When a paddock or pasture cannot be made available, or when circumstances require otherwise, young horses, those which are resting, or those recovering from illness, are sometimes accommodated in a straw-yard; indeed, accommodation of paddock and straw-yard is not at all uncommon, especially for rearing colts from one to three years old, as it is economical and beneficial. Sufficient exercise and liberty are ensured to promote growth, they can be more easily handled and submitted to restraint, while they are protected from the inclemency of severe weather, and can be fed with dry food as occasion may require. The straw-yard should be kept as dry as possible, rotting manure not being allowed to lie in it, unless well covered with fresh straw, as it is very damaging to the hoofs. The shed, or sheds, if there are no stables or loose-boxes opening into the straw-yard, and if they are not closed in, should have a favourable aspect, exposure to cold winds, or drifting rain, sleet, or snow, being likely to cause injury to health. It should not be forgotten that changes from straw-yard to pasture, and from pasture to straw-yard, should be gradually effected, until the horses have become accustomed to them.
When a number of horses are together in a paddock or-straw-yard, or when cattle are associated with them, certain precautions are necessary to prevent injury. The shoes of horses should be taken off the hind feet, at least, to avert damage from kicks; while cows should have the points of their horns rendered innocuous by being capped with balls of wood or metal. Unshod hoofs require the farrier's attention now and again. Farm horses are usually turned into the straw-yard at night during hot weather, and this practice is a benefit to them, as the open air is better than the close, foul stables in which they are kept for so many months in the year; of course, their shoes are not taken off, as they are required for work during the day.