A suitable environment for horses
Make sure your horse or pony has a suitable place to live.
Things you should do
- Make sure that where your horse lives is secure and free from hazards, this includes ensuring fences are in good condition and escape-proof.
- All horses should have access to a paddock where they can exercise every day, in the company of other horses, for as long as possible.
- When out in a paddock, horses must have access to shelter from extremes of weather and temperature and have dry areas to stand and lie down on.
- If your horse is stabled, ensure all areas of your horse’s environment are well ventilated, clean and draught-free.
- Stabled horses need good quality, dust-free bedding to lie upon. Ensure bedding is kept clean.
- Have a plan to deal with emergencies such as fire in buildings and flooding of land or buildings.
- When you transport your horse, make sure it is comfortable and safe at all times.
- Ensure the size and temperature of any place you leave your horse (including a trailer or horsebox) is appropriate.
- Horses are adapted to living in wide-open spaces where they can easily detect danger and escape if frightened or attacked. They have a natural fear of confined spaces and do not like feeling trapped.
- Horses are athletic animals moving continuously whilst looking for and eating grass. They need large amounts of exercise to remain healthy.
- A horse can become ill or show abnormal behaviour if it is confined to a stable for long periods of time.
- A stabled horse is more likely to be exposed to germs, toxic dust and fumes than horses kept at pasture.
- Living in cold, wet or muddy conditions without good shelter or dry areas to stand or rest upon can lead to discomfort or illness.
- Transport can be stressful for horses and can cause illness, particularly when transported under poor conditions and for long durations.