Location, location, location. Don’t overlook this tenet of the real estate industry when choosing a stall for an anxious horse. Where a stall is situated in a barn‚ relative to others, can make a huge difference in a horse’s mental well-being.
For instance, a horse who gets upset when isolated will likely do better in a stall right next to the tack room or wash stall, where he can view the barn activities and interact with visitors. A less social horse, in contrast, might find a stall at a quieter corner of the barn more hospitable.
Also consider a horse’s quirks, beyond his overall personality, when considering stall locations. A horse who gets anxious at feeding time may be better off in a stall far from where the grain is stored. That way he is less likely to hear the rattle of every scoop as meals are prepared.
Neighbors matter, too: An anxious eater will appreciate living next to horses who don’t paw or kick shared walls as they eat. It may take some experimentation to find the right combination of stall location and neighbors to ease a particular horse’s anxiety.
Once you find where a sensitive horse feels most at home in your barn, try to not change his living situation. Having the same stall and neighbors will be a source of calm and comfort to him, especially if other things change in his life.
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