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Using Horse Stalls or Pens Away From Home? 7 Tips to Keep Your Horse Comfortable & Safe

Last updated on May 31, 2024

Using Horse Stalls or Pens Away from Home? 7 Tips to Keep Your Horse Comfortable & Safe

Using horse stalls or pens that are not your own can be a little nerve-wracking for both the human and the horse. Horses are such creatures of habit that a whole new environment without their normal barn buddies, even for a night or two, can cause them immense stress. But with the nature of equine competitions, it’s usually an unavoidable part of competition season. Whether you have to stall away from home for a few nights, or a few weeks this summer, it’s important to make your horse as safe and comfortable as possible while they’re in unfamiliar territory.

So, we compiled a few reminders to make your travels more enjoyable for both you and your horse. Most of them might seem like common sense stuff, but they’re easy to look past or become complacent about. Plus, it never hurts to refresh your memory or get a new perspective right?


7 Things to Do When Using Unfamiliar Horse Stalls or Pens

1. Inspect the fence and all structures

  • Holes in fences or wires sticking out may SEEM innocent enough and like no big deal. But if a horse is put into “flight” mode unexpectedly, these “little things” can turn into big wounds that not only hurt your equine partner but can even ruin any chances of competition.

2. Inspect the ground, remove any debris, and fill in any holes.

  • If a stall or turnout has been used extensively by horses in the past, often there are holes that the previous occupant pawed out or even debris left behind.
  • Even little things like filling in holes or cleaning up piles of moldy hay can make a big difference in your horse’s health and safety while away from home.

3. Turn out during daylight hours if possible

  • Turning your horses into a new pasture or paddock can be fun- but it is also a new environment full of all new things to look at and spook about. Let your horse get familiar with their new surroundings while it’s still daylight to help them acclimate better. This may also help them get better rest away from home because they are already familiar with and comfortable in their new surroundings

4. Add plenty of padding to the floor of horse stalls

  • I don’t know about you, but nothing wears my legs out faster than having to stand or walk on concrete all day. There’s no question that concrete is hard on horses’ legs too. However, due to the nature of big events, sometimes having to stand or walk on lots of hard surfaces is unavoidable. Here are a few things to do to improve the flooring in horse stalls when away from home:
    • Bring portable rubber mats from home
    • Rent rubber mats if available
    • Pack plenty of shavings to fluff up their stall

5. Have clean water buckets

  • More than once in life, many experienced horsemen have been called “overprotective” or “crazy” for not allowing horses to drink from standing water troughs or share buckets with horses from different places. But the fact of the matter is that sharing water is an easy way to spread germs (including parasites)! Play it safe and have your horses drink from their own water buckets when away from home.

6. Improve the airflow in the horse stalls

  • Depending on the stalling situation, time of year, and weather, the air may not be flowing. If you’ve ever been in an enclosed barn with 1000 head of horse all stalling there for a week, you KNOW it stinks and is stuffy as all get out.
  • If that is the situation, try to get the air flowing with a box fan by the horse stalls.

7. Get them immune and stress support

  • Hauling and being away from home can really stress a horse out. And we all know what stress can cause (in humans AND horses)- illnesses and ulcers. So if you know you’ll be traveling a lot this summer, take preventive measures by boosting your horse’s immune system and getting their gut health in tip-top shape!
  • Our Immune Key supplement is packed with immune-boosting herbs like rosemary and mullein to keep the germs away and the respiratory system healthy.
  • In the Zone Paste coats the stomach to reduce the damage of acid to the lining and ease the nervous “butterfly” feelings. It will not make your horse drowsy or take away their power in the arena, just soothes their anxious tummy. Read more about it here.
  • These supplements work best when used in conjunction with Foundation Daily Detox and NuTrack Digestive Support!

Use Animal Element to Improve Health & Reduce Stress


Competing in rodeos, races, and shows can be super fun and exhilarating for all involved. But it can also add a ton of stress to your horse, especially if they’re using unfamiliar horse stalls. There is sometimes no getting around uncomfortable situations, but there are several things you can do to help make your horse feel safe and secure away from home. And when they’re relaxed, you can relax a little more too!

If you need to load up on Immune Key and In the Zone calming paste, you can conveniently order straight from our website. If you want to fortify your horse’s mental and physical health even more, contact Mark Kaylor about getting a stellar deal on our Foundation Daily Detox and NuTrack Digestive Support bundle. He can be reached at (509) 301-1798.