Do horses NEED to be pastured???

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Do horses NEED to be pastured???

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  • Does a horse need to be pastured

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    08-21-2013, 12:07 AM
Do horses NEED to be pastured???

So, I'm buying a horse that I've worked with for a while now and she's an awesome horse. Everything I look for in a horse and just amazing. I've developed a great relationship with her and stuff. The deal I have with the guy is that I buy the horse and he'll keep it at his barn and feed it for me in exchange I muck out the stalls. Which is a great deal! But....he doesn't pasture his horses. He doesn't have pasture land but he does have good sized paddocks for each horse and he feeds his horses well and they look well nourished and fine. This horse has never been pastured in the 5 years that they've had it and the horse is 8. So is not pastuing bad? I'm just wondering and maybe a little concerned...
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    08-21-2013, 12:10 AM
Well how big are the paddocks? The more space they have to run around and graze now and then is fine.
    08-21-2013, 12:10 AM
If I were you, I wouldn't be thrilled with the option, but I prefer my horse to be out on pasture. However a great many people in parts of the country just don't have access to space like that. As long as the horse has hay all day, and you are exercising enough - then it's ok.

I think you need some kind of plan though (in writing). What if you have a massive disagreement with the man, can you move your horse?
    08-21-2013, 12:22 AM
Couldn't edit original post..

It all comes down to what quality of life you want your horse to have. IMOP being out in pasture has its pluses and minuses depending on the horse.
    08-21-2013, 12:22 AM
Oh, I'm definitley going to have paper work with the sale and a bill of sale and everything. I'm not too worried about that. I know the guy pretty well and he's a nice guy, but I'll definitley have there be paper work involved and he's fine with that.

Well, the paddocks are big enough to move aroung pretty freely in...I'd say their about 50 feet across and maybe 60 feet long...thats a guesstimate but I'm sure it's close. And she has a horse on each side of her and the paddocks are adjoining so she has contact with other horses all the time.

She gets exercised everyday by me and she does have constant hay.

I honestly can't tell that her not being pastured effects her at all. I don't see any side effects with it. Although she does get really excited whenever she sees anyone coming with a halter or saddle, which I don't think is a bad thing haha. A horse that loves to work is great!
    08-21-2013, 12:25 AM
Well then, I wouldn't be thrilled with the arrangement, but it seems ok. For me, as a horse owner, I want to be able to control the environment etc. But that's up to you.

I'd have a contract saying you can move the horse with 30 days notice.
    08-21-2013, 12:43 AM
Honestly? You asked for opinions, please remember that.

I think pasture is a must. For our horses anyways, I find stalls and small pens more of an issue.

Horses in my experience enjoy running and playing, as well as interaction with other horses. Even if its herd evilness, it, in my opinion is healthier for them.

I do understand that stall and paddock is often used, I would not.

I also don't care for herds under 3 head so.... Possibly my opinion won't apply unless you can board with other pasture mates and risk the results of that.
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    08-21-2013, 01:18 AM
My 3 live in a corral that is about 80 x 110, although irregularly shaped. I'm pretty sure Mia has never lived anywhere BUT a corral. Many horses in southern Arizona live in less space.

More space would be nice. However, I don't expect to ever have pasture land for them...

A previous mare (Lilly) with Mia, getting her teeth done while Mia watches:

    08-21-2013, 02:40 AM
Driving around my new neighborhood, I see horses in horiffically small paddocks, and I sure hope they get some time out.....It freaks me out just a little, but they seem healthy, and it seems like most horses are kept this way around here.

That being said, I miss the PA pastures, big and full of GRASS. ;)

I think its probably not "ideal" for a horse to live in a tiny paddock, but as long as you do as other posters said, and make sure she is well fed and given exercise, its doable.
    08-21-2013, 06:03 AM
Green Broke
Do horses NEED pasture? No.

If they did, they would not survive in areas that have snow in winter or areas similar to deserts. As long as they get the necessary forage with hay and nutritional requirements, they do just fine without pasture.

Our horses get hay all year long even though we live in an area that would have great pastures. We just don't have enough land to make pastures. We try to let them out when we can to mow the grass along the driveway but its not enough for them to live on.

Many facilities are the same way. They just don't have enough land for pastures. They make do with just paddocks. I know some places that don't turn out the stallions that are there. The only time they come out of the stall is to have the stall cleaned or to be worked. Is it best for the horse? No, but they won't die because of it.

There are disadvantages to having a horse turned out in a pasture. If the pasture is too large, you could have a hard time catching the horse. If the horse is never checked on or brought in, it could sustain a life threatening injury and no one would know.
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