A combination of both could be the perfect solution for humans and animals. It offers freedom of movement against overweight and protection against cold, rain or snow in the winter season.
With the onset of low temperatures, many horse owners wonder if they should keep their horses in a horse box or open stall. We summarize the advantages and disadvantages of both options. In addition, we give some advice on the design of the horse stable.
Horse box or open stable: advantages and disadvantages
On the one hand, keeping horses in the open stable supports the horses’ natural way of life and at the same time gives them a lot of freedom. One should always keep in mind that horses are steppe animals that run many miles in the wild daily.
The fact that we hold and train them in a horse box or open stable does not change their nature or their natural needs.
Keeping horses in the open stable makes it much easier to avoid being overweight and to enable the daily necessary movement.
Rugged horse breeds that have not been bred for sport are more prone to obesity and the associated diseases.
But also the attitude in the open stable harbors a health risk for horses. In many countries winter brings unfavorable conditions for the welfare of the horses. In addition, horses in open houses in certain areas are more likely to be attacked by predators.
Although most horses can adapt well to extreme cold, this should not be taken for granted.
Horses come from temperate climates, so very low temperatures and adverse weather conditions can affect their health.
When keeping horses, we need to provide them with optimal conditions for their health. In areas with icy winters, stables must be built in which they are safe and secure.
Horse box or open stable: Where should you keep horses?
In their natural habitat, horses live outdoors and can move whenever they want. You can also protect yourself there from climatic adversities such as rain, wind, snow or extreme cold. Horses would also seek refuge in the wild.
Therefore, horses should always be left outside in favorable weather conditions. This allows us to offer them freedom without endangering their health and well-being.
Tips for the design of the stable
As you can see, horses have to be stabled for the whole year to protect and keep them healthy. It is necessary to build the stable carefully and well thought out in order to create optimal conditions for the horses.
- Check condition and structure
Before winter it is essential to check the condition of the house and to make sure that it is suitable for housing the animals. When checking the roof, be aware of possible cracks or holes that could let in water or drafts.
The stable has to provide enough space for all horses to sleep and feed. This place should be warm, clean, dry and well ventilated to prevent moisture and mold. Very old or sick horses can also be covered.
- Cleanliness is important
In addition to the good structure of the horse stable must always be kept clean. Daily cleaning is essential to prevent the accumulation of contaminants and food debris and the concomitant proliferation of microorganisms.
The barn must also be well ventilated to fight mold and bacteria. In winter or in very rainy times, the humidity is higher. Therefore, one must be attentive and check the cleanliness of the stables daily.
- Food and water in winter
The horses should be well-nourished, especially in the case of illnesses, and be well supplied with water. In winter horses need more food. Your body needs to have an energy reserve to keep metabolism active and maintain thermoregulation.
Also the liquid supply is an important point in the cold season. Horses in a horse box or open stable should always have fresh, clean water within reach.
The potion must be protected from weather conditions to prevent it from becoming dirty or freezing.