Turnout in Bad Weather (long...)
I posted this in Boarding but I'd like to know what the health implications are, if any...
I'd like to know what others would have done in yesterday's weather conditions... The place I currently board at (we're moving in a week so Noah will be close to home, yay!) will not blanket, period. This was my own stupidity (I've never known a barn that will not do blankets) and I never asked before I moved him in. I have every type of blanket he would need, turnout sheet, heavy blanket, stable sheet, coolers, scrim sheets, fly sheets, etc. Right after he moved in, I started explaining to the BO where his blankets are if he needs them and she cut me off to say that if I want him to have a blanket, I can put it on and take it off, but they don't do it. I started to say that I don't want him blanketed every day, but they are there if he needs them. Didn't matter.
Well, I went to see Noah last night, assuming that he had been stuck inside all day. It was in the upper 30s yesterday, with nasty hard rain and wind (it was even snowing for a while). Since there are no run-ins in the pastures, I figured the horses woulnd't have gotten turned out. Well, when I showed up at 6:30 last night, every horse in the barn was completely SOAKED. Noah was standing in the corner of his stall, head hanging, really wet and felt cold to the touch. I brought him out and gave him a "spa" night. Good body grooming, put his cooler on to help him dry a bit (I wish I would have had some towels with me), painted his feet, clipped his whiskers, washed his face, and lots of little beauty treatments. The entire time, he just stood there with this look on his face like "oh, god, thank you!" When it was time to leave, I took his cooler off but he was still extremely wet. I had no choice but to put him back in his stall as is. It was really cold and crappy last night, and I would have liked to put a blanket on him, but the BO will not do anything with blankets and I would have needed to drive back over this morning to take it off (can't get there before work in the mornings).
I was a little upset about it last night. If he's going to go out in weather like that, I wish they would at least put a sheet or blanket on him, especially since there is no shelter outside. I jokingly put a status on my Facebook page last night about poor Noah looking like a drowned rat so we gave him a spa night. My BO saw it and commented that the horses were only out in the am, before the rain started. That bothered me more, since I know there is absolutely no way those horses were not out in the rain. They were all dripping wet at 6:30 at night! It really bothers me to see him so cold at wet at his age.
When I moved him there a few weeks ago, I talked to them about this specifically. One of my big concerns was him being out in bad weather without shelter. They told me then that they do not leave the horses out in any bad weather. A few sketchy things have happened, like the day I showed up while he was in quarantine (they kept him in their round pen for a week), and his water trough was bone dry. I freaked out because it was really warm out that day and he was nosing the empty bucket. They assured me that he had half a trough of water that morning and were just coming to check on it again. When they did fill it, he actually put his head in it while the hose was spashing on him. I've never seen him so desperate for water. He's also getting the bottom of the shavings bag in his stall. No actually wood chips, just this super fine dust that puffs into a cloud every time he moves, which makes me concerned about his respitory system along with the rest of the horses in the barn. He has one more week to get through, then he's moving to a new barn closer to home on the 25th. I really worry with the unusually bad weather we're having for the next couple of days.
So, my question is to the other boarding facility owners... Do you turn horses out w/o shelter when the weather is that bad? To those who board, would you be upset with this? Am I being overly sensitive? I don't want to be a barn diva, but I want to make **** sure my horse is well taken care of!