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Advice sought from horse owners/stable owners

10 replies

DancingInTheCellar · 30/11/2018 16:44

Hi, I wonder if any experienced horse owners could advise me. I have concerns about a horse at a stables near me and would be grateful if any experienced horse owners or stable owners could allay my concerns.

About once a week I walk my dog along a public footpath that cuts through a large riding stables near where I live. For a few months now I've noticed a horse kept in a paddock away from the main areas. It is alone in a sectioned off area (electric fence) of a larger paddock. There is another paddock alongside but it's always empty when I've walked past. The horse cannot see any other horses and few walkers use that footpath. The sectioned off area of paddock that it is fenced into is now devoid of grass where the horse paces the perimeter. The horse has a waterproof blanket on, and appears to have water and hay.

Yesterday I could hear the horse whinnying before I could see it. The wind was very strong and the trees that stretch up along an embankment behind the paddock were whipping around. I don't know if the horse was distressed by that. When I reached the point where I could see the horse it was trotting backwards and forwards along the perimeter of its enclosure in what, to me, was an agitated manner. I called 'Hi' to the horse, as I always do, and drew its attention. I then spoke to it for a few minutes. Actually it's more shouting as I can't get close to it without crossing the paddock to its fenced off area, which I wouldn't do as I wouldn't want to risk distressing it.

I've wondered about this horse for a while now. It seems cruel to me to keep a horse in solitary confinement with no other animals in sight and very few people using the footpath. Is this normal? I was quite upset when I walked away from him/her yesterday. Surely horses are herd animals? Obviously I don't know much about horses and I'm sure there are reasons a horse would be kept separate from others, but I can't stop thinking about this horse and what a lonely and dull life it appears to live.

If any of you are experienced in how stables are run, I would really appreciate you telling me this is nothing to worry about. I'm very tempted to email the stables, but I don't want to if there's a sensible reason for how this horse is treated.


OP posts:
lastqueenofscotland · 30/11/2018 17:57

They are heard animals but it’s not uncommon for stallions to be kept separately.
Some horses are very aggressive too.

Toomanybaubles · 30/11/2018 18:11

Mine are sometimes completely on their own. One has restricted grazing all year round, another doesn’t, they are great pals and share a massive field shelter at night but at certain times of the day the one with freedom could be ten acres away from the other one, unseen behind two tree lines.

You don’t know it is in solitary confinement, it just happens to be alone when you walk past. There could be something directly over the other side of the fence for 20 hours a day.

Fucksgiven · 30/11/2018 22:14

It may need to have very little grass for its health, or it may belong to fuckwits.

AllGoodDogs · 30/11/2018 22:39

My first thought would be that it's a stallion. You could always just pop in and ask.

CaliHummers · 01/12/2018 12:35

The lack of grass wouldn't worry me since it has hay and water. The modern grass we grow is very rich and not good for some horses and ponies. The isolation bothers me more but it may well be a stallion, or aggressive with other horses even though it's bothered by not seeing them (does happen unfortunately). I would ask. Well first just peer between its hind legs from a safe distance. It it's a gelding or a mare you could then ask.

PeevedOfPortishead · 01/12/2018 12:47

RSPCA won't do shit if it's fed and watered.

I believe it's Germany has a law that a horse must have visual access to another.

You're right - it's not fair and sadly many people do it using flimsy excuses as to why.

Booboostwo · 01/12/2018 15:17

Just go to the stables, ask and they will explain.

Pebblespony · 01/12/2018 15:28

The horse may be able to see others. They have good eyesight and the horse is probably taller than you, so he might be able to see other horses. The agitation you saw the last day may have been caused by him seeing another horse being led away etc. My two are turned out near each other but not together due to one needing to be more restricted diet-wise. I have to bring them in one at a time and the other one invariably goes mad, galloping up and down the boundry.

Moanranger · 02/12/2018 23:46

Our gelding is kept on his own because he bullies other horses. It may be the case with this one, and it may be aggressive even if a horse is separate, but adjacent, which may be why the next field is also empty. Horses are masters of injuring themselves or others when grazing - one quick turn & kick can result in a broken shoulder. Sometimes keeping a horse separate can seem cruel, but may be done in its best interests. If the horse is fed, watered & generally looked after, it is probably ok.

cherrytree63 · 21/01/2019 06:27

It isn't right to keep horses alone. They are herd animals, and feel safety in numbers.
When a group of horses lie down, there'll be one or two standing up to keep watch, domesticated horses may never have met a tiger or wild boar, but you can't outbreed the fear of meeting one (especially the Welsh dragon type lol)!
They can't stand head to tail in summer flicking the flies away, or mutually groom that ever so itchy spot at the withers.
The yard I keep my horses at has individual paddocks, mine share, the rest are at least side by side even though they can't have physical contact.
I would email the stables there's no harm in asking.

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