Q: I own a Shetland pony who scrambles over the stable door when kept in. He is in a stable with a normal height door but still manages to get over it. I tried shutting the top door, but he then gets very anxious and calls out constantly. Please can you help?
Pony expert Patricia Hardcastle replies: It sounds like your pony is unhappy at being confined in a stable where he is unable to see other horses. You may find that his escapologist behaviour will reduce if he is able to see other horses from inside his stable.
You could try fixing a chain or webbing stall guard across the doorway so he can look out, although there is always the concern that a small leg might get trapped if he still tries to climb out, or that he might try to wriggle underneath!
Alternatively, you could build a smaller door on the inside of the main door or if the stables are your own consider cutting a smooth V shape into the door which would allow your pony to enjoy a view of the outside world.
Shetland ponies are designed to live in the harsh climate of the Shetland Isles, so try to give your little chap as much time in the field as possible and when stabled make sure he has adequate hay and some toys to keep him occupied.
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