RBEI MASTER COURSES: EQUINE MANAGEMENT:
PADDOCKING & STABLE MANAGEMENT 1
Equine paddocking and stabling is generally extremely deficient and much more needs to be done to provide horses with the comforts and environment they need to be healthy and happy.
The simple fact the horse is not sick or dead is not sufficient evidence your paddocking arrangement is adequate.
MEASURING PADDOCKING & STABLING ADEQUACY
To measure the adequacy of ones paddocking or stabling arrangement, you must consider these things:
For example, and very commonly, if a horse is too cold to sleep when it would normally choose to sleep the arrangement is not adequate.
Eg, when a horse is locked in a small yard with hard ground.
Eg, when a horse is forced to live on it's own droppings and urine.
Eg, when a horse is locked in a small muddy yard with no dry spots to rest on. If a horse is forced to be wet when they would prefer to be dry, they are not adequately catered for.
ABILITY TO BE CLEAN
A horse in the natural washes itself at least once a day, without access to dams, rivers, lakes etc, in their natural paddock you must make sure they are washed regularly.
ACCESS TO CLEAN FEED
Feedbins need to be clean, feed needs to be clean.
ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER
Water needs to be clean and plentiful at all times. If a horse drinks dirty water because it has no other alternative, it is not sufficient evidence that dirty water is acceptable as an only water source.
Horses are herd animals and require companionship.
SAFE ENVIRONMENT FROM PREDATORS
At night especially foxes, dogs or other animals can roam around and spook horses. This needs to be minimized as much as is possible. If a horse stands awake on high alert all night in fear it is not adequately catered for.
SAFE ENVIRONMENT FROM OTHER HORSE BULLYING
Make sure if there is a paddock bully it is managed or removed from the paddock.
Barbed wire is NEVER ok for horses, they WILL cut themselves. Nor is deer fencing ok for horses, which they often get a hoof through and injure themselves in.
A grey wire is NEVER enough or ok, they will run straight through it and injure themselves.
Horse fencing is solid, clearly visible and has no sharp edges or parts they can be caught up in.
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