A suitable environment for horses

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 and access to shelter from extremes of weather. They also need dry areas to stand or lie down in to help ensure that they remain happy and healthy.

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.
  • Horses need large amounts of exercise to remain healthy. 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 sun, wind and extremes of weather or temperature. They must have dry areas to stand and lie down on; living in cold, wet or muddy conditions can lead to discomfort or illness.
  • A horse can become ill or show abnormal behaviour if it is confined to a stable for long periods of time. If your horse is stabled, ensure all areas of your horse's environment are well ventilated, clean and draught-free. 
  • Stabled horses are more likely to be exposed to germs, toxic dust and fumes. They 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.
  • Transport can be stressful for horses. 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.
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