Horse nervous in stall - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-04-2013, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Horse nervous in stall

Imwasmwonderingmhow you would get your horse comfortable in his stall....I have a single stall where he can look out the door and the opposite side of the door....has plenty of room and places to look out...are most all horses a little nervous in a stall and that is just the way it is.....I paces a lot and I am thinking that is probably normal......just wondering...he has a big stall, very clean, lots of shavings, water, hay, salt block.....

I really want to be able to leave him up during the hottest part of the day in the summer under a fan and him to graze at night when grass is not so high in sugar.....or should I just leave him out all the time and not stall unless weather is really bad.....

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-04-2013, 11:36 AM
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If you can, night turnout would work. I have sparse to full pasture, depending on how much rain we get, and I have routinely given my horses as much turnout as possible. It helps them mentally to move around. Grass has it's highest sugar in the afternoon, lowest in the early morning.
Do you have access to a dry lot? THAT would be the best bc you could feed hay.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-04-2013, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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I do have a dry lot but donkies stay in it....I keep them in it at night...I might let them out in the day and my horse in the dry lot and visa versa at night....

They are minature donkeys.....
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 12:02 AM
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Both of my girls get nervous in a stall I've noticed if you put something in their to keep them occupied it helps like an Uncle Jimmy's Hanggin' Balls, or a Likit, a jolly ball things like that or if you could add a small run to the stall that might help also. Hope that helps.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 12:15 AM
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It may be that he just needs time to get used to it. I think if your horse has shelter, he will be fine being turned out all the time. I really think you should let him get used to his stall, though.

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 12:38 AM
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I think it all goes back to their childhood. All of my horses, w the exception of my newest filly, were raised in the wide open. I had nice shelters built for my own peace of mind I suppose, b/c they nearly never went in them. On the rare occasion they were stalled, some of them were more than nervous. My newest filly, however, was stalled during her second year (before I got her) - and she happily goes in and stays in the available shelter on her own. I keep thinking she will grow out of it.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 12:50 AM
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The horse I ride doesn't like stalls either. Part of her problem is that she's a little herd bound, so she gets herself worked up, unless she's in the barn with a couple horses from her herd. She used to be quite bad, whinying and panicing and has jumped out before. What I did to help was put her in the stall, next to another quiet horse (but not one from her herd) for about half an hour at a time while I did other things around the barn (so I could keep an eye on her). To show her that this is an ok place, I made sure there was always hay and water in there, but also had grain in the feed bin, along with carrots and apple slices in the hay and in rubber feed tubs in the corners. This seemed to work pretty well. It kept her busy for about 20 minutes, and after that she would either start to look longingly out her stall, or munch on some of the hay. I did this everyday for a few weeks, until I could leave her in there by herself for a few hours. She still isn't crazy about the stall. And will occasionally whinny for her herd if she hears another horse whinny, or hears them running around. But she isn't restless like she was before.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 01:22 AM
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I think some horses are just not used to being in a stall so they may tend to get "nervous" when placed in a stall, vs. a horse who is very used to being in one and not outside. Some horses pace in a stall not because they are nervous, but because they are bored/want out/need worked - which is how my mare is if she stays in for days at a time and isn't ridden or lunged in that time, which very rarely happens. She was raised outside and left in a field for a year before I bought her, so outside is where she does best. She is in her stall every night, though in summer she almost prefers her stall and will occasionally stay in during the day as well as night just because that's what she likes. My pony will pace if she is nervous OR wants out NOW (she will also do this outside). Generally though, my mares won't pace in their stalls, and I can't really think of anyone who has a horse who does without good reason.

If your horse truly is nervous, he likely just needs time to get used to the stall.
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