Thoughts on Pasture Boarding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on Pasture Boarding

When I had horses in the past, I boarded at full service barns, with 12X12 stalls, pasture turn out, indoor arenas, the works. That was a long time ago, before I had all the financial responsibilities I have now.

I have been volunteering at a horse rescue and have fallen head ovr heels for a yearling filly I've been working with. I can't imagine losing her now. But I cannot afford the board there for her. A friend told me about another nearby stable that is pasture board only, but about half the price. I am a little nervous about this; I live in southern Indiana and it can get cold in the winter. They do have run in sheds, but I worry if that is enough. Also, with no arena to train in, not sure how I would get by.

Could you guys please share your thoughts on pasture boarding, both good and bad? Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 10:58 AM
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I've always pasture boarded my horse since I've owned him. He doesn't grow much of a winter coat (SE Arab) and gets cold easily so I have some blankets for him and he does just great. He is happier with the blankets the have a neck. The place I have him at has some small outdoor arenas and trails so there's that. They feed him his grain twice a day for me. If he gets injured and needs to be stalled there is space available. He has a run in shed and automatic waterer and hay feeders for when hay is needed.

When I bought him he was turned out for half days and he had some behavioral issues from it. Once he was outside all the time he was dramatically improved.

I can't think of any downsides to pasture boarding. Horses weren't meant to live in a stall anyway.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input! Mentally, I *know* they are fine outside, but it has been ingrained into me for so long that they need a stall. Silly, I know. I need to actually go look at the place, I guess, to see exactly what it is like, if there is an outdoor arena or anything. She won't be ready to be ridden for a couple years yet, but I will need a place to work with her.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 11:37 AM
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Two of my mares are out in a 7 acre pasture 24/7. They are absolutely fine out there. They have a 15 x 30 run-in shelter to escape extreme weather. The other two mares are brought into stalls each night, mostly to keep them from eating themselves to death (easy keepers). So, even though I have 4 stalls, I only use 2.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 11:47 AM
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I also pasture board.
In previous years, my girl has been out all day and out all night with the option of using a large run-in (one thing to be careful of is, if you're "relying" on the run-in, make sure your horse will have access - ie, not more dominant horses running her off, it's big enough for all the horse in the pasture, etc). She's not pastured with horses so being run off isn't a problem for her.

This year, however, she's starting to show her age a bit more with a variety of health problems that aren't going to improve (Moon Blindness, her internal heating/cooling "system" is getting a bit wacko, etc, she's 27) so she's now stalled on especially hot days and will be stalled overnight during the winter. During the winter, she also wears a ridiculous number of blankets to keep herself warm but it works for her so I guess I'm happy! haha

Anyway, basically, your little girl should be fine out. It'll probably actually be better for her since she is young - more time to really be a horse. You want her to grow up self reliant vs something that can't stand the rain!

The lack of training facilities, that could be a problem. However, she is just a yearling so you could board her at this place until you want to really get into training her, then move to a place with better facilities while she needs them.
I have very little experience with babies but from what I've seen, often they don't require a whole lot. I mean, she's too young to lunge, to young to roundpen, old enough to pony but that doesn't require facilities, old enough to introduce to various obstacles which also doesn't require facilities... Maybe it would work out fine?
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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She is actually on pasture board right now, but they bring them in when the weather turns bad. I have been doing a lot of ground work with her, stepping over poles, walking on tarps, even teaching her neck reining basics from the ground with the lead rope. She is a very intelligent, sane filly.

I think I may go take a look at the pasture board stable; I wo't be able to make any decisions until I've seen it and done a lot of thinking...
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 12:19 PM
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She'll be healthier outside than in, if it gets really ugly a waterproof blanket will fix that. As for working her, all you really need is a space where you can get her away from other horses so you can get her attention and you can continue working with her just as you do now. You might need to get a little creative, like taking her for a 'trail walk' and go find natural obstacles to work over but it shouldn't be a big deal.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 12:26 PM
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My horse when I got him hated stalls...still does. He stall walks and stall spins, highly spooky in any stal I have had him in and gets hurt in them, couldnt keep weight on him from the nervous behavoir and then was sick for 3 months from being in a big show barn in the winter with no open windows or doors and with horses coming and going he got pnuomia. He has now been on 24/7 pasture board since may 3rd and LOVES IT! hes a very happy fat pony and his mind while undersaddle is 10x better then the times I had him in a barn (with turnout) He hasa shed he can go in but he is just so much more calm and happy with room to move nad see whats going on. Good luck! Lot sof blankets and the fact there is a shed for her to choose to go in helps alot! I say go for it!
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 12:46 PM
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like klassic, i like my young horses energy level and behavior much better on pasture board ! dont worry about him getting cold, indiana winters arent that hard. my horse survived living outside with zero care [blankets or grain or shelter] in north dakota. now she just has to survive winter in wisconsin with blankets and grain haha. pasture board is great and your horse will thank you for it !
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-29-2012, 02:24 PM
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I used to stall board my horses and have found out that they are MUCH happier being outside all the time. I have pasture boarded horses in the age range from 3 months all they way up to 36 years old... both here in NC and when we used to live in Ohio
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