Stall vs Pasture Board

Horse in green pasture

So you have a horse. Now where to keep him? Every “horse” kid dreams of having their horse in their back yard someday. While that is a great dream there is a lot to conceder when it comes to where your horse is going to live. With any choice you have to make the best bet is to educate yourself on the in's and out's of what you are deciding on. When it comes to where there are two basic choices, pasture or stall board? Yes there are variations on that, and some places cover both, out during the day and in a stall at night, but what really does it come down to? Hopeful this will help to straighten out any questions you might have on Stall or Pasture board?

Stall and pasture board are like night and day. So the basic’s, pasture board is where your horse lives outside in a fence enclosed area with other horses, they can be out all day and night, or come in at night or any variations of out and in. Stall board is where your horse does not go outside in a pasture(with exception to exercise time and when you are riding). With that out of the way we can move on to the differences.

Horses are herbivores that tend to eat a good portion of their day in wild situations. Being in a pasture recreates the foraging that occurs in the wild. Horses that are in pastures are often kept with other horses which further helps a horses mental well being as horses are herd animals and can often be come upset when alone if not used to it. Pasture board is a great option for a horse owner as there is little clean up on the part of the owner other than cleaning the horse its self. The horse is free range and free to drink water provided and food at its leisure. The draw backs of pasture life is that horses that tend to be overweight can easily do so on the fresh grass in the pasture. Horses are also exposed to the elements, mud and other horses. It is also harder to monitor a horse that is ill or needs special care when they are out in pasture.

Stall boarding has its positives and negatives as well. A stalled horse must be worked or let out daily to prevent boredom, and bad habits from forming. Also a stall must be cleaned with some regularity. Horses that are sick, ill or seniors tend to better in stalls as you can control their food intake and monitor their behavior and out put easier. The down side of stalled horses is that there is no social aspect to the horses life. Horses often exhibit nervousness and bad behavior such as cribbing, wood chewing, and pacing when changing them from pasture to stall life. Horses that are stalled often have toys, salt blocks in the stall to provide some entertainment, but the biggest is from rider interaction. Horses that are stalled need daily rider interaction, to clean, feed, exercise, and be the social interaction for that day.

So which is better? It truly depends on each individual situation and horse. For some having their horses stalled is the only way. In larger cities where space is a premium you will find most have stalled horses with minimal turn out time. Once you move away from the cities, and more land is available you will find more horses boarded in pastures. With each person, horse and location the needs and requirements change. Making that choice is a personal one. Do you homework, test the grass in the field, read the label on the grain bag at the barn. The best decision is the one that will benefit the horse the most.

So you have a horse. Now where to keep him? Every “horse” kid dreams of having their horse in their back yard someday. While that is a great dream there is a lot to conceder when it comes to where your horse is going to live. With any choice you have to make the best bet is to educate yourself on the in's and out's of what you are deciding on. When it comes to where there are two basic choices, pasture or stall board? Yes there are variations on that, and some places cover both, out during the day and in a stall at night, but what really does it come down to? Hopeful this will help to straighten out any questions you might have on Stall or Pasture board?

Stall and pasture board are like night and day. So the basic’s, pasture board is where your horse lives outside in a fence enclosed area with other horses, they can be out all day and night, or come in at night or any variations of out and in. Stall board is where your horse does not go outside in a pasture(with exception to exercise time and when you are riding). With that out of the way we can move on to the differences.

Horses are herbivores that tend to eat a good portion of their day in wild situations. Being in a pasture recreates the foraging that occurs in the wild. Horses that are in pastures are often kept with other horses which further helps a horses mental well being as horses are herd animals and can often be come upset when alone if not used to it. Pasture board is a great option for a horse owner as there is little clean up on the part of the owner other than cleaning the horse its self. The horse is free range and free to drink water provided and food at its leisure. The draw backs of pasture life is that horses that tend to be overweight can easily do so on the fresh grass in the pasture. Horses are also exposed to the elements, mud and other horses. It is also harder to monitor a horse that is ill or needs special care when they are out in pasture.

Stall boarding has its positives and negatives as well. A stalled horse must be worked or let out daily to prevent boredom, and bad habits from forming. Also a stall must be cleaned with some regularity. Horses that are sick, ill or seniors tend to better in stalls as you can control their food intake and monitor their behavior and out put easier. The down side of stalled horses is that there is no social aspect to the horses life. Horses often exhibit nervousness and bad behavior such as cribbing, wood chewing, and pacing when changing them from pasture to stall life. Horses that are stalled often have toys, salt blocks in the stall to provide some entertainment, but the biggest is from rider interaction. Horses that are stalled need daily rider interaction, to clean, feed, exercise, and be the social interaction for that day.

So which is better? It truly depends on each individual situation and horse. For some having their horses stalled is the only way. In larger cities where space is a premium you will find most have stalled horses with minimal turn out time. Once you move away from the cities, and more land is available you will find more horses boarded in pastures. With each person, horse and location the needs and requirements change. Making that choice is a personal one. Do you homework, test the grass in the field, read the label on the grain bag at the barn. The best decision is the one that will benefit the horse the most.