Horses require friends, forage, and locomotion, and they require those essential needs 24/7. Of course, herds at pasture have all that, and it is our duty to make sure that stalled horses get as much of that as we can provide. For stalled horses, these natural circumstances must be re-created in the stable to maintain health, happiness, and sound athleticism. Stalled horses require miles of daily walking to maintain optimum health and performance.
Horses are happy to please horsefolk who know how to please horses.
All of the systems of the horse are dependent on abundant daily locomotion. Hoof integrity and health, respiratory and metabolic function, behavioral contentment, musculoskeletal health, respiratory health, digestive health, athletic ability, and trainability are all dependent on abundant locomotion, appropriate 24/7 forage availability, and friends.
Dr Gustafson is an equine veterinarian, veterinary behaviorist, and novelist. Applied veterinary behavior enhances optimum health, performance, soundness, contentment, and longevity in animal athletes. Natural approaches to development, training, nutrition, and conditioning sustain equine health and enhance performance. Behavioral and nutritional enrichment strategies enhance the lives of stabled horses. Training and husbandry from the horse's perspective result in content, cooperative horses. DrSid provides equine behavior consultations to help recreate the needs and preferences of horses in training and competition.