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.
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.