The Short Answer

The Horse‘s Needs

  1. Water: Horses need permanent access to fresh water.

  2. Food: Horses need small portions of quality food offered continuously to keep their delicate stomachs healthy.

  3. Fresh air: Horses need to breath fresh air to keep their lungs clean and working.

  4. Climate stimuli: Horses need to be exposed to all kinds of weather to keep their immune system strong.

  5. Company: Horses need social interaction with other horses to feel safe and to stay mentally stable.

  6. Space: Horses need to move as much as possible to keep their muscoloskeletal system going.

The Rider‘s Requirements

About the horse and its keeping

  1. Healthy and motivated horse in good condition and optimal weight

  2. Enough exercise for the horse together with social contact resulting in an even-tempered mind

  3. High quality food at stomach-friendly and therefore horse-friendly feeding intervals

  4. Health management and routine check-ups for every horse

About the stable and facilities

  1. Dry walking areas for the horses

  2. Dry and soft bedding area in clean air

  3. Safe and stable fences and surroundings

  4. Constructional equipment and training facilities

About the human side

  1. Stable community with like-minded horse people

  2. Trust in the stable management and workers

  3. Welcoming atmosphere

  4. Time flexibility (no pressure to come and exercise the horse every day at specific hours)

The Long Answer

My Horses‘ Attitude towards Life

Like all living beings, Ionait and Seurari are both a lovely combination of good and bad features. But their most prominent attribute is „clever laziness“. This means that they will always use their (considerable) brains first, before they will swing into action. Honestly, in most cases, they don‘t swing at all, because they think it‘s not worth the effort and they don‘t like to waste their energy.

The good side: They are absolute trustworthy for beginning riding students and they are easy keepers.

The bad side: They get easily fat and bored.

This „clever laziness“ leads to the following behaviour in a normal stable: They eat their food inside the box. Then they get out where they position themselves as near to the exit as possible. There, they wait for the next meal to come and then for the caretaker to take them back inside, where they eat again. Left by themselves, they stand around and conserve energy or they spend their brains on inventing new ways to find more food, i.e. breaking the fences. 

My Own Needs

First and above all, I want riding to be fun! To me, this Fun is like a big puzzle with many elements. Some elements, like the weather are out of my control, so I don‘t bother. Other elements depend on me, like my daily experiences and moods and I am responsible for them. Still other elements depend on the horses well-being like their food intake and their social life. 

My perfect time at the stable looks about like this: I come to the stable, quickly pick one horse from the pasture, enjoy brushing them and have a nice little chat with another horse lover about the latest news of the horse world. I get my equipment from the tack room for what ever I feel up to do today and leave for a nice time in the fields / for some dressage work on the arena / for some horsemanship exercises in the Round Pen. My horse is in good condition and mood (i.e. enough energy for work but no frightening „outbursts“) and therefore, we have a good time together. Whenever we are done, horse gets a carrot and it‘s the second candidate‘s turn. Or maybe only the carrot for the second one.

There are two aspects that are really important to me:

  1. 1.I want to come to see my horses because I‘m looking forward to it. Not because I must check if they got their food / their minerals / their blankets / their turnout ...

  2. 2.I want to ride my horses whenever I‘m looking forward to it. Whenever it‘s „one of those days“ (bad hair day, sick kids, tax declaration deadline, fruitless discussions with a service hotline, you name it...), I MIGHT NOT WANT TO RIDE. And I don‘t want to feel bad about it („they really should get the exercise otherwise they get sick / bored / break the fences ...“).

In addition, there are also some concerns for my horses working in the riding school: Being a school horse is both a physical and mental challenge. For carrying learning riders with the not-yet-perfect seat, they need a very good condition to compensate for any bumps the riders causes unintentionally. They also need the mental strength to forgive wrong aids and to listen hard to any correct ones. I need my horses to do their best in the riding lesson, therefore, I want my horses to be able to relax in their free time - again, physically and mentally.

What is an Active Stable?

My short answer: The Active Stable is a compromise between my horses‘ needs and my own requirements as a rider. For my long answer, I have to explain a little bit about my horses‘ attitude towards life and my own needs in everyday life with my horses.

Read more about how the Active Stable is realised in Koivikon Hevoshaka here.