Keeping a Horse in a
The smaller your acreage and the closer you
live to an urban area, the more likely your horse will spend part of his time
in a stall. Although it is a space efficient way to keep a horse, it requires
a large investment of capital and time. Keeping a horse in a stall requires you
have a well-designed barn and that you feed at least twice a day, clean the stall
at least once a day, and exercise the horse every day by riding, longeing, driving,
ponying, or providing active turnout. Even with all that, stall life doesnt
suit every horse. For the best chance of success, start with a good stall.
good stall environment begins with a minimum space of 12 x 12 with
an 8 x 4 door. Many horses over 1100 pounds or 15 hands are much neater
and more content in a 12 x 14 or 12 x 16 stall.
hoof and respiratory health, the barn should be located on a well-draining site.
The base of the floor should be porous material such as 10-12 of gravel.
The flooring, which goes on top of the base, should be comfortable and safe, such
as rubber mats. The bedding must be non-toxic, clean, dust-free, comfortable,
and something the horse wont eat.
The stall walls/doors
should discourage rubbing, be able to withstand damage from kicking or chewing,
allow ventilation to flow through the stall, and allow the horse to look out of
the stall. There should be a clean place for the horse to eat hay (preferably
at ground level), a grain feeder and a large water pail or automatic waterer.
The stall should be located where there is not a lot of noise or bright lights.
The barn environment overall should be healthy - plenty of ventilation (windows,
doors, vents or fans) that keeps the temperature in the 30-80 F range and humidity
in the 35-60% range.
Pros and Cons of stall life. See the book
on a Small Acreage.