Originally Posted by NaeNae87
I don't like keeping horses in stalls for long periods of time. Their digestive system is not designed to go long periods without food. Unless they have access to hay constantly, most horses will develop ulcers. I would never put my horses anywhere that the grazing time was limited, especially as one of mine was a racer and as a result of stomach ulcers he developed a windsucking habit.
I like having horses in paddocks 24/7, however when this is not possible paddock turnout during the day and stabling during the night is fine, as long as there is a lot of hay for them to eat during the night.
I prefer to have my horses in a paddock together as they are herd animals and need company, but I have kept them places where this is not possible. In that case they were kept in smaller paddocks where they could always see other horses and the paddocks were rotated on a monthly basis to allow the paddock time without a horse on them to recover.
If the pasture gets churned up, are you able to rotate the paddocks? Are the horses all in together or are they in individual padodcks?
Believe me, I'm not disagreeing about keeping horses out as much as possible
The horses are happier and healthier, and it's less barn work!
The horses are constantly hayed, so we've never had a problem with ulcers. We also don't have any horses with bad habits, likely because they are still able to be relatively social while in their stalls. They can see and somewhat touch each other, and we pay attention to the group dynamics to assign stalls.
We don't have any paddocks, which is where part of the problem comes in. It's pretty much all or nothing, haha. I'll eventually build some so that the horses can have turn out even if the ground is mushy. I actually prefer horses in the field as much as possible, and I'll only use the paddocks for wet conditions, new horse, injuries, etc.
Anyway, thanks for the thoughts!