Horses sometimes need to be indoors and kept in a stall for different reasons. When having to keep a horse in a stall, ensuring their happiness and safety is important.
The first thing to consider is the stall itself. Proper size and height are important with a horse stall. A horse needs room to move around and lay down and get up easily. A standard stall is usually about 10 x 10, but a larger horse would require more room and a 12 x 12 stall would be appropriate. The ceiling height should be a minimum of 8 feet, however a better height is 11 feet. The stall should be built from hard wood and treated to prevent chewing. The flooring should be crushed rock covered with clay to help ensure good drainage. Using concrete or asphalt might seem like a good idea, but it can lead to injury if wet and slippery. If concrete is used for the flooring, non-slip mats protect the horse’s legs. Doors should never open inward inside a stall for safety reasons, and they should be at least 4 feet wide. A sliding door on the stall is safest. Light fixtures need to be high enough and wire caged to prevent curious muzzles from reaching. All hardware and walls should be inspected often to make sure there are no sharp edges or protruding points that a horse could rub up against and injure themselves.
Horses need good bedding. A horse stall needs to be kept clean daily to prevent illness. The ammonia from urine can cause respiratory illness and wet, dirty bedding can affect their hooves. Good quality hay or wood shavings makes the best bedding in a horse stall. Make sure the bedding doesn’t create a lot of dust that will affect the horses lungs. Horse’s like to have access to a good quality hay to eat when kept inside their stall. Water needs to be offered at free will and the container should be kept against a wall in a safe place.
Horses can get bored when kept in a stall. Keeping a radio helps horses from feeling lonely. If there are other horses in the barn in their own stalls, offering an opening in the door for the horses to interact socially makes for happy horses. At least 4 feet of the door should be solid, but offering space for a horse to see out keeps them from feeling isolated.
Horse lovers want to make sure their horses are happy and healthy. Horses need a lot of exercise and don’t always need to be indoors. Of course, there are times where it’s for their own safety to house them in a stall, so why not make sure they are happy and safe.