A horse’s happiness is opposite a humans happiness. Horses want space, friends and routine. Humans want convenience, cleanliness and fancy.
Horses are content in a large pasture, a good muddy area to roll, clean water isn’t always top of their list they sometimes prefer puddles or ponds over a clean water bucket. This is because they get added minerals in the dirty water. It’s not the kind of dirty that will hurt them they are smart and can sense harmful presence in their environment and will steer clear. Some horse’s won’t drink city water because the smell of chemicals, yet we see it as clean and filtered and safe. Maybe we should take notes from the horse? Just a thought. Too over filtered or too much chlorine isn’t good for anyone and the horse’s naturally know this. Don’t drink out of the pond by any means, we are sissy’s in comparison to animals systems. That being said, horse prefer to live simply yet they look forward to your visits and company because they are herd animals. Visit often even if you can’t ride.
A humans perspective of happiness in the sense of barn and stable conditions are ridiculous but for good reason. Our world revolves around the all mighty dollar. We would bubble wrap our horse’s if it meant they stayed unscathed. But a bubble wrapped horse is not a happy horse. Stalls, cement isles, feedings twice a day, over vaccinating, over feeding of supplements, hard work, sharp turns and extensive athletic demands are part of our horse happiness. Not theirs.
Horse’s can do many things with amazing agility and talent but asking them to do so too much will hurt them down the road. I’ve heard many horse body workers say “if a horse is worked in a straight line I’d be out of a job”. This means the circles we make them do and tight turns on barrels or cutting or roping and reining causes the horse’s added strain and needing to be adjusted more often to keep them comfortable and healthy.
Just keep in mind next time you’re looking for horse accommodations, think of what your horse would be shopping for as well so you both stay happy and remain a well communicated team.