Sad horse

Horses that are stabled for long periods, need to be mentally stimulated. A sad horse could easily develop a stable vice if it becomes stressed.

Ideally a horse should be turned out daily with a companion to boredom.

Ideally a horse should be turned out daily with a companion to relieve boredom.

Horses are social animals; they enjoy contact and interaction with other horses, such as grooming each other.

Separation such as stabling the horse, causes stress and anxiety as they lack social contact.

Horses are designed to graze constantly and to take in small amounts of food over 24 hours.

Use small holed hay nets and provide hard feed little and often so the horse has several small feeds a day.

If you are not able to do this, then ask someone to pop a feed in for you.

This will help keep him occupied for longer and will improve the horses gut and digestive system.

Most horses like music so leave a radio on. An isolated horse will retreat in a quiet stable.

If you have no electric, then buy a battery radio.

Provide toys to stimulate the bored, sad horse.

A play ball is simply a ball with a handle for the animal to explore and pick up with his teeth, or nudge with his nose.

You can also purchase a ball that you can fill with hard feed, the idea is the horse can smell the food inside and has to find a way of getting it out.

He does this by nudging the ball with his nose and small amounts of food fall out.

A stable cat can also act as a companion and entertain the horse.

Chickens are good company.

I was based on a small yard. We had a stable block of four, and every morning, the chickens were let out so they could roam freely all day.

They kept my horse entertained for most of the day, as they wandered in and out of his stable.

I arrived one day to find a chicken on his back, only wish I had taken a picture.

Your horse should have a view from his stable of movement and activity.

This can be people walking around, animals or movement like tractors or other machinery.

Sad horse

Hang a sweed up with bailing cord through the middle. It will amuse the horse and it will take him a long time to eat it.

Salt licks are available in different flavours, and licks can be hung on a rope or left in the bucket on the floor.

There is so many to choose from, and my horse loves them all.

Ideal for a bored horse.

Use barley straw for bedding, this will allow the horse to ‘graze’ when the hay net is empty.

My horse is rather greedy and rushes his food.

Rather than putting his carrots and apples in with his feed, I scatter them in the bedding towards the front.

This gives him something to do and encourages him to forage.

Remember a stabled horse amuses itself by foraging.

A happy horse needs, time out in a paddock or field with his friends.

They enjoy communicating,grooming, smelling each other and building friendships.

Get the balance right and you'll have a contented stabled horse.

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