Creating the right environment for your horse

When caring for your horse or pony 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.

Outside and hazard free

  • Ensure your horse is safe and secure. Check fences are in good condition and escape-proof. Also, check for and remove toxic plants.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Inside and stabled

  • If your horse is stabled, ensure all areas are well-ventilated, clean and draught-free. A horse can become ill or show abnormal behaviour if confined to a stable for long periods.
  • 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.

Other considerations

  • Have a plan in place to deal with emergencies, such as fires in buildings and flooding of land or buildings.
  • Transport can be stressful for horses, so if you move your horse, make sure the vehicle is comfortable and safe at all times. 
  • 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 horse care

There's more information on caring for your horse or pony in our expert advice on diet, company, behaviour and health and welfare.

Find out more