stalls good or bad - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 01-15-2016, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question stalls good or bad

putting my horse in a stall is it good or bad what is best for m TWH mare bail
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post #2 of 43 Old 01-15-2016, 04:12 PM
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Horses are made to move as they graze. And to graze a little throughout the day and night.

So, ideally, living in a large, safe pasture is best.

But, lots of people don't have that available, so they do the best they can, with turnoutas possible, slow grazing hay nets, etc. With careful and thoughtful management most horses kept in stalls do okay.
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post #3 of 43 Old 01-15-2016, 04:17 PM
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Stalls could be either good or bad. It's not the stall that's the problem, it's how it's used. My horse has a stall but she only goes in it during bad weather. Even so I put her outside during the day with a sheet on. Some people keep their horses in stalls 24/7, which I think is "bad" for any horse.
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post #4 of 43 Old 01-15-2016, 04:17 PM
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This depends on the horse and your environment. Stalls are good for horses that are injured, horses that get lame by running around in a pasture and/or kick down fences repeatedly, for inclement or extreme weather condition, or if your horse has dietary restrictions (can't have too much grass.)

There's no right or wrong answer here. Sometimes it is better for one horse to be kept out in the pasture, but another may love to have a stall with a fan. You have to use your judgement and watch your horse to see what she's telling you.
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post #5 of 43 Old 01-15-2016, 04:18 PM
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My stalls are used to protect my horses from the weather. I like their feet dry and a clean place to lie down at night, but only in the Fall/Winter/Spring when it's cold, icy and muddy.
Our temperatures have been rapidly rising and rapidly falling--yesterday evening is was 48 degrees F, by Monday morning it will fall to -3 F. You gotta keep them warm and dry in harsh conditions, especially their feet.
During the rest of the year they have 24/7 turnout. Often, even if there is a storm brewing, but not severe, I will turnout long enough to strip stalls, and then put them back in. It gives them the opportunity to run around and act stupid before they go back.
Horses will OWN their stalls and it is their safe space. Keep training there very pleasant, keep the barn well ventilated and address any drafts.
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post #6 of 43 Old 01-15-2016, 06:02 PM
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Things I use a stall for:

Enclosing the lonely other horse when I take my horse out -- otherwise she constantly paces the fenceline and neighs. Wears a rut and I can't think it is good for her either.

At night, now that most of the pasture is full of ankle deep hoofprints full of water. Gives them some time to dry their feet out.

When there is a sick or injured horse with prescribed stall rest.

For the duration of eating a supplement.

The rest of the time they come and go, it's about 90% go. They prefer to stand or wander slowly grazing outside. They don't come in even if they're cold and wet.

Most horses do not like stalls if they have a choice of that or pasture. Which should tell us all something about stalls.
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post #7 of 43 Old 01-15-2016, 06:43 PM
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There are an awful lot of variables...depends on the horse, the type of stall, the amount of time, etc. I feel really bad for horses that are in stalls 24/7 w/out much turnout. I think horses are made for pasture living and love it. However, there are exceptions and reasons to have them in stalls more often.
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post #8 of 43 Old 01-15-2016, 08:02 PM
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i agree that stalls are neither good or bad, as it depends on how they are used.
If you were to ask if stalling horses , with little turnout, was bad, I would give you a definate 'yes!
We know so much more about horses, and what is best for their health now, that the fact full time turn out is better for horses, for their mental health, for digestion and hoof health, can't be disputed.
Horses are designed to being able to move almost constantly.
Horses also have great ability to adapt, thus can accept being stalled short term, and in fact, can even be made to 'love their stalls', as horses are creatures of habit. Does not change the fact that movement id vital for their mental health, for hoof health and for digestion
Thus, we often stall horses for our convenience. A show horse, a horse in full time training, ect.
When it becomes 'bad' is when the idea is used that some horses are too valuable to turn out, thus those horses, even young growing ones, are kept from having the movement that will ensure their future soundness, building strong bone, well developed back of the foot, ect
Horses that become stressed from confinement, are given medication, to help them deal with ulcers that result, become cribbers and stall weavers at times.
We get temps that drop to MINUS 25 F and beyond, yet all my horses are out full time in the winter.
Horses are much healthier with full time turn out, a wind shelter, aaaand lots of room to move, allowed to be a horse.
Thus, if you stall, ask why, and make sure your horse gets regular exercise
I don't ride regularly in winter, and if my horses spent a lot of time stalled, I would be forced to exercise them, for the sake of their health
I do have a barn, with four big stalls that have rubber matts and commercial stall fronts. My horses are not out almost full time, year round, except before a show, not because i have no stalls, but because I relaize what is best for them.
They are great when I need them, for a horse that needs stall rest, when I had new foals in early spring, and weather was bad, ect, but I no longer consider regular stall time the best horse keeping. I did , in the past, esp for any show horses. But then, I also thought in those days, that any horse you showed, had to be shod!
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post #9 of 43 Old 01-16-2016, 03:31 AM
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i kept the very fit horses inside with little turn out especially if it was wet because they preferred it.

They were well exercised as in ridden out daily, on a Sunday and if the weather was dry I would turn them out but chances were that after an hour or of it was wet a lot sooner, they would be at the gate wanting to come in.

The young horses also came in at nights but they were in loose sheds. I had it rigged up that I could open the shed gate and they could go out to the field chances were that if it was pouring with rain, they would go out the gate onto the track and then turn around and come back inside.
Why be outside in the rain and wind even if there is hay to eat, when you can be inside in the dry with a deep straw bed and ad lib hay amd room to charge around?

The fit horses all had at least 90 minutes exercise every day, often double that and it wasn't slow work, nearly all trotting and cantering. I would rode one and lead another and then swap horses half way.

I had no neurotic behaviour, the only horse I had with a small ulcer was a yearling that suffered a severe injury and was initially stressed. By the time he was scoped the ulcer had healed, just a minor amount of scar tissue.

All the stables were big, 15' x12' they were solid to 4' and then had vertical bars above. They also had a large window that could be opened at the back of the stable so when the weather was good they could look out that way too. All were very light and airy. They loved their stalls.
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post #10 of 43 Old 01-16-2016, 08:50 AM
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I don't think stalls as good or bad. Most horses like to be outside, but there are times when a stall is useful or necessary. I have a mare that notoriously hated stalls. Now at 25 years old, she really appreciates coming in at night and eating her food in peace.
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