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Harmony in the Herd


If you’ve ever kept a horse on pasture full-time, you may have noticed he’s calmer and more relaxed to ride than when kept in a stall, and his muscles stay fitter and looser from moving around all day. Although there may be occasional nicks and scratches from playful herd mates to contend with, many horse owners feel the trade-off is well worthwhile.

Here are some strategies you can you use to improve safety while still allowing horses to live naturally in a group.


Before any horse is turned out in a pasture or dry lot, both the fencing and the interior area need to be safe. When possible, use fencing designed for horses. It must be material that won’t break, splinter or develop sharp projections; that won’t entrap a foot or leg; that has enough height to deter a horse from trying to jump out; and that is highly visible. Other fencing safety measures include:

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Horse Illustrated September 2019,