM
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What did you do, bad pony?

I keep mine out with a run in where we give them hay when its rainy. Our dominant horse likes to make sure to run off the less dominant into the rain but after he realizes hes a jerk.. just kidding.. he doesnt.. our less dominant horses just get brave and walk in next to him and they share the pile of hay ive put under there.

They refuse to go under the shelter unless we put hay there and would much rather be standin in the snow sleet and rain than be dry and warm, lol.

We will be building an official horse stall for them onto the hay barn and a goat barn this summer and theyll all go up in the rain regardless.
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post #4 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 09:17 PM
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I'm going to completely ignore the part about you being in a 'stall' because I find that to be all over odd...and probably unneccessary.

We pasture all of our horses 24-7 but make sure that the area in which they live is large enough and build in such a way that the animals can get away from eachother if necessary. Horses are even more of social animals than us because it isn't JUST about having 'friendship and companionship' for them. To them, other horses means safety. No other horses means no safety. It isn't that way with us, because we are not prey animals. You'll have the occasional 'loner' horse but for the most part if an animal has a choice, it will be with as many other horses as possible, at least at seeing or hearing distance.

This is shown with the example of our foster filly right now. She has been with us since late December and due to having a very infectious virus, then lice, and now a severe injury, she has spent all but about 3 weeks of that time isolated. She absolutely hates it. We have her in a run in where she has a panel 'stall' to seek shelter in, as well as a small area for her to stretch her legs in and watch what is happening around her. She can see other horses, but she can't touch them or be near them. Yesterday was the first day that I turned her out in a bigger pasture to run around since her injury, and we had a gelding tied to her fence. Instead of playing or grazing, she immediately went over, pressed herself as close to the gelding as possible (though she'd never seen him before), and proceeded to lay down and take a long nap. I haven't seen her so relaxed in weeks. She even decided not to come to her dinner call in order to be with the gelding, because she craves safety (especially after all she has been through) and he represented safety to her.

It makes me sad, really, to realize that people think of horses as people, when in reality they are entirely different beings!
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post #5 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 09:24 PM
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no stalls our horses are out 24/7 rain or shine. However I really really wish we had a stall or two for a sick horse or hart horse someday oh someday.
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post #6 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 09:31 PM
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I have a pair of stalls that my mare and her goat friends use as stalls at night and as run-in shelters during the day.

I probably would not stall if my mare were not vision impaired. She really can't see at all during the night (she can see a little during the day) and she has a tendency to "get stuck" around her pasture if she can't figure out where she is or if she walks up a muddy embankment, then doesn't feel comfortable coming back down, etc. So I let her out during the day (I check on her twice daily) and put her in when the sun goes down.
Once it really dries up for summer she'll be out 24/7, but for now she's in at night.

The goats' stall and her stall share a outdoor fenceline that she can stick her head over (each "stall" is basically 12x12 3-sided shelter, plus a 16x21 outdoor area) if she's feeling lonely, as well as the sheltered solid stall. The goats and Lacey are both super used to this arrangement and it doesn't bother them at all.
They actually put themselves "to bed" (they'll go settle into their respective stalls) if I'm late to put them to bed myself.
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post #7 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 09:34 PM
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My horses hate stalls....they are in large drylot pens at home. The only time they are in stalls is if we are on the road hauling. And by the end of the Weekend they are crabby and ready to go back home to their large pens where they can buck, run, and annoy each other over the fence.

So I from experience find that horses enjoy big open spaces, vs small enclosed stalls.

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post #8 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 09:35 PM
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You being "stalled" and a horse being stalled are two totally different things. I get your point though in how it gave you an understanding of how a horse kept confined in a stall might feel. I know someone who has horses that literally never get out of their stalls, and it sucks so bad. They do get to see other horses and interact some, but never get to run and just be horses. I would rather see a horse kept on pasture 24/7, they do just fine that way. IMO the best set up is giving the horses plenty of pasture to "live on" and then provide access to stalls to rest, be fed, etc and either put them up at night or just give open access to come and go as they please.
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post #9 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by toto View Post
What did you do, bad pony?

I keep mine out with a run in where we give them hay when its rainy. Our dominant horse likes to make sure to run off the less dominant into the rain but after he realizes hes a jerk.. just kidding.. he doesnt.. our less dominant horses just get brave and walk in next to him and they share the pile of hay ive put under there.

They refuse to go under the shelter unless we put hay there and would much rather be standin in the snow sleet and rain than be dry and warm, lol.

We will be building an official horse stall for them onto the hay barn and a goat barn this summer and theyll all go up in the rain regardless.
Long story short I live with my boyfriend, he was coming home from work and got tackled by an officer and eventually cuffed and put in the back of the car. So I tried asking the officers (there was a swarm of them in front of our house with made it even stranger) what he had done to warrant an arrest and after being ignored and then told to go back to my house, I did so but by that time the officers decided to take me in too. All for asking why my boyfriend was being arrested the whole situation was very strange. Turns out there were so many police because there was a coyote loose running through back yards (live in the city/surburbs) and the reason they arrested my boyfriend was because he asked them if it would be possible to move one of their cars so he could get in the driveway and come home....although they put it as attempted assault. :/ Very strange strange situation and I hope it never happens again.
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post #10 of 33 Old 04-16-2013, 10:17 PM
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When we got our first horses, they were stalled and only turned out went we went to let them out for a short time while we were there. We moved them after not too long, for other reasons too. There were some horses there that were hardly ever let out of their stalls.

The second place we had them at, they were turned out daily. That was until we got more horses and couldn't afford to stall them any more. They were then in outdoor pasture all the time.

Now, we have them at our place. They are again, outdoor 24/7. There isn't any leanto but they do have trees for shelter and windbreaks.

Personally, I think that they do prefer to be out all the time.

Horses will get accustomed to whatever accommodations you give them. Some more easily than others.
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