Outdoor vs indoor boarding, your experiences
 
 

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Outdoor vs indoor boarding, your experiences

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    01-10-2014, 02:19 PM
  #1
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Question Outdoor vs indoor boarding, your experiences

I am happy at the barn I am presently at, but I am looking at other barns for boarding purposes (if I were to get a horse in a few years). I mainly love my present barn because the trainer/owner has a lot of common sense and is very fair. The horses are well taken care of feed/vet/farrier wise, but the only thing to be desired is the turnout. Horses do get some indoor turnout in the winter (not sure about outdoor because it gets so icy sometimes), and in the summer outdoor turnout happens a few times a week (but not as much as I would like).

Board is 450$ per month (which is a very good price for board in my area), and my trainer doesn't charge extra for putting blankets on or turning out. However with riding lessons and vet/farrier bills, I am afraid it will be a little too much for me when I start a stable job.

My trainer is very flexible and if I needed, she would help me find a leaser to help pay costs, or use the horse in lessons for a reduced price. But then I thought of outdoor board.

Not only is it much cheaper (depends where, but can range from 200-300), but I feel it would be healthier for the horse, and easier on the pocket book. Also my present barn is mostly jumper/equitation, and in the future I would like to do eventing. But as it is not super popular in Quebec and the barns that offer it are very far and expensive, I could settle with trails and a field with "natural looking" jumps (which my barn doesn't offer).

Sigh, the next problem is, I have trouble with change. I can want it, but I am nervous to go ahead with it and start second guessing myself about whether it is the best decision.

I won't get a horse for a while now, but in the mean time, if you could share your outdoor boarding vs indoor boarding experiences, and what you find is absolutely necessary in the barn you board your horse at, I would appreciate it. It may help clear my ideas.

Thanks :)
     
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    01-10-2014, 02:23 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Just to make sure I understand you correctly: The horses at this current barn are (essentially) kept indoors 24/7 in a stall? With some turnout into an indoor arena or outdoor area?

I don't show at the big time, so I have no reason for my horse to be in a stall.

They are out on pasture 24/7. To me, it is the most natural. They were meant to graze all day, taking small steps as they do. This encourages good digestive health and good foot and circulation health. I feel you run into problems when you started keeping a horse locked up and on a feeding schedule.

I would feel horrible, even keeping my horses in a small paddock (much less a stall). They need room to run around and be a horse, in my opinion.
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    01-10-2014, 02:35 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidalgo13    
I am happy at the barn I am presently at, but I am looking at other barns for boarding purposes (if I were to get a horse in a few years). I mainly love my present barn because the trainer/owner has a lot of common sense and is very fair. The horses are well taken care of feed/vet/farrier wise, but the only thing to be desired is the turnout. Horses do get some indoor turnout in the winter (not sure about outdoor because it gets so icy sometimes), and in the summer outdoor turnout happens a few times a week (but not as much as I would like).

Board is 450$ per month (which is a very good price for board in my area), and my trainer doesn't charge extra for putting blankets on or turning out. However with riding lessons and vet/farrier bills, I am afraid it will be a little too much for me when I start a stable job.

My trainer is very flexible and if I needed, she would help me find a leaser to help pay costs, or use the horse in lessons for a reduced price. But then I thought of outdoor board.

Not only is it much cheaper (depends where, but can range from 200-300), but I feel it would be healthier for the horse, and easier on the pocket book. Also my present barn is mostly jumper/equitation, and in the future I would like to do eventing. But as it is not super popular in Quebec and the barns that offer it are very far and expensive, I could settle with trails and a field with "natural looking" jumps (which my barn doesn't offer).

Sigh, the next problem is, I have trouble with change. I can want it, but I am nervous to go ahead with it and start second guessing myself about whether it is the best decision.

I won't get a horse for a while now, but in the mean time, if you could share your outdoor boarding vs indoor boarding experiences, and what you find is absolutely necessary in the barn you board your horse at, I would appreciate it. It may help clear my ideas.

Thanks :)
okay! First off! It all depends on the horse, take my horse for instance- he hates stalls and will destroy them. He will peee and peeee and peee until it is so wet and gross that they HAVE to take him out. He's a smart feller!!(:

But, my friend has a horse who is turned out daily but can not WAIT to be back in the comfort of his own stall!

And honestly you can't force a horse to stay where he doesn't want to be, because they are generally very persistent.

Now! It also depends on where you live, I own a special horse. His coat is built for the cold, but I like in Georgia so if- say I took him up to new York for a few weeks this time of year... He isn't use to that specific climate.

As far as injuries, a horse has just as much of a chance hurtting himself in a stall as they would outside. So I would even put that in you list of yes/nos. When my horse get frustrated(in a stall generally) is when he usually hurts himself.

And all we want is our babies to be happy(:

So if you think a stall would be good for your horse then go for it! I have always personally be a pasture girl myself.

Just makeshre that the floors are NOT concrete, it is bad on their legs. At least in my experience.....o have seen horses go lame from sitting in stalls all day :P

Good luck and I hope this helped! And all goes well(:
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    01-10-2014, 02:37 PM
  #4
Foal
And a coat would never hurt anything if you go with a pasture! (:
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    01-10-2014, 02:58 PM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Just to make sure I understand you correctly: The horses at this current barn are (essentially) kept indoors 24/7 in a stall? With some turnout into an indoor arena or outdoor area?
Essentially yes.

Quote:
They are out on pasture 24/7. To me, it is the most natural. They were meant to graze all day, taking small steps as they do. This encourages good digestive health and good foot and circulation health. I feel you run into problems when you started keeping a horse locked up and on a feeding schedule.

I would feel horrible, even keeping my horses in a small paddock (much less a stall). They need room to run around and be a horse, in my opinion.
I feel the same, but then the horses at my barn seem really happy. Also there are only 2-3 on 20-30 horses that I noticed to have vices like cribbing and eating their stall.

So it makes me believe that with a proper exercise and feeding regime, they can be kept happy and healthy stalled if that is what they prefer (like DraftOn said).
     
    01-10-2014, 02:58 PM
  #6
Foal
Horses at the barn I board at have a few different options.

They can either stay out 24/7 in individual paddocks(with a shelter), be stalled at night/paddocks during the day or when the weather is a bit nicer go out into the pasture for the day and be stalled or put in paddocks during the night.

They have one large field (5 acres) and 4 smaller pastures (1 acre each).

Currently I have my boy in a paddock during the day and stall at night. The stalls are nice as they are open to the outdoors. During the spring summer and fall he is in the paddock or pasture 24/7, with the stall still being available in bad weather.

Depending on how often you are at the barn and how much mud is in the fields, you could be spending a loooong time grooming if they are out 24/7. Try and look at any facility when you have the worst weather, you will be able to see if there are any drainage/mud problems.
     
    01-10-2014, 03:42 PM
  #7
Yearling
In my experience horses in stall board are a lot less healthier and sane than the ones on pasture board. At our previous barn which was indoors there were so many health problems with horses and ours would also be more spunky and grouchy and lame off and on. When we went to our current barn they were turned out 24/7.

My gelding loves it. He never NEVER comes in the barn and is outside 365 days a year. My mare comes inside at night during the winter and is outside the rest of the time (But she's also in her twenties!). In fact, all of the horses, even her real top quality show horses are thrown out in a field 24/7 or as much as possible. Since we've been there I can count on one hand how many sick horses we've had. I believe that it's a lot healthier for them to be outside as much as possible because they were meant to be moving and eating and in a herd.

In their field there is mud, ice, snow, you name it if it's the season it's in there. We've never had any horses get hurt from these things in the pasture and the elements are good for their feet. :)
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    01-10-2014, 03:47 PM
  #8
Yearling
Pasture board is cheaper, and has it's benefits but does have drawbacks. Mostly if you are planning on showing or your horse doesn't have the greatest feet. For example my first gelding, if it is wet at all outside his feet will fall apart and I will be dealing with abscesses for a while. He just can't do it. Plus he was a show horse (retired now) and he had to be used to a stall for showing. I've found a lot of horses who are on 24/7 pasture don't do well when suddenly thrown in a stall, and a show is already stressful enough. So if you are showing, it is helpful to have a horse stalled. Plus you have to think about the fact that you do live in Canada and that your winters are brutal, I'm not talking about it from a blanketing standpoint, but more of a having to deal with mud and muck and deep snow, while still trying to ride. So if you are planning on showing, I would say go with stall board, but at a barn that has excellent turnout and the horse will be out 12+ hrs a day. I personally do stall board, but my horses are only in 8 hours a day. I have the option of keeping my horses in if the weather is bad and they get indoor turnout instead in that case. My show horse is in full training and I do not need bad weather slowing things down or getting in the way of things. Plus my retired gelding hasn't had any abscess since I have the option to keep him in during bad weather.
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    01-10-2014, 03:49 PM
  #9
Foal
<p>&lt;p&gt;
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incitatus32    
In my experience horses in stall board are a lot less healthier and sane than the ones on pasture board. At our previous barn which was indoors there were so many health problems with horses and ours would also be more spunky and grouchy and lame off and on. When we went to our current barn they were turned out 24/7. &lt;/p&gt;</p>
<p>&lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;</p>
<p>&lt;p&gt;My gelding loves it. He never NEVER comes in the barn and is outside 365 days a year. My mare comes inside at night during the winter and is outside the rest of the time (But she's also in her twenties!). In fact, all of the horses, even her real top quality show horses are thrown out in a field 24/7 or as much as possible. Since we've been there I can count on one hand how many sick horses we've had. I believe that it's a lot healthier for them to be outside as much as possible because they were meant to be moving and eating and in a herd. &lt;/p&gt;</p>
<p>&lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;</p>
<p>&lt;p&gt;In their field there is mud, ice, snow, you name it if it's the season it's in there. We've never had any horses get hurt from these things in the pasture and the elements are good for their feet. :)
Well, stalls are unnatual. If horses were meant to be put in a stall all day everyday... They would have come a few sizes smaller x.x

And some horses just can't handle it, I understand that. But I have seen alot.....ALOT of issues stalling horses. I was a stable hand for a while and alot of horses who were younger, were crazier. They had tons of energy and nowhere to burn it!
     
    01-10-2014, 04:39 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidalgo13    


feel the same, but then the horses at my barn seem really happy. Also there are only 2-3 on 20-30 horses that I noticed to have vices like cribbing and eating their stall.

So it makes me believe that with a proper exercise and feeding regime, they can be kept happy and healthy stalled if that is what they prefer (like DraftOn said).
True, but I'm thinking more on the physical health side of things.

Common sense would say that a horse that is allow to graze 24/7 will have less problems (like ulcers, for example) than a horse who gets fed 2 to 3 times per day. The acid in a horse's stomach needs something to digest and needs somewhat constant food intake.

And a horse that grazes all day with little movements, and is able to run and play when he wishes, will have healthier hoof structure than a horse who stands in one place in a stall all day. (Or becomes a stall pacer.)

I can certainly understand the use of a stall if you've got a top-dollar high-maintenance show horse. But if you don't? Well, I just don't know if I personally can justify it for the health issue problem potentials. And no, not every stalled horse is going to have health issues. But I think on a large scale comparison, pastured horses are healthier than stalled horses.
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