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  • Clare Long

(Full-Length) Bedrooms and Water

This particular discussion is about what I think that any horse should at least have as far as their living situation is concerned.

I'm a real stickler about horses in box stalls. I do not want horses in box stalls, period.

They should have an outdoor space, any outdoor space: even if it's a 10x10 space.

12 x 24 is sort of standard for their paddocks.

Even if they're getting turned out all day long, for 8 hours, they're still in the box stall at least 16 hours a day.

I feel strongly that every horse wants to be able to go outside. They want the option of standing in their bedroom or standing in their paddock. And if you watch horses, often they want to stay outside in their paddocks.

That's a pretty important part of my philosophy: Not putting horses into box stalls. Giving them at least some sort of a space to go outside. Doesn't have to be an enormous space, but some sort of a space.

So this is a really nice setup [at Equus Springs]: it's big and it's airy and it's open. Horses like to put their heads out the front of the stall as well. Horses don't like to be locked in behind bars. If they can put their heads out, they're that much happier.

The stalls at this barn are 12x16, which are considered oversize: how fabulous is that?

A 12x12 is the minimum, you don't want a stall to be smaller than 12x12.

In the olden days, our stalls were 10x10, but our horses were a lot smaller. So now a 10x10 stall looks really itty bitty. When you go to the horse shows and they've got the portable barns set up: those are 10x10.

So let's go inside here.

I hang a bucket for them before I leave and I give them a little half scoop of a treat type of grain.

And then the water: VERY IMPORTANT.

Please give them these deeper buckets of water. Not the old-fashioned kind.

Remember the old-fashioned kind, the self fills were just those small little metal saucers? In the olden days, they had that little tongue that the horses had to push down on to make the water come out. I guess they hadn't created floaters yet?

I really prefer that the horse can put their entire face in the water bucket. I don't want them to have to wait for the water bowl to refill while they're drinking water.

Water is extraordinarily important. If your horse doesn't drink they're not gonna make it. So do anything that you can do to encourage your horse to drink.

These self fills are really wonderful because they can drink their fill without having to wait for the water to refill.

If you want to fill water buckets by hand, that's fine: some people like to do that because they want to be able to monitor how much water that their horse is actually drinking each day. So some people hang water buckets and some people have the big tubs on the ground.

I love these self fill deep water buckets. You don't have to worry about it ever being empty because it self fills. And it's deep enough that they can shove their whole face in it if they want and drink their fill.

So, you can see how wonderful this stall is.

This barn beds better than any barn I've ever been at.

On the topic of bedding: it's so hard for me to see horses that don't have bedding. I know a lot of the mare motels (the portable barns that people set up sometimes) will just put mats down.

But horses love to curl up in their shavings. They do, I'm sorry. I know it's considered a luxury, but horses want to curl up in their shavings. They don't want to lay on mats without shavings. So, if you can please give your horse some sort of a shaving for them to sleep in, even just a little tiny area so that when they lay down they can curl up, that would be fabulous.

They also like to pee in their shavings, otherwise, the pee splashes up on their legs and they don't like it. So if you give them shavings, it gives them a place to pee and they're much happier.

Obviously none of this has to do with horses living in pasture. If horses are living in a pasture, then they're laying out in the sand and the dirt and the grass, and that's absolutely wonderful. I'm discussing horses more in a performance horse type of environment.

The person who was here before put up one of these Himalayan Salt Blocks. Often my horses won't touch salt blocks at all. They just sit there forever. Sometimes horses actually eat them, which is too much salt. I find more often than not if your horse is getting enough salt in their diet, the salt block usually just sits there.

Let's head outside to the paddock.

Horses like to be able to walk outside when they feel like it. Some horses want to stand in the pouring rain: some love to stand in the pouring rain. Some horses want to bake in the sun. But horses want the option to walk outside. I do know of a barn that only had a 10x10 outdoor space. The horse could just walk outside into this small space. Well, guess what? Good enough, in my opinion. As long as they can step out of their box stall into an outdoor environment, I'm happy.

This stall is the biggest spot that we have in this row. I think it's a double: so it's 24 x 48.

On welded wire: we love it. I'm not sure who put the rubber mats up in this stall, but if horses kick the walls, you can put these rubber mats up and it protects not only the fence but it also protects the horse's body.

Welded wire is relatively new. The panels come with the welded wire already on there. It's much stronger, it doesn't break off and get dangerous the way that no climb fencing does.

(Helpful Hint: Give your horses neighbors! They want to be able to touch noses.)

Now, it doesn't matter your barn looks kind of shabby. We don't care. They're barns. It doesn't matter if things have gotten kind of beat up. It doesn't matter, as long as it's safe. And the welded wire is super safe.

These plastic pieces on the top of the fences? Those are for the hot wire. A lot of people do put the hot wire along the top to keep the horses from playing with each other too much. Some people put hot wire here [midway down the fence] if you want to keep your horses off your fences or if they're playing too hard.

You see how Dom is relaxed and happy out here. He can just sunbathe and chill out. So, I love these bedrooms. In my opinion: these are the ultimate bedrooms.

I think that's our segment on bedrooms - and we blended in a segment on water. I think that's good for now, and we'll see you next time!



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