This website uses cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic.  Cookie Policy

The Importance of Turnout & The Dangers of Stall Confinement

I have always felt strongly about the importance of turnout for horses. I think horses are happier and healthier when they have the freedom to move around, socialize with other horses, roll in the dirt, and generally just be a horse!

Just as chronic stress can create many problems for humans, the stress of confinement can also create problems for horses, physically and mentally.

When we consider the care of our horse, it’s important to remember that they don’t want the same things we do. For example, if we’re cold, it doesn’t mean our horse is cold also. Or if we hate being in the rain and getting wet, that doesn’t mean that our horse wouldn’t still prefer to be outside grazing and wandering around.

In the video below, I highlight what I have experienced and observed as effects of excess time in the stall. As a personal story, my mare Molly, who is featured in many of the videos here, was given to me years ago, partly because of her behavior in the barn.

Molly was a great jumper and learned she could jump out of any pasture and make her way around the farm to visit the other horses. Her owner at the time was left with no choice but to confine Molly to a stall. Having been a competitive jumper, Molly had been stalled quite a bit in her life, but with this extra confinement she became very anxious and coliced several times in just a few days.

When I brought Molly to my farm she jumped out almost every day, but after a while she settled in with a group of horses in a large food and now only very occasionally goes on an escapade around the farm! However, anytime I put Molly in her stall, if she stays in for more than about 30 min, even with her best friend beside her, she will get anxious: pacing, sweating, and pushing at the door. My guess is that the stall still holds memories of stress and confinement.

I have other horses who love their stalls, but they are typically only coming inside for a few hours at a time.

Take a few minutes to watch the video below and learn about the effects of prolonged confinement. Then leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

See you in the comments,
Callie

email

Comments

  1. By Doreen

    Reply

  2. Reply

  3. By Myron

    Reply

  4. By Dayna

    Reply

    • By Julia Burdy

      Reply

  5. By Diane Flohre

    Reply

    • By Julia Burdy

      Reply

  6. Reply

    • By Julia Burdy

      Reply

  7. By Denise Kilian

    Reply

    • By Julia Burdy

      Reply

  8. By Kimberly Ritzmann

    Reply

  9. By Yvonne Liotti

    Reply

    • By Callie

      Reply

  10. By Rosemary Hughes

    Reply

  11. By Kim

    Reply

  12. By Emily Dilley

    Reply

  13. By magdalena gauderon

    Reply

    • By Robert Río

      Reply

  14. By Sue Fletcher

    Reply

  15. By Lorena

    Reply

  16. By Pauline Webb

    Reply

  17. By Tina Groom

    Reply

  18. By Heather

    Reply

  19. Reply

  20. By Suanne Doust

    Reply

  21. By Peggy Mueller

    Reply

  22. By CBEROES

    Reply

  23. By Shanna Williams

    Reply

  24. By Mark Dreyer

    Reply

  25. By Robert Río

    Reply

  26. By Jessica

    Reply

    • By Amanda Lowrey

      Reply

      • By cj

        Reply

  27. By Dana McEwen

    Reply

  28. By Mike

    Reply

  29. Reply

  30. By Fran Chicchi

    Reply

  31. By Carol Klick

    Reply

    • By Lee Ann

      Reply

      • By Carol Klick

        Reply

  32. By Amanda Lowrey

    Reply

  33. By Judy

    Reply

  34. By Karen

    Reply

  35. By Julie Kostichka

    Reply

    • By cj

      Reply

  36. By angelita Alonso

    Reply

  37. By carol grubb

    Reply

  38. By Jeanette

    Reply

  39. By Ray

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *