No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round?

Your horsey GP surgery: from worming and vaccination, to mud fever and laminitis
lemmethink
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No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round?

Postby lemmethink » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:48 pm

Very controversial, but are we turning horses out to make ourselves feel better? Standing in mucky paddocks (which is what is on offer in lots of areas in the UK, honestly) at the gate, waiting to come in doesn't seem like that much fun. Does anyone manage their horses without turnout, and what is the routine like, and what are the challenges?

hessy
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round?

Postby hessy » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:00 pm

Well, i think it makes us feel better because it is better. They are animals after all.

I only know of one person that stables all year round but that is because the pony has had severe laminitis in the past - she gets exercised every day and they have access to a walker as well.

I think it would be a challenge because of the mucking out and how time consuming it is to be constantly there feeding the horse and cleaning the stable out etc plus all the other yard jobs. However, no need to get mucky and easier to groom! No need for hosing or bathing either. No risk of lami and less for sweet itch as well. Also another challenge would be keeping the horse sane, boredom would be a factor. Having to let the horse out at least once a day, into an arena or riding it etc.

pukkapony
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round?

Postby pukkapony » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:55 pm

I'm a big supporter of letting a horse be natural, herd enviorment etc and the choice to be in or out. I think keeping a horse in all hours is taking away a part of a horses spirit and forcing it to become a shadow of the horses you see loose in the fields. Unless of course medical outweighs the pro's of letting a horse out. I myself have a rescue shetland, he suffered a shatterd shoulder some years ago and is permanetly lame, coupled with a bad bout of lami this year he was competely isolated to a soft floored stable and concrete yard for months. He has only just started going back out for small amounts of time, what a diffrence, he was bored, aggressive and naughy when isolated, now he's behaving and friendly again good as gold (till its time to go back in LOL!)

Kaliska
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round?

Postby Kaliska » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:26 pm

No, mine is the opposite and out 24/7. I would never keep him in all year round unless it was for a medical reason. It's not natural. So, we might not want to stand by a muddy gate, but if you have good turnout then it wont be muddy and as long as your horse has food he'll be fine.

A friend of mine always said her horse couldn't live out, yet last year it had to as it is now retired and did really well wintering out, with adequate rugs etc.

mja
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round

Postby mja » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:53 am

Our TB's are out every day all year round but in at nights in winter as thin skinned and one is a poor doer. In summer they are out 24/7 unless very bad weather.

I prefer them out as they are naturally herd animals and I totally believe they are happier. I can see this when they have to stay in especially with my mare who in winter will be the last to come to the gate happy to stay out as long as she can and tramps in the mornings so keen to get out.

Plus one has arthritis so she needs to be mobile as much as possible and the other loves to roll which is good for destressing etc.

They love to mutual groom and just be horses!

cloudybay
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round

Postby cloudybay » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:35 am

I think there are some horses that adapt to being in all the time and others seem to hate it. The critical thing for me is that horses are designed to move around and they can't do this in a stable so over the years their joints are going to suffer from confinement.

Also, my vet has told me that a lot of the day to day ailments he treats in horses are as a result of them being stabled i.e. most viruses, RAO, problems from getting cast, filled limbs and so this is enough motivation for me to turn out 12 hours a day.
However I do think horses need big fields to roam around in. Small paddocks are fine for a few hours but then most horses will stand by the gate asking to come in especially if they don't have company.

Archie
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round

Postby Archie » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:09 pm

I could never keep my native pony in all year, he was born to be outside! Yes some horses might 'adapt' so does that make it ok? If someone locked us in our bedrooms all day every day we might eventually 'adapt' to it but would we be happy, relaxed, healthy? Debatable.

I think it is important to have a horse who will be stabled and relaxed about it should it need to be, but I do not think it's a way of life permanently. I hate to see horses who have human emotions and feelings put on them - especially in regards to turn out, which I feel is the most important basic need of the horse. I don't consider riding/ time on a walker as turnout.

I always question box rest also. In the old days if the horse had something wrong with it he was turned out for several months - a year. Now a days I feel vets are so quick to say 'box rest' for endless periods of time which can lead to all sorts of other health implications and behavioural issues.

I feel quite sad for horses stuck on yards who have little to no turnout come a drop of rain and cold weather for months on end. However much owners try to make it bearable surely nothing compares to turnout with other horses.

happynow
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round

Postby happynow » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:11 pm

I keep my horse in 24/7 he goes on holidays for 2 months a year but seems to have adapted quite well. Obviously it is nicer to allow them to have turnout but its not always a necessity. So long as he gets out of his box everyday and is excercised and allowed to graze in hand he's fine.

Beverly
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round

Postby Beverly » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:18 pm

I have 4 horses and they have beautiful huge stables with thick sawdust, they are in them just to eat their breakfast and supper and sometimes nap in the midday heat in them.
I could not bear to keep them locked up for any length of time! They have 21 acres to munch on and kick up their heels .
I think the weather here in SA is just a little bit better than in UK though :D

Kaliska
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Re: No turnout - does anyone keep their horses in year round

Postby Kaliska » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:38 am

All the horses on my current yard live out 24/7, and come in to stand on the concrete yard or in stables for short periods to dry off if the weather is awful. The paddocks are huge and have grass so we still aren't feeding hay and none of the horses hang around by the gate - in fact they are usually found at the other end of the paddock!


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