Call on horse sport and animal organizations to condemn excessive stalling for horses

Call on horse sport and animal organizations to condemn excessive stalling for horses

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Katherine E. started this petition to United States Equestrian Federation and

In the equestrian world, it commonplace for riders to keep their horses in stalls for hours and hours a day. A “stall” is a small space (typically 10 x 10 feet or 12 x 12 feet) where a horse is kept. Stalls have been proven many times over by countless scientific studies to be greatly harmful to a horse’s health, both mentally and physically, and it is also common sense that no animal should be kept in such a small space for hours on end. The negative effects include depression, aggression, hyperactivity, and unpredictable behavior due to poor mental health, weaker joints and bones, digestive issues and negative respiratory health from inhaling dust. Horses are extremely social animals and need to live with others, not be locked in a stall with boarded up walls where they can’t see their fellows. They are also extremely active animals that need space to move around and play. Colic, an acute digestive condition, is the number one killer of horses besides old age, and the changes of colic increase drastically the longer a horse is stalled. Due to frustration, boredom and anxiety from stalling, about 30% of all domestic horses display stereotypic behaviors such as chewing on the walls, throwing their heads up and down, and walking in endless circles. If any other animal was kept in a stall, the owner would be charged with animal neglect, but horse owners get a pass. The equestrian community historically has been lacking in its stance against animal cruelty- governing bodies such as the USEF and FEI have refused to comment on past abuses. Stalling is by far the most widespread cruelty to horses, so I am calling on both equestrian organizations and animal advocacy groups to take a stand to spread awareness about the equestrian world’s greatest shame. Thank you for reading.

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