Batman’s natural luxury life
Ethical training methods, equal respect and harmony between horse and human are extremely important to me when I’m around Batman. But I’m only spending a couple of hours a day with him. How he lives when I’m not there is what matters the most. So, how does Batman live?
Since I got Batman in 2009, he has lived outside in a herd 24/7. I chose turnout over a traditional stable because horses are herd animals, they are made to wander many miles a day, and locking him up in a tiny stall was not even in our minds.
Since 2011, his home has been a lovely stable south of Oslo. He is living in a balanced herd with other mares and geldings, and he thrives. He is always down to earth when we are training, he is always coming to the gate to greet me and he is happy and calm. I LOVE being able to let him live like this, and I’m gladly traveling 3 hours every single day to cover Batman’s natural needs.
When I’m not in the stable, he is free to do as he pleases. He has free access to high quality haysilage, temperated water and shelter. He can walk among the trees and dig for roots, he can run around and play, he can go inside the shed and sleep in the soft bedding, he can eat, he can be social and interact with the other horses, and his needs for natural behavior are well covered. When I I arrives and he hear my voice, he will immediatly say bye to his buddies and walk towards me to greet me, not because he has been waiting for me all day, bored to hell, but because he wants to hang out with me.
«I think traditional stables where you place a 500 kg herd animal, a result of 45 million years of evolution, made for roaming free, in a 4×4 meter box for 12 hours a day will soon be old fashioned as we learn more about their natural needs.»
The modern way to keep horses will, hopefully soon, be in large paddock paradises. We don’t see boxes as cages, but many non-equestrians do. Horses will of course need time for themselves every now and then, and they need rest. Studies have shown that horses boarded traditionally rests more than horses in turnout, so we must find a good way to make sure the horses can lie down and rest when they need to. The area must be built in a way that makes it easy for the horses to have their own space, and rest without getting chased away or disturbed. But horses are made for movement, interaction with other horses, and a social life in a herd. In Norway, the normal is to keep the horse in a box, and the law only requires 2 hours outside in a paddock a day. That is, in my opinion, not a good life for any horse. We have no law on keeping horses together, and many live in isolation. Yes, horses are extremely adaptable animals, and they can get used to living in small paddocks without company. But that does not mean it is the best solution.
In Denmark, we can see a very positive trend; most young horses grow up in herds. I hope it will continue to develop this way, and other horses soon can run around, play, eat, sleep and interact on larger areas outside. The result will be more harmonic horses with a better health, both mentally and physically. We must listen to science when it comes to boarding horses in the future.
We must set the horse’s natural behavior as the priority number one, before of our own comfort. Horses that live in herds together with other horses, free to run around, play and eat when they needs to, will be more calm, relaxed and mentally balanced.
Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman & Matilde
10 thoughts on “Batman’s natural luxury life”
Skulle ønske det var flere gode uteganger som den dere står på her i Norge!
Utvalget av gode uteganger her i vestfold er ikke så stor i grunn. Noen er det jo, men de er ofte forbeholdt islandshester. De andre er ofte små med mye søle.
Bayda flyttet nå fra stall der hun stod mesteparten av døgnet i en liten boks og de timene hun stod ute var det i en luftegård som var litt større enn boksen (!), til der hun står nå med ja 12 timer ute i med to andre hestevenner, på fri tilgang til høy. De har dessverre ikke gigantisk plass nå på vinterhalvåret, men nok til at de kan løpe rundt og leke. Når sommeren kommer da er det utegang helt til september forhåpentligvis :)
Boksen hun har er heldigvis gigantisk og de har god fokus på velferd, noe som var veldig viktig for meg.
Skal sies at de har DEN fine utegangen der også, for islandshester, men det kommer hingst der. Håper ikke den skal stå så lenge, for da får vi kanskje flytte Bayda dit i steden. Det hadde vært drømmen!
Elsker hvordan Bat får ha det og hvor bevisst du er på at han skal ha det bra når du ikke er der. Det er så mange som glemmer det. Og med en så lest blogg får du jo spredd dette greit mye :D
Batman lives truly in a paradise! I agree you 100% and i wish all horses would live like that. My horse grew up in a herd 24/7 on a meadow until she came to me with 7 years. I wanted to keep this but it’s hard to find such a place… she was in a paddock with a meadow addicted nights during summer and in a box in winter for 8h, well not the best opportunity. She is now 24/7 outside but alone at night wich isn’t perfect neither (she has horses next to her) when i have the opportunity to drive to her alone (i don’t have a driving license yet i use the bike) i will change stable for some reasons.
here in America there are many stables that don’t afford horses any turn out at all
stalled all the time
it’s so sad
Oh my! That sounds horrible! Poor horsies :(
Oh Lord Cx I tried to reply to Callies comment, haha, but it seems like i didn’t Cx I want a yard with large meadows, that horses can run at, together in herds. But i do want a small stable, so that i can take my horsies in if it would be really really cold or be a storm. That is as much of a dreamplace to me as for the horses! C:
My mare has a huge in/out box and can be turned out into pasture. Being Andalusian, grass needs to be monitored because of their sensitivity to sugars in grass and it’s inflammatory results in their hooves. Also, there is big problem with herd bound issues that can be extremely dangerous for the rider. I say everything in moderation.
I agree with you ! My horse lives in herd 24/7 too and he is better like this.
Batman’s house is so cool and his pasture looks huge !
Hi Matilde! I agree with you 100% and that place looks like heaven! Do you travel 3 hours to see him everyday? Do you live far from your stables? That is so cool, I mean i’m sure it would be better if you had him on your backyard of course, but it’s really nice of you finding a suitable place for him even if it’s far away from you! :) I really like how you put your horse’s needs before your wants! Never change :)
Here in Finland paddocks are too small and horses cannot run around. If I get horse sometime, I wanna large paddock and herd with it.
Here in England there is no legal requirement for horses to be turned out at all, so many are kept in stables throughout the winter. I am lucky to have found a place where my horses can be out all year round all the time. We are seen as very unusual for wanting them to like like this!