Creating the right environment for your horse

When caring for your horse or pony, you'll want to make sure they have a suitable place to live. Horses need plenty of room to exercise outside as well as access to shelter. They also need dry areas to stand or lie down in to help ensure that they remain happy and healthy.

Here are a few things your horse will need:

  • Secure and hazard-proof home: make sure that where your horse lives is secure and free from hazards. This includes ensuring fences are in good condition and escape-proof, and removing toxic plants.
  • Large amounts of exercise - horses need lots of exercise to keep them healthy. Every horse should have access to a paddock where they can exercise every day, in the company of other horses, for as long as possible.
  • Shelter: when out in a paddock, horses must be able to take shelter from the sun, wind and extreme temperatures. They must also have dry areas to stand and lie down on, as living in cold, wet or muddy conditions can make them uncomfortable or ill.
  • Comfortable stabling: if your horse is stabled, ensure all areas of the stable are well-ventilated, clean and draught-free. A horse can become ill or show abnormal behaviour if confined to a stable for long periods of time.
  • Clean, dust-free bedding: stabled horses are more likely to be exposed to germs, toxic dust and fumes. They need good quality, dust-free bedding to lie on, which should be kept clean.
  • Emergency plan: have a plan in place to deal with emergencies, such as fire in buildings and flooding of land or buildings.
  • Comfortable transport: transport can be stressful for horses, so if you move your horse make sure it's comfortable and safe at all times. 
  • Enough space: ensure the size of any place you leave your horse (including a trailer or horsebox) is big enough for them, and make sure it's a comfortable temperature.

Find out more about caring for your horse or pony in our guides to their diet, company, behaviour and health and welfare.

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