Horses are not 100% like humans. Horses cannot sit around without doing anything. We can just sit and watch TV or perhaps, stare into space whenever boredom strikes. Imagine yourself being confined in a box, giving you enough space to lie down, get up and turn around. That is the usual scenario for a stabled horse and they are forced to live this way, which is totally foreign to what they usually do in the wild.
Though you may have a domesticated animal in your backyard, they still possess their natural instincts, which they have inherited from their ancestors. Wild horses run freely and may even travel about 10 miles each day stopping to graze for up to 18 hours. They can also roam around to find waterholes to drink from; they play, move around, and also balance the activity with periods of rest.
Many people would justify that stabled horses are well cared for. They are provided with food, water and shelter and most people think that it’s okay to keep them confined. Some would even say it’s perfectly fine because the horses get enough exercise and they are even fed with hay. These are some of the statements you would most likely hear at racetracks or at the show arena. The horses that are bred for show or for racing are often confined in stalls, fearing that they might injure themselves when allowed to run around freely on pasture. As a result from being confined for longer periods of time, horses get bored and ultimately they would crib, bite and chew wood, and develop behavioural and digestive problems in general.
Keeping your horse healthy is not only aimed towards physical aspects; the mental aspects should be addressed as well. Here are some of the tips you can use to keep boredom from your horses.
- Allow your horse to have a turnout preferably in pasture. This would allow your horse to have a bigger space to run around in instead of a small area big enough just to turn around.
- Horses prefer to eat most of the time. If your horse is overweight, consider giving him forage present in grass or high-quality hay. Grass is the perfect food for horse and hay only comes second.
- Horses subject to competition are often stressed animals. For humans, it could be stressful as well to prepare for a big event. When a horse is under stress, the risk for digestive ulcers developing is high. Keep your normal routine even before a show. Giving horse ulcer treatment will help for stressed or “hot” horses.
- Medications may not always be helpful. If your horse does not need it, don’t give it. Medications like NSAIDs are often given to horses for pain but using them excessively may only contribute to ulcers in horses.
Ulcers are a common condition in horses, and if your horse gets bored, the ulcer condition may be the end result. Keep your horse busy to avoid behavioural problems as well as health problems such as ulcers. If you have to treat and prevent ulcers in horses, get the best savings from and treat with AbGard Stable Pack oral paste.