Stall Behavior Help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Stall Behavior Help

My horse is usually turned out and has a run in shed. I recently built him a stall for when it storms or rains and he kicks the walls and bites the door. I don't want him to hurt his self but I really worry about him when its storming or raining and its nice to have a stall if for some reason he'd HAVE to be stalled. He's only going to be in there when it rains, storms, or we have really bad winter weather like we did the previous winter. What are some methods I can use to help him behave? I put hay in his stall and left the door open so he can go into the stall to get his hay from the pasture and he is okay but as soon as I close the door he freaks out.

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post #2 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 07:33 AM
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It sounds like he feels trapped. He may or may not overcome that with time, but I hardly believe you can teach him to overcome it (although feeding a grain with the door closed may calm him down and he'll look at the stall as a nice place to be locked in). If leaving door open is OK why not to do that? Horses are smart, he will just be there with the hay when it's rain/snow.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 08:00 AM
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Let him walk free a little bit part of the day. Of course he will be in the habit of walking and would be able to tolerate such the things.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 08:02 AM
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How recently?

I think knowing how to live confined is a good thing for a horse to know.

For now just keeping feeding him in his new stall area. Let him get used to it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 09:30 AM
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I can't stand the fact that where I board, the horses aren't put out if there is a hint of rain or if it is cold. My horse goes nuts. I wish I had access to a pasture with a run in shelter, I would let him be free 24/7. If he knows he has a warm dry place to go to, he'll use it if he wants. Rain won't hurt him, and you can blanket him in winter if it is that cold. My early horse experience was on a ranch where if the horses weren't working, they were outside, always.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 09:48 AM
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It is good to teach him to deal with confinement, so I would continue to work with him slowly to be more comfortable with being closed in. That said, horses are smart animals and if you provide them with proper shelter (your description of the previous setup certainly meets that) he will use it if/when HE feels it is necessary. Bear in mind, our idea of what they need and their's are not always the same thing. HE, though, is the horse and his instincts are the best judge of his needs. Turnout with available shelter that provides protection from the prevailing wind is all that is actually needed. In fact, going back and forth from being out to be totally confined is only going to make it harder for him to be comfortable through the winter as it will keep his system from ever fully switching to one mode or the other.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipsfirstspike View Post
I can't stand the fact that where I board, the horses aren't put out if there is a hint of rain or if it is cold. My horse goes nuts. I wish I had access to a pasture with a run in shelter, I would let him be free 24/7. If he knows he has a warm dry place to go to, he'll use it if he wants. Rain won't hurt him, and you can blanket him in winter if it is that cold. My early horse experience was on a ranch where if the horses weren't working, they were outside, always.
I think 24/7 outside is healthy for the horse, but having a stall is a very handy thing IMO. Especially when it's rainy and you have to mess with your horse you really appreciate the dry spot. I don't even speak about stall rest in case of injuries (which I had experience with just this passed winter) when you MUST keep it in stall and that'll be a big issue if horse doesn't like it. Also horse panicking/going nuts in stall very likely may panic in trailer, and that will not be fun anymore.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 12:22 PM
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Our barn is built so that the stalls open into the paddock (which opens into the pasture if I have the gates open). The ONLY times I keep them in the stalls is when the farrier or vet is coming, I'm getting hay delivered etc. Other than that, the stall doors are open 24/7 and they can come and go as they please. Including during storms. Right now it's hot and they are choosing to stay in their stalls because it's cooler and less buggy in the barn than out in the pasture.
Being comfortable in a stall is a good thing though, so personally I would start stalling him for very short increments of time, making them positive experiences with treats and petting. Then increase the time periods as he gets more comfortable.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 12:46 PM
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How big is the stall, and what can he see while he's in there?

My horses have access to the barn when they need it, but they only go in when it starts to hail or if the rain is coming down REALLY heavily. They don't care much about snow.

That said, my stalls are 10 x 12, and they can see other horses while they're locked up.

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post #10 of 13 Old 05-28-2010, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aforred View Post
How big is the stall, and what can he see while he's in there?

My horses have access to the barn when they need it, but they only go in when it starts to hail or if the rain is coming down REALLY heavily. They don't care much about snow.

That said, my stalls are 10 x 12, and they can see other horses while they're locked up.
I am not EXACTLY sure how big the stall is. I know that it is bigger than a normal box stall and he definitely has enough room.

He has a window and door in the back so he can look out and see other horses.

He stays in the stall when the door is open but he doesn't like it when the door is shut. He doesn't go crazy he just walks around and bites the top of the door and very rarely he will kick. He does this in the trailer too unfortunately except its worse until we're on the road, when we're on the road he is fine.

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