Home Sweet Home

So when we consider the construction of stalls, we shouldn’t underestimate how important it is to provide a comfortable, welcoming, and most importantly, safe, environment in which our horses can live.
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Although historically horses are free-ranging herd animals, domestic equines have learned over the centuries to take great comfort in the security of a stall. Inside a stall, there’s comfortable bedding to snooze on, food and water aplenty, safety from predators, and protection from the elements. All the comforts of home, so to speak.

stall_doors9905.jpg (24935 bytes)
Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt

The instinct to seek that shelter and safety has become so strong in our domestic horses that in the case of a life-threatening emergency, such as a barn fire, they have been known to run back into the burning building, to the stalls which, to them, represent safety despite the flames crackling all around them. This drive overrides both common sense, and the herd urge, and says a lot about how important stalls are to horses. So when we consider the construction of stalls, we shouldn’t underestimate how important it is to provide a comfortable, welcoming, and most importantly, safe, environment in which our horses can live

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Written by:

Karen Briggs is the author of six books, including the recently updated Understanding Equine Nutrition as well as Understanding The Pony, both published by Eclipse Press. She’s written a few thousand articles on subjects ranging from guttural pouch infections to how to compost your manure. She is also a Canadian certified riding coach, an equine nutritionist, and works in media relations for the harness racing industry. She lives with her band of off-the-track Thoroughbreds on a farm near Guelph, Ontario, and dabbles in eventing.

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