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.
  • 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.

Find out more about the needs of horses and ponies: Diet, Behaviour, Company, Health and welfare.

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