When my horse isnt at home I board at a place where all the horses are kept seperate. The big field is subdivided into smaller 2 to 3 acres fields, With small runins. Horses from different owners dont intermingle.
I prefer it this way also.
I do not like my horses in with other peoples horses. It is such a hassle in so many ways!!! When we had just Epona, before we bought Beau, she was in a mixed herd.... The BO threw a specific amount of hay, and the top horses ate almost all of it...so Epona was left to eat whatever was left over, if any....even though i paid the same as the other boarders for board, my horse was getting way less hay.
And when we went to get her, we put our lives in danger. The boss horse would charge her and bite her, causing her to spook and nearly crush my son against a run in. The boss horse had no respect for us, and we didn't want the hassle nor were we allowed to take the time to teach him to. He didn't respect his owner either for that matter. he would constantly charge at Epona when we tried to take her out of the pasture not because he was protecting her....but because he connected "out" with grain time...and he wanted out to get his grain....and woe to anyone who stood in his way. He charged at us, and when we sent him off, he charge by us when we opened the gate. It was a royal PITA to go out to the field to get our horse. And we were without recourse as we were not allowed to take crops or otherwise smack or hit another boarder's horse...ESPECIALLY not the boss horse....his owner was ....adament that no one touch her horse. And she was the BO's favorite.
When we got Beau, they were given a paddock to themselves, thank God. And even though he is a psycho alpha, since we OWNED him, we were able to teach him to respect us and NOT to charge us or the gate or Epona. We were also allowed to buy extra hay from the BO to make sure Epona had enough to eat, since Beau had first pickings on the hay piles.
So, when we were barn shopping last year, that was one of our requirements. Private turnout. No exceptions. We were more than willing to pay extra for it just to not to have to deal with other people's badly behaved horses. Unfortunately, most facilities didn't have the space to offer private turnout.
so, we were extremely blessed to find that an acquaintence of ours owned a 23 acre private residence farm with six horse stalls ...that was not being used. So we moved our horses there. Now they have the ULTIMATE in private turnout since they are the only horses on the prooperty.
As Joe said, private turnout for me...I wouldn't have it any other way.
Dealing with the bite wounds, kick wounds, low horse not getting enough hay, being charged at by the alpha, alpha horse charging out the gate, etc.....who needs that kind of crap!!!
On the other side, though. When Beau was in a herd for the few months after we bought him until we could move him to Epona's barn, we had NONE of those hassles!!! HE was the alpha, and no horse would dare approach him when we came into the field to get him. They kept their distance from him ....at all times.
It was such a relief to actually be able to walk up to your horse, halter him and lead him out without being charged at, charged by or him being bitten!!!
Starkie is right...be careful of spiteful BOs. We had to actually SNEAK Beau out of his barn...but legally. We came to the farm one day, informed the BO we were moving him, paid him for the final 30 days of board as we were required to give 30 days notice, and when he asked, so when will you be moving him, I replied "in about 15 minutes".
The contract required 30 days notice of termination of the contract which was paying for a stall, feed, etc. No requirement that the horse had to be there to receive those things...just my obligation to PAY for those things.
We did this as we were concerned for Beau's safety.