Stabling Your Horse
World Horse Welfare is an international horse charity - founded in 1927 - that improves the lives of horses in the UK and around the world through education, campaigning, and hands-on care.
Below is a summary taken from an article by World Horse Welfare.
During the winter, horse owners often worry about whether their horse should be kept stabled or turned out in the field.
Eileen Gillen, Centre Manager at Belwade Farm, their most northerly Rescue and Rehoming Centre of World Horse Welfare, offers some advice:
"How many of us keep our horse stabled during the winter months as a matter of course? Is it to make sure they don’t lose condition because they are in work and clipped out? Is it because they will poach the ground, causing more work and expense to reclaim good grazing for the summer? Or is it because we feel sorry for them not being able to come into the house to sit by the fire? The important thing to consider is what the horse thinks about it all.
"They are herd animals who are, in general, more resilient than we give them credit for. They can adapt successfully if they are given a chance to acclimatise to their surroundings.
"The horse grows a winter coat that we clip off because they will sweat too much when exercised. Good practice, we all think. But how many of us exercise for only one hour a day and then expect the horse to stand in for the other 23 hours? We then wonder why he has started to box walk, weave or kick the door down.
"Many of us will acquire objects to amuse them while they are standing in their box bored, when all they want is to be outside doing horsey things.
"If you are worried about turning your horse out in the cold, remember that it has a waterproof coat and a central heating system – the digestion of fibre generates a lot of heat, keeping horses warm from the inside out. For many horses, this will be enough to keep them warm throughout the winter.