How has horse breeding changed?

When a horse senator steps onto the feed platform, a slider opens in the front area. Access to the hay is free, and the animal begins to eat. Even with concentrated feed like

Movement and communication with other horses is important

“It’s a horse farm, not a riding stable,” says Volker Petzold, who runs the farm in the Ahausen-Eversen community with his team. “The horse should feel good.” Then the person should also feel satisfied. The farm owns a total of 24 hectares, where about 50 private horses are housed and cared for for a fee.

In addition to the motion stables, pastures, and exercise areas, there is a riding hall, riding arena, throwing rink, and 20 barn-horse crates with a small fenced outdoor area. The horses that stand there go out every day to the pastures. From the perspective of the 59-year-old farm owner, movement, light, variety and contact with other horses are very important in horse breeding.

About 1.3 million horses live in Germany, according to the federal association for equestrian sports and horse breeding, the German Equestrian Federation (FN). Their attitude has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. “Previously, horse stables and equestrian centers were recognized by horse trailers abroad. National expert in horse breeding, equine breeding and sports, Christian Müller from Westrau in Schleswig-Holstein, says today you can find out the fact that there are horses abroad. According to her, freedom of movement is one of the The most important factors of animal-friendly horse breeding.

Direction towards open stables and practice

The number of horses kept in the so-called motion stable is unknown. There are no surveys on this, says the 63-year-old animal welfare officer at FN. In sedentary exercise, the exercise, eating, and rest areas are spaced so that the horses move a lot. Even in an open stable, horses are kept in a group – with this type of breeding, animals also have constant access to an outdoor area.

However, according to experts, an open or mobile booth is not automatically better than boxing. Because often too many horses are housed in a very small area. Then they can get in and out, but they won’t have room to trot and toss.

Therefore, box-keeping, where the horses go out in the open every day, can be more suitable for the species than keeping them in a small open stable. According to the expert, stables where horses are not allowed to roam in the winter is a discontinued model: “There will certainly be isolated cases where the horses do not go out – but this is now outdated.”

Photo: pixabay.com/MabelAmber

Animal welfare in focus more and more

According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the horse country of Lower Saxony, open stables and exercise are playing an increasingly important role. Even if there’s no stats — there’s clearly a trend toward more space, air, outlets and exercise options, a spokeswoman says. “The design of new buildings and conversions is increasingly taking into account the growing awareness of animal welfare and focusing more and more on animal welfare.”

Farm owner Petzold, who is in contact with horse owners and businesses, also sees development: “It’s too slow for me, but it’s going in the right direction,” says the 59-year-old. Horse farms like him are still a minority. But: there will be more.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Berlin refers to the Animal Welfare Act. Accordingly, animals must be accommodated in a way that is proportional to their behavior. The “Guidelines for the Evaluation of Equine Breeding from an Animal Welfare Perspective,” published by the ministry in 2009, among other things, states: “Pasture and/or young horses, especially mothers, foals and young horses, should be provided with exercise as much as possible. “.

According to experts, good horse breeding has a huge impact. Expert Muller says horses love light, air, exercise and social contact. “If you find it in your situation – no matter what type of situation – you are satisfied, balanced and comfortable.”

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