Rest, to a hard-worked horse, is as much a necessity as good food, and the animal should enjoy as complete repose as possible during the time allowed for it; quiet and freedom from disturbance are, therefore, essential to refreshing rest. Where horses are resting, persons or other horses should not be allowed to enter the stable, if possible, and all unnecessary noise should be prevented. If the stable is large, and contains a number of horses, working at different hours, the arrangements made for relief should, as far as practicable, be such as will obviate disturbance to those which are resting. Horses always rest better in a loose box, as they are then at liberty to choose the position in which they feel most comfortable; in fact, all horses should, if possible, be kept in loose boxes, but it unfortunately happens that such an arrangement can rarely be carried out - space, expense, and other reasons interfere. Stalls should be roomy and well constructed, so as to allow of. the horse lying at full length, and with his legs stretched out, with no tendency to slide down towards the heel-drain. Some horses, if ever so tired, will not lie down until the stable is quiet, and even dark; and some, again, take far too little rest, and remain the greater part of their time standing, even when provided with the most seductive bed. Unless a horse lies down regularly to rest his limbs, these swell, and the joints stiffen, so that he comes out of his stable, after the period allotted to rest, stilty and stumbling; and though such horses may continue to work for some time, without ever lying down, nevertheless they would last longer, and perform their work better, if they rested a sufficient time. It has been observed that nervous horses often refuse to lie down when first made to occupy a stall, or when introduced into a strange stable, especially if among strange horses; this disinclination to rest naturally may become a confirmed habit, and the horse consequently suffer. Every inducement should therefore be offered to obviate the evil, and the animal should either be put into a roomy, quiet stall by himself, or, better still, into a comfortable loose box, until he has become accustomed to the change of scene, companions, and work. Horses that have suffered from injury to the spine, or whose hocks are diseased, will not lie down, or if they do, they cannot get up again without assistance. It is generally necessary with such to place them in slings when they come in from work, in order that they may rest in them, in a standing attitude, instead of lying down.
Of course, after a hard day's work, the first thing to be done is to attend to the horse's comfort. If he is very exhausted from fatigue, or long fasting, a bucketful of warm (if the weather is cold) oatmeal gruel should be given him as soon as possible, before anything else is done to him; during the process of cleaning, hay may be allowed, and when he has been thoroughly cleaned, clothed, bandaged, and bedded down, he may have his grain feed - mixed, if necessary, with a pound of linseed boiled to a jelly, the hay rack being filled with hay. Then he ought to be allowed to rest until next morning, when he should be well groomed and exercised if standing in a stall, or allowed to rest for the day if in a loose box.
Nothing conduces more to rest and cheerfulness than having horses which agree with each other placed in adjoining stalls; quarrelling, biting, and kicking are the results of incompatibility of temper among horses, and as a rule may be prevented by mating those which like each other. A troublesome horse should be put in an end stall, and if he is inclined to bite his neighbour, a spare stall may be allowed to intervene, or the collar-rein may pass through a ring at the far side of the manger, instead of the middle.