How Long Should a Horse Be Kept in a Stable? (+Stable Size Guide)

Horses are creatures of habit and routine, so it’s no surprise that at some points stables do the best for a horse. Stables are also beneficial in that they help the horse recover from certain injuries or diseases, protect the horse from bad weather, and give them a place to rest.

However, horses should not be kept in stables all the time. They need to be able to roam and graze as well in order to stay healthy. So how long should a horse be kept in a stable?

Ideally, a horse should only be kept in a stable for 8-10 hours per day(during the night time). For the other 16 hours, the horse should be allowed to roam freely. This way, the horse can get the exercise it needs and graze on the grass to maintain a healthy diet.

Of course, there may be times when a horse needs to be kept in a stable for longer periods of time.

For example, if the weather is extremely cold or hot, the horse may need to be kept in a stable to protect it from extreme conditions. Or, if the horse is injured or sick, it may need to be kept in a stable for treatment.

In these cases, the horse should only be kept in the stable for as long as necessary.

Is it cruel to keep a horse stable?

Keeping the horses in stables might or may or may not be cruel, depending on how comfortable the environment you offer. Keeping the horses in private and small stables can affect their mental health.

Some people may think that it is cruel to keep a horse in a stable, but there are many reasons why it is necessary.

For one, horses are very social animals and need to be around other horses.

If a horse is kept in a pasture by itself, it will likely become lonely and stressed. Additionally, horses are prey animals and feel much safer when they are in an enclosed space.

Stables also provide a place for horses to get out of the weather. In hot weather, horses can get very sweaty and in cold weather, they can get hypothermia.

There are many benefits to keeping a horse in a stable, but it is important to make sure that the horse has enough space to move around and that the stable is clean. If a horse is kept in a small space or in a dirty environment, it can become very stressed and unhealthy.

Advantages of keeping a horse in a stable

Of course, there must be some reasons why stables are necessary for horses, and you should also have one (at least). In this section, I’m sharing the reasons and advantages of keeping the horse in a stable.

1. Stables offer protection

Horses are big animals, and they need protection from different elements just like we do. Stables offer horses a safe place to be out of the wind, rain, and snow.

They also protect horses from biting insects and dangerous animals. In addition, stable walls help to block out the sun’s harmful UV rays.

2. Place of comfort and warmth

Stables are comfortable and provide a warm place for horses to rest. Horses like to be in a stall where they can lay down, sleep, and eat in peace.

And make sure a horse’s stall should be large enough for him to lie down and move around comfortably.

Moreover, horses that are kept in a stable are generally less stressed than those that are kept in a pasture. This is because they don’t have to worry about being attacked by predators or being chased by other horses.

They can relax in their stall and eat or drink when they’re thirsty or hungry.

3. Convenience for the owner

Another best part is; stables offer convenience to the owners. Compared to the un-stabled horses, stabled horses are cleaner, healthier, and more accessible to ride on. Also, you won’t need to run after them at the end of the day to close in the shelters.

4. Socialization

Like dogs, horses are also social animals. Whether kept with human companions or their type, they love hanging around. Communal stables let the horses spend time with each other, strengthen their bond, and improve mental health.

5. Stable also Helps to control diet

Being a horse owner, you must know how irritating it is when you leave the food outside, and the horses overeat it, ruining their health. Restricting the horses in the stables prevents overheating issues and maintains diet control.

When and why horses should not be kept in stalls(disadvantages & tips)

Despite being familiar with the advantages of keeping the horses installed, there are some restrictions which you need to know. We have discussed this many times; everything sounds sensible when used or practiced within a limit. Overuse always brings trouble.

Here, I’m highlighting the disadvantages of keeping the horses in the stalls for longer periods or when they don’t need to be.

1. Can make horses lazy

Assume yourself in the picture. How will you be if you have to stay in the room 24/7? Of course, a lazy bean. An inactive lifestyle not only makes humans lazy but also animals.

Allow the horses to roam around in the field during the daytime instead of being locked in the stable.

2. Mentally inactive

What one will get on staring at the wall all the time? Interaction with nature keeps the minding active for better development. In the light of the latest survey, horses spending a major part of their day in the stalls are less active than horses roam freely in the field, experiencing different activities.

3. Lungs disease

Accept the fact! Horse stables offer poorer ventilation. The continuous suffocation can cause ammonia and other respiratory tract diseases. If you can’t let the horses open in the field, make sure the ventilation in stables is rich to prevent lung diseases.

4. Higher maintenance cost

This factor is a major concern for the horse owner. After installing stalls in the field, you will need to save extra for maintenance and cleaning. Monthly fumigations are also required to prevent air-borne diseases.

Horse stable Size guide:

It is extremely important that horse owners provide their horse with a stable that is the right size. If a horse’s stable is too small, the horse may become anxious and stressed. If a horse’s stable is too large, the horse may become bored.

For a 17hh horse, the most recommended stall size is 12 x 14 feet. At this size, the horse lies down effortlessly- and even can turn around comfortably.

For a horse that is 15hh, the recommended stall size is 10 x 12 feet.

For a horse that is 14hh, the recommended stall size is 9 x 10 feet.

For a horse that is 13hh, the recommended stall size is 8 x 9 feet.

It is important to keep in mind that these are just recommendations, and horse owners should always take their horse’s individual needs into account when choosing a stable size.


Should horses be stabled at night?

Horses should be stabled at night if they are not used to being outside. If the horse is used to being outside, they do not need to be stabled at night. However, they should have a shelter to go to in case of bad weather.

Stabling horses at night helps to protect them from predators and gives them a place to sleep. It also helps to keep them clean and dry.

Horses that are stabled at night should be given a hay rack and a water bucket. They should also be checked on regularly to make sure they are OK.

Do horses like to be stabled?

Some horses do not like to be stabled, while others do. It depends on the horse’s personality. Some horses like being in a stable because it is quiet and they can relax. Other horses do not like being confined and prefer to be outside.

If a horse does not like being stable, you may need to try different things to make them feel more comfortable. You can try putting a blanket on them, giving them a nice stall, or putting a fan in their stall.

Do horses get bored in stables?

Horses can get bored in stables, especially if they are not used to being inside. This can lead to horses being destructive or getting sick.

To prevent this, you should give your horse things to do in their stall. This can include hanging a hay net, giving them a salt block, or putting a toy in their stall.

You should also make sure that your horse has regular exercise. This will help to keep them healthy and happy.

What does a horse need in a stable?

A horse needs a place to eat, a place to sleep, and a place to drink in a stable. They also need plenty of room to move around.

The horse should also have a place to put its head down. This can be a stall, a manger, or a hay rack.

The horse’s stall should be cleaned out regularly. The horse should also have fresh water and hay available at all times.


When it comes to horse care, providing a stable that is the right size is extremely important. How long horses are kept in stable and the size of a horse’s stable can impact the horse’s health and wellbeing.

Horse owners should always take their horse’s individual needs, physical, and mental health into account when choosing a stable size, when, and how long you should keep them in the stable.

The above guide can be used as a general guide, but ultimately horse owners should make the best decision for their horse.