If you live in an area where you have long winter seasons then you will agree that your horses will be inside longer.
Signs of stall boredom can include; chewing the wood in the stall, stamping feet, increase in aggressive behavior towards you or other horses in the barn, nippiness.
If you live in an area where you get a lot of snow it is likely that you won’t be doing a lot of riding. There are things you can do during the winter months that will exercise you and your horse and help take up your horse’s mind.
Going for Walks
Horses love to go for walks. If you have a plowed driveway or even a sidewalk that you can use you can take your horse out for a stroll. Horse’s love the snow and they like digging in the snow for grass. If you are turning out in a paddock that doesn’t have a lot of growth walk you horse around an area that has tall grass sticking out of the snow. They will love it!!! This activity helps keep the horse/person bond alive during the months you can’t ride as much.
If you buy stall toys I would recommend a toy that you can refill with a flavor. Likits are great because not only can your horse move it around with their head but they can enjoy the taste of many flavors. Because horse’s get bored very quick this gives them something new to taste with each refill.
Another thing you can do is take old laundry or milk plastic containers. Wash them out then fill them with horse treats. punch holes in the bottom big enough so that the treat will fall through but not too big so that all the treats will come tumbling out. This will give y our horse hours of entertainment. This is especially useful for a horse that gets nervous in storms as it keeps them busy.
Visiting with your horse
Horses like company and not just of the equine type either. Sitting with your horse in the stall is a great way to spend some quality time together. This is also good because you don’t want your horse associating seeing you with work. If you only see your horse when you want to ride then you may find it hard to catch your horse as they will associate the site of you with work.
Ground Work in a Plowed Area
You might not be able to ride but you don’t need a lot of area to do some ground work with your horse. You can work on basic showmanship commands such as forward, stop, backup and pivot in a small area. This is great because it keeps you horse use to being handled and also gives you the jump on getting them ready for Spring shows.
Radio in your Barn
Horses’ s love the radio. It is soothing for them especially if you can find a channel that plays soft rock. Heavy metal is out! Haha.
Some people even bring their Cd players to the barn and play relaxation music or chakra music for their horses. It is very cleansing