The Value of Turnout

Horses are a herd animal and their bodies are designed to be on the move. I try to keep my horses on turnout as much as I possibly can. It’s the best thing for them because they don’t develop bad habits and they’re just happier in general.

The more you put a horse in a confined area and don’t give him the opportunity to socialize with other horses and interact with them like he normally would in a herd environment, the horse has to find a way to deal with that stress. A lot of horses deal with that stress by developing stall vices – weaving, cribbing, stall walking, pawing, etc. – to stimulate their brain.

In a perfect world, we would all have 40 acres for our horses to run across, but the world isn’t perfect. You may live in the city or be at a boarding facility where turnout isn’t an option. If that’s the case, try to have stalls that are open on at least two sides so that horses can see and touch each other. You’ll find that open stalls will help to keep the horses content and their anxiety and stress down because horses are a herd animal – they’re meant to be running around, interacting with one another. When we isolate them, we add stress to their lives. If they can see and touch each other while they’re stalled, it makes a big difference to them emotionally.

About Clinton Anderson
Born and raised in Australia, Clinton grew up with a love of horses. Although he lived in the city with his father, Rob, mother, Cheryl, and sister, Andrea, he looked forward to the weekends he got to spend on his grandparent’s farm where his grandmother would give him rides on her old Thoroughbred mare. By the age of 12, he began playing polocrosse and was eventually chosen for a national team representing his state.
In 2001, he became the first clinician to create a made-for-TV horse training program that aired on RFD-TV. The use of untrained horses and a variety of topics covering common problems faced by horse owners quickly made Downunder Horsemanship the network’s number one equine program. Nearly 15 years after establishing Downunder Horsemanship, Clinton continues to instruct horsemanship clinics, presents Walkabout Tours across the country, produces two television shows, hosts an internet TV website and is constantly creating comprehensive study kits and training tools to make learning horsemanship as accessible and easy as possible. Clinton and Downunder Horsemanship are recognized as world leaders in the equestrian industry and continue to offer the very best in innovation, inspiration and instruction.