Something we need to consider when our horses are stabled is what and how we feed them. Think about how the horse eats and drinks in the wild. Here they graze for up to sixteen hours a day, eating grass growing on the ground. In contrast we often feed concentrates at set meal times and provide hay in nets tied to the wall at head height. This is not natural for horses and can lead to tooth and digestive problems. It is far better to provide food at floor level for indoor horses, with a good supply of hay that they can graze on throughout the day. Water too should be at floor level and it is best if it is given in a bucket, rather than a self-refilling trough. This means that the guardian can keep an eye on their horse’s water consumption which can be an indicator of their general health.
Hard feed is often high in sugar (even, sometimes, the ones that claim to be suitable for laminitic horses) and in chemicals such as mould inhibitors and preservatives. These can be harmful to a horse’s digestive and metabolic systems and should be avoided. You can find organic feeds through Thunderbrook’s, Simple System Ltd, The Pure Feed Company and others.
Another point I’d like to mention here is that much of the pasture land that we have here in the UK is actually designed for fattening livestock for market. It is often high in sugars which can lead to laminitis and other metabolic diseases (you can read more about this in another blog post, here). A horse’s natural diet is actually made of tough ‘old’ grasses, more like those found in wild meadows. Also the chemicals that are often used on pasture and surrounding farmland are toxic and can affect horses’ health. It is therefore best to source hay made from unfertilised, unsprayed meadow grasses.
Horses will also appreciate having things to do. This could include:
- spending time with his buddies in the field
- playing in an arena or school
- going for walks to explore the local area
- browsing in the hedgerows
- (see this article for information on plants and herbs)
- being groomed by their guardian.
When they are on their own in the stable it can be a good idea to leave toys for them to investigate so that they have mental stimulation. Anything new should be introduced sensitively and of course it must be safe to leave with an unsupervised horse.
Taking the time to empathise with your horse will help you to develop a deeper understanding, and thus a closer relationship with this amazing animal. They in turn will respond as your communication becomes clearer, and they will thrive in this richer environment.
(You can read this article in full here)
- What Horses Say: How to Hear, Help and Heal Them – Anna Clemence Mews and Julie Dicker
My journey into working in the field of Wellbeing began when I joined an online course in Evolutionary Enlightenment. This caused me to take a hard look at my life – my career, my direction, my purpose – and question whether or not it was really right for me. The answer was No. I was lost, struggling and unhappy.
Searching for something that would resonate for me and that would support my need to grow, I started learning Reiki which, in a roundabout way, led me back to one of my passions: animals. Horses in particular hold a very special place in my heart. I love supporting owners to explore their horse’s physical and emotional needs.
I went on to study Energy Healing, Emotional Freedom Techniques and META-Health because I also love supporting other women who are experiencing similar experiences of stress and overwhelm. I love holding a safe space where they can discover that they have always had choices and the power to make their own decisions.
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