Can my horses suffer emotionally when I have to house them for long periods in a stall in the dangerously inclement weather?
- Barry, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Yes they can. I call this Equine Cabin Fever (ECF).
Your horses suffer a great deal of stress from any confinement in varying degrees based on the length and type. Protracted stall confinement generates perhaps some of the most dangerous invisible stress and depression, and is the classic scenario for ECF. ECF is also a great inhibitor for the convalescing horse. Daily routines here only aid in the relentless focus to escape, these are the times when you need to get creative to alleviate this phenomenon.
Thanks for writing me,