Why Do We Turnout Horses?

Horses are designed to walk up to 20 miles a day for food and water, so it is important for their health and well-being that they get time out of their stalls every day.

What are some benefits of turnout?

Hoof and Leg Health

Blood circulation is very important for hoof and leg health. Allowing the horse to go out and move around will improve hoof growth and strength and prevent the horse from stocking-up (a condition where the legs swell, usually below the knee).

Boredom

Horses are intelligent herd animals. If they are kept in a stall for a long time, they will become bored and frustrated. They may find ways to amuse themselves by chewing stall walls which could turn into a bad habit called Cribbing. Cribbing is where the horse puts his front teeth onto an upright object like a stall door or rail and arches his neck while breathing in. The horse may also start kicking the stall walls or stall walk. Stall walking is where the horse continually paces around the inside of the stall. Turnout lets the horse move and play in fresh air.

Companionship

Horses are herd animals. Turnout lets the horses to socialize and helps their mental health.

Behavior

A bored, energetic horse will find new and creative ways to entertain themselves and may begin to act out when being groomed, tacked or ridden. Turn-out allows the horse time to move around and burn off excess energy. A horse who has regular turnout may be easier to handle and ride.