Why we keep our horses as we do!
Most humans think fancy barns with fancy stalls are a great way to keep a horse. However; nothing is further from the truth. Yes, they need shelter but only when they choose it. They do not like the same things humans like but many choose to force it upon them.
In the natural world, before man intervened horses were always on the move. It kept them mentally and physically healthy. Since that is not possible we try to duplicate that on the land (108 acres) we have available. The paddocks (sacrifice areas) provide food, water, and shelter. When weather permits we turn the horses out to pasture. Wet weather conditions do not permit them out as the horses would destroy their pastures we work so hard to maintain for them. Horses eat approximately 17 hours a day. We provide them with high quality grain and hay, which they have access to 24/7 to supplement them while they can not be out on pasture.
Horses, in our opinion, are not happy being locked up in a 12’x12′ stall. They start to develop all sorts of mental and physical problems. Stalls to horses are compared to prison cells for humans. What is the worse punishment man bestows on man besides death? Solitary Confinement. Nothing to do besides stare at a wall. Horses are herd animals, they need to move and have their friends about, much like humans. They need to engage in “mutual grooming” rubs and chews upon each other much like we shake hands.
No, trying to duplicate the natural world is not pretty, we get muddy, horses and paddocks get muddy and full of manure but, that is the cost of freedom for them!
The cost of freedom is not free. Some give their all, some do nothing but sit on their couch or computer and complain about how they think it should be. Horses don’t understand why their food is late or water bucket isn’t filled just because of the weather. To those who are brave enough, NO STRONG enough, we welcome you to come out in the hot summers. cold winters, rain, and snow, 7 days a week, work with our volunteers and make a difference in the life of America’s horses!