It was 0 degrees this morning here in VA when I let my horses out of their stalls. That was a mere two hours ago and since then the temperature has risen to only 9 degrees. I am not sure if it was the frigid air or from being in a stall all night, but all three horses were feeling very frisky. I had to laugh out loud at my big boy Diablo who was jumping straight up in the air with all four hooves. He reminded me of what one might see at a Rodeo in bareback bronco riding. Head down, back arched, and ejecting himself straight up into the air. He was such a funny sight.
Now to get to the heart of this post. I was wondering what others thought about stalling up their horses when the weather is so frigid like we have been having. My thought process (or maybe lack of thought) has been to try to think like the horse. It’s cold outside and wouldn’t a horse be more comfortable in a nice stall with clean bedding, fresh water, and plenty of hay in a net for the night.
Why do I put up my horses every night and let them out during the days? The reason I keep telling myself is because I do it for the good of the horse. All three horses were overweight when allowed to graze freely going into the winter months. Since stalling them at night and feeding hay only at nights (except for the past two days when temps have been just above 0) I have been able to get them back into shape. I choose to put them up at nights instead of days because I am away at work during the day. If they are going to get into trouble in their stall then I want to be around to intervene. Also with my work schedule it is easier to just turn them out in the mornings and leave all the mucking and feeding until the evenings.
Am I the only person that stalls their horses in this manner? Am I doing what is best for my horses or am I just trying to be controlling and micromanaging as the wife accuses me of doing so often?