Foals in or out over winter? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Ireland
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Foals in or out over winter?

Im getting a lot of conflicting information from different people about this issue, i was looking at renting another field that would be dryer in the winter time from a person who has horses and he refused me point blank that i could put foals on it as it would be severe abuse. now i only want to put them on it in the good weather, not freezing or heavy rain or gusty. and i explained this to a number of people including my friends at the donkey sanctuary. and they are all saying to keep the foals in without any turnout over the winter.

i feel this would be detrimental to their health as i did have them out last week but in for the bad weather and as soon as it is good again i will be putting them out again.

so what is your opinion. should i keep them in all winter long without any turnout, or should i keep them in during bad weather and turn them out for good weather. i wont be putting rugs on until they are used to them and they have really good winter coats.
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 07:27 PM
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I think all horses should have access to shelter from wind/rain. It could be a simple shed in the field. But being outside all the time is okay, provided they do have shelter they can get to when the weather gets really bad.
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post #3 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 07:41 PM
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My BO never brings his babies in except for weaning and we get -40 weather, 2-3 feet of snow, and some serious wind.

Most horses are better adapted to cold than to hot. But if your horses are hot blooded arabians or thoroughbreds or something similar, then no, in is the way to go.

Being out is natural for horses. As long as they have enough food, constant access to water and a suitable shelter, there is nothing cruel or illegal about it.
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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they have good ever green tree shelter and they are what i would call unknown breeds, think one is connemara cross and the other is a cob cross, they both have good coats and i would bring them in in terrible weather im just being told that no foal no matter what breed or how old should be kept in with no access to the outside world at all over winter, being told im abusive if i keep them out at all, even overnight if it is good weather. have actually caused a few rifts in the relationships i have with people
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 08:37 PM
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Location: Arizona
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My guys have access to shelter, but will be turned out all winter.
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 09:36 PM
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Bubblegum you have seen my 2 foals. They will be turned out all winter with no access to the barn unless I take them down to it. They are running with Dee and Cutter in 4.5 acres of pasture. The only time that they will go into the barn is if there is high wind or if it is raining extremely hard. They both have good winter coats on now. I do not know who is telling you that you would be abusive if you left them outside for the winter but they are wrong. You are very responsible to them and you don't need to take that from them. You mentioned that you also have winter blankets for them then you are better than me because I do not put blankets on my horses. I do have a winter blanket for our stallion that is because last year he did not have a good winter coat because where we boarded out made it mandatory that he stay in a stall so when we moved him to a new place we purchased one for him so that he would be protected against the cold but this year even he will not wear one at all. I do have a foal blanket in case that PT's baby needs it for the winter.
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 09:50 PM
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It's REALLY important that young horses have the ability to run around and work up a good gallop in order to strengthen their hooves and legs. Developmentally speaking, putting them out is worth the risk that they might contract an illness, especially if you provide shelter (this is best), blankets, or both. Horses are pretty hardy, even the young ones. I have a youngster right now that's actually better off than his mom as far as storing body heat and staying healthy.

Peace, Love, and Ponies of all shapes and sizes.
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 09:59 PM
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I would let them be out. I think people are ill informed who advise otherwise.
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-20-2009, 10:38 PM
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I have 3 soon to be weanlings that will be staying out all winter. They may have a 3 sided shed or trees to use for shelter but they will stay out 24/7.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-21-2009, 02:20 AM
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Heard of the term 'killing with kindness'? I would absolutely consider it abuse through ignorance(I'd hope) to keep any horse locked up without a lot of turnout & exercise. Obviously there are exceptions in the case of injury or such, but that doesn't mean it's good for those horses either, just a 'necessary evil'.

As others have said, free movement is vital & the more exercise the better on firm ground, from the time they're born, if you want them to develop strong legs & feet. As others have also said, horses are built for living out & so long as they have enough feed & a bit of shelter, they will be fine. They're not 4 legged people after all.
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