What does a stabled horse do at night?
Ever wondered what your horse gets up to at night in his stable?
This film shows 8hrs in the life of a stabled horse via time lapse camera, condensed into 8 minutes. Even at 8 minutes long I would recommend watching this – it does give a great indication of just how boring it must be for a horse to be locked in a small room with water, their own droppings and ad-lib hay if they're lucky.
Many horse owners believe their horses sleep all night, but in fact horses sleep only around 4 hours in a 24hr period and they may do some of that sleeping during the day. So they can spend hours just standing doing nothing in the stable at night – not good for an animal who has evolved to move constantly and travel between 30-100 miles a day. It's not really that surprising so many horses barge or run over their owners to get out in the morning.
If your horse has to be stabled for long periods of time, make sure he has social contact with his horsey friend next door and plenty to occupy his time - a choice of different forages, toys, a big straw bed to rummage in and suitable branches or logs to chew on. My article looking at how to make your horse happy has some great tips for enriching your horse's environment – you can read the article here.
It is our responsibility to keep our horses healthy and happy and suitable mental stimulation is vital if our horses don't have freedom to move at will. Access to a field or an outside space to wander in and out of, and the ability to be able to touch and interact with an equine friend is the ideal.