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winter daily turnout

This is a discussion on winter daily turnout within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        12-09-2010, 03:27 PM
      #11
    Trained
    Honestly I don't know how I don't get it. In the spring they are in mud 3-6" deep until it dries out. If I had the extra money I'd love to raise up the sacrifice paddock and change the footing in there. I try to keep their legs clean, but theres no way to keep the mud off them.
         
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        12-09-2010, 03:33 PM
      #12
    Foal
    At the barn I ride at, typically the horses go out all winter providing the weather is not horrendous or dangerous. They have alot of horses to get out, so they try to get each of them out for at least a half a day everyday, or every other day. They have 4 sacrafice paddocks, so we went through about a week where they couldn't get out at all, as the ground started freezing causing alot of sharp petruding chunks of mud. My horse went bonkers! I rode him 5 out of 7 days that week and by the 4th day that he hadn't been out he was wild -almost bucked me off repeated times and threw such a tantum that I had to get off. Another issue with him getting little turnout is that he is very big and will stock-up if not out and about moving around daily. For him, mentally and physically, he needs his turnout all year long. Every horse is different however, just as each circumstance is different so I think the most important thing to remember is their safety (I personally wouldn't want to treck over an icy road with my guy - he barely knows where his feet are on the best of days! Ha-ha) and that they are content.
         
        12-09-2010, 04:18 PM
      #13
    Trained
    My horses are out 24/7, 365 days a year.

    It is healthier physically and mentally for them to be out. I would NEVER keep them in for more than 12 hours unless it was needed for an injury. It is not something I can justify. The only time my horses are ever in is when we are at a competition and they have to be yarded. We still keep them out for as long as possible and get them out as soon as possible. Some of our horses stock up after even one night locked up - I can't imagine their legs if they were in for much longer.

    Moving around in a paddock is also the best way for my horses to recover from the strain of long rides - Riding hard and then putting a horse back in a stable is not an ideal situation.

    Quote:
    If your horse is out all winter do you not find they are harder to keep fit? Do they loose condition? Do you not loose riding time as if its dark and there out you can't get them in and ready?
    They stay just as fit as they do in summer - They spend all day walking around, playing, moving - They would be more unfit if they were locked up. It doesn't take me any longer to saddle up from the paddock than it would from a stable. I drive my saddle and gear down to the paddock, saddle up at the gate, and go.

    However now, since i've taken up snowboarding, my horses generally spell through the winter with the occasional leasurely trail ride.
         
        12-11-2010, 01:32 PM
      #14
    Foal
    My horses are out 24/7. If the weather is freezing rain they get blankeys and all the hay they can eat. The only drawback ridingwise is the mud. I usually just brush the neck, back, girth and rump. Their legs are just going to get wet and muddy when I ride.

    Mine don't lose condition because there is a 7000-acre chunk of BLM land near where I live. No matter where you ride over there, it's uphill both ways! Seriously, there are lots of ridges and lots of up and down. So the horses get a good workout wherever they go. Plus I ride 2-3 times a week depending on how hard the rain is coming down.
         
        12-11-2010, 01:43 PM
      #15
    Yearling
    At the barn I am at there are only about 20 stalls and they are only used during the winter. The horses go out during the day and come in at night. There are probably around 60 horses on the property and the majority are outside. The barn maneger puts up a temporary electric fence so only part of the pastures are used. I am very lucky and have access to an indoor arena so I just ride Jesse like I do in the summer and make sure that he is completely cooled down before I put him away.
         
        12-11-2010, 03:46 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    Wow its very common to keeo your horses out full time in america. Very few do over here mainly due to fear of slipping in ice its my number one phobia
         
        12-11-2010, 03:55 PM
      #17
    Trained
    They're usually pretty careful when it's icy. I can imagine if they were kept in for awhile that they would probably lose some of their common sense though. I wouldn't want to lead Soda across an icy driveway after being stalled all night.
         
        12-11-2010, 05:17 PM
      #18
    Trained
    My guy is out 24/7 365 unless of an injury. I've never had a problem with mud fever/thrush and thankfully no ice or snow induced injuries.

    I turn in about 30 horses at another barn at night. The only time they stay in is if the owner requests it, otherwise they go out all day.
         
        12-13-2010, 12:57 AM
      #19
    Trained
    I have and always will prefer full turnout...and fortunately the places I have been at so far (away from home), I have had that option. The place I am at currently is the smallest place, but she still has plenty of room to stretch her legs, as the horses are rotated in and out of the "main" turn out area, and each horse has a decent sized paddock.

    Oh and my mare has lost a tiny bit of muscle, but that's mainly because she's rather "lazy" in the pasture, and I have only been able to get out 2-3 times a week lately...she has no problems going for a good ride though, and cools off just as quickly as she did all summer.
         

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