How Being Outside Helps Keep Your Horse Healthy
Oct 6, 2022
Horses have lived their entire lives outside for thousands of years. Even as we began domesticating horses to work and live as pets, they frequently stayed outside. Now that most horse owners have barns, horses are no longer getting the outdoor time they need to stay healthy. If you’re a new horse owner wondering how being outside helps keep your horse healthy, we can help. Keep reading to learn about the importance of outside time for your horse’s health.
Behavioral and Mental Health
Being outside allows your horse to safely get their energy out, which helps them remain calm when you need to keep them in the stable. If you have more than one horse or board other horses at your barn, going to pasture together gives your horse much-needed social time since horses are herd animals that yearn for camaraderie. This helps them stay happy and relaxed.
Digestive and Respiratory Health
The calming experience of being outside and being able to eat grass and other natural plants also helps your horse’s digestive system stay healthy. Too much time stressed and confined inside while eating processed foods can lead to stomach ulcers, especially in race and show horses. Prevent ulcers and other digestive issues by maximizing outdoor time.
Being trapped in a barn doesn’t just stress your horses out and limit their food choices; it can also damage their respiratory systems. Excrement and bedding decompose and create ammonia, which harms equine and human airways. Staying outside as much as possible keeps them away from these fumes and preserves their respiratory health.
Hoof and Leg Health
Maintaining your horse’s hoof and leg health is necessary for them to live a fulfilled, happy life. Keeping them outside as much as possible helps their hoof and leg health since it allows them to stretch their leg muscles and keep the blood flowing well through their legs and hooves. Standing too long in a stall can prevent healthy hoof growth and hurt their leg joints, so turning them out for at least 12 hours a day is necessary.
Being outside helps keep your horse healthy by preventing boredom, digestive ulcers, respiratory issues, and leg and hoof problems. Socializing, relaxing, eating, and exercising are all important activities that benefit your horse when done outside.
Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.