I am going to tell you my opinion and the information I used to form it. There are certain situations that will require different living arrangements for some horses and circumstances. For simplicity, I will only be addressing healthy horses without special circumstances.
Remember, I know this isn't always possible for PLENTY of reasons. This is just the ideal situation for a healthy horse.
24/7 turn-out with a buddy is great for several reasons.
- Continuous grazing. This is so important for proper digestive function and prevention of ulcers. The act of grinding grass triggers the production of natural buffers that keep the stomach lining protected.
- Continuous movement. The ability for your horse to be moving freely is FANTASTIC for their circulation and can prevent stocking up (or other swelling). This also supports proper digestive function.
- Social interaction. Horses are very social creatures. They are herd animals and there can be serious emotional and behavioral (sometimes even physical) consequences for keeping them secluded. Plus, there really isn't anything cuter than 2 horses playing and loving on each other.
- Emotional well-being. Being confined in a stall (especially in a busy barn) can be very stressful- no matter how many "fun" toys you provide.
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