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Do horses need a stable?

Wednesday 25th May, 2022

horse hanging its head out of a stable

Owning a horse is a pretty big commitment. So understandably, you may have a few questions about owning a horse. Chief among these may be do horses need a stable? 

Well, as a horse owner, it’s important to provide adequate shelter for your horse. However, not all horses need to be stabled. In fact, as long as your horse has a thick enough coat, they should be able to live outside throughout the year, provided they have access to shelter that offers protection from the elements, as well as flies.

Having said that, we understand that you want the best for your horse and a stable may be an essential provision. After all, we know how unpredictable the UK weather can be. Not to mention, there may come a time when your horse gets injured or falls ill. In such cases, stabling is often the best solution.

So, do horses need a stable? Let us break it down for you.

When do horses need a stable?

Whilst basic shelter will suffice in most cases, here are some reasons why stabling your horse may prove useful.

1. Convenience

This first one may seem obvious, but stable kept horses are much easier to access. Whilst chasing your horse around the paddock may help you get your extra steps in, it may make going about your day-to-day routine a little difficult.

Plus, it’s much easier to keep your horse healthy when it’s stabled. Provided you keep your stable clean, your horse will be less likely to fall ill. What’s more, stable kept horses are less likely to get injured compared to horses left out in the field with other horses.

Just make sure you balance the time your horse spends in and out of the stable. After all, they need plenty of time to graze and move around the pasture.

2. Control your horse’s feed intake

Stabling may be a good choice for you and your horse, as it provides total control over your horse’s diet. 

Believe it or not, horses left out in the field can easily overeat, particularly ponies. Overeating can be just as bad for your horse as under-eating. After all, an overweight horse is more likely to suffer from health issues, such as laminitis. 

With this in mind, it’s wise to restrict grazing by stabling your horse. That way, you can ensure they are getting the right nutritional requirements. 

On the flip side, if you own several horses, it can be challenging to make sure they are all eating enough. In such cases, stabling your horse can also help you maintain your horse’s optimum health.

3. Protection from the elements

Like humans, horses have a basic need for security, warmth and shelter. Sure, there may be plenty of natural shelters available on the paddock or pasture, such as shrubs and trees. However, they may not provide enough protection when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

A stable or mobile field shelter may provide the best (and the kindest) protection against hammering rain and battering winds. Your horses will certainly appreciate having a warm place to rest if the weather becomes unbearable. Not to mention, having a stable will make going out in the cold to check on your horse much more enjoyable for you too.

Ideally, your stable should be kept well ventilated, as dust-free as possible, and have adequate drainage. That way, you can ensure you’re creating the right environment for stable kept horses.

4. Maintaining a competition horse

If you own a show horse, it’s often sensible to stable your horse. After all, this makes it much easier to keep your horse clean and dry. More importantly, you can keep your horse’s coat show-ready. 

It may also be worth lighting your stable during the winter months to mimic usual summertime hours. This will reduce hair growth as the weather gets cooler.

Plus, having a solid stable structure will make it easier to tether your horse for grooming or even worming

Corridor of a stable

5. Catering to your horse’s unique needs

Yes, horses are naturally herded animals. Having said that, not every horse enjoys the company of other horses. Some horses are quite social, while others prefer to be in an isolated stall. Whatever the case, stabling can help you cater to the temperament of your horse.

Say, for example, you have a slightly aggressive horse, it may be a good idea to separate that particular horse in a stall to prevent injury. Just make sure to provide the horse in question with more love and attention.

On the other hand, it’s a good idea to stable horses that are compatible together to allow for socialisation.

Stabling is also a good option for those caring for old horses, who need that extra bit of TLC.

How can Vale Stables help?

At Vale Stables, we specialise in designing and building stabling entirely to order. Our team of trained and experienced carpenters produce a huge range of bespoke external and internal stables, as well as mobile field shelters, using high-quality materials to ensure stables stand the test of time.

To find the right stabling solution for you and your horse, call us on 01789 766 533 or get a quote today.

We hope we provided some clarity on do horses need a stable? For more stabling advice, visit our news section

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