Urinating Outside

Urinating Outside

Urinating Outside Stalls

By Ruthann Smith
© 2011, Ruthann Smith, All rights reserved.
Originally Published in Equine Journal

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Urinating Outside

Urinating on soft and absorbent ground is fine. Though, horses resist going where it will splash up on their legs. They also try to avoid going where they feel exposed.

What Matters

Have you ever noticed how horses look embarrassed when you watch them urinate? Do you realize you should be disappointed in yourself if your charge goes on the floor? Putting a horse in a stall to let it urinate is pivotal to proper care. This article outlines what impacts your horse’s health and performance as well as recommended routines.

Splashing Legs

Horses really do not like urine splashing up on their legs when they relieve themselves. So, they resist going outside their stalls. If your horse urinates while on the cross ties, it is an indication it has been there far too long. The act says the horse’s needs were not taken into account, so it was forced into an uncomfortable situation. This is something to be circumvented.

On the Ties

If your horse has been on the cross ties for a long time, let it go into the stall for a moment. Give your horse an opportunity to turn around and choose a place to urinate. Doing so will help it stand quietly, focus and be agreeable.

During Work

If by chance you end up waiting for a long time at the ring, stand in the shade if possible and get off to give your horse a break. Or, send it back to its stall for a bit. Should it position itself to urinate while you are in the saddle, get up off its back immediately. Pinch your knees, rise out of the saddle and lean forward to free its back. It is important to help your horse avoid this situation, which is uncomfortable and therefore considered a faux pas.

Stopping Midstream

The reason horses look bewildered when you watch them urinate is because they are incredibly vulnerable during the act. Unable to stop midstream, they can’t defend themselves. I know this for certain because I had a tough pony that taught me so very much. Even at a gallop he would, without warning, drop and roll to eject me. If we were on a trail ride, rolling invariably left him free, no matter how hard I held on. There was no negotiation. However, I did realize that when he need- ed to urinate, if I could run fast enough, I could catch him. I know if there was any possible way, that pony would have found the means to escape. Since then, I have heard of only one horse that could stop midstream. As a rule, urinating leaves them vulnerable to attack or capture.

After Work

Ever need to, “Go like a race horse?” Your horse does too! Once he has stopped huffing and puffing and largely cooled down, put him in the stall. Give him the chance to relieve himself and everything else will be a lot easier to finish.

Enough is Enough

If your horse starts to be bad on the cross ties: heads up. It may be that it is trying to hold it. Dancing on the ties is often just that. If a gelding starts to hang his sheath a bit, that can be a sign that he wants to release. Putting the horse in the stall for a moment is the solution. Let him turn around to find a spot. Look away for a couple minutes so he can relax and relieve himself.

Wet Stalls

While it is advisable to let the horses wet in the stall, you also want to keep it clean. Otherwise, thrush and soft feet can ensue. Plus, dirty stalls stain horses. To save money and conserve shavings, bed the stall deeply and pick often.

Urinating on soft and absorbent ground is fine. Though, horses resist going where it will splash up on their legs. They also try to avoid going where they feel exposed.

Proper Care is Easy. The best way to deal with behavioral and health problems is to prevent them.

To avoid issues with urination, a good rule is to be sure if the horse is on the ties for more than 40 minutes or so, give it a chance to urinate in the stall. That also means: before it goes out to work, when it comes back from work and before bathing or grooming. Under saddle, get off when you can give the horse a rest and surely get up off its back if it needs to urinate.

Paying mind to your horse’s needs requires awareness and time management, which is easy. So, pay attention. If your horse knows and trusts its needs are handled, it will be a much more willing partner.

Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on LuckyBraids.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.