Do horses NEED to be pastured??? - Page 3
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Talk

Do horses NEED to be pastured???

This is a discussion on Do horses NEED to be pastured??? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Do horses need a lot of attention
  • Is it essenti that horses need pasture or can they thrive in a dry lot paddock on hay

Like Tree95Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    08-21-2013, 11:30 AM
  #21
Started
I have 3 horses and 3 exceptionally large paddocks (large enough to never run out of grass). I stall my horses every night, I don't want them to have to deal with the elements or potential threats like the coyotes in the neighborhood, or the teenagers.
Before I got my mare she was on pasture 24/7 - she was MORBIDLY obese, with no grain or hay supplemented, she had large fat rolls and dangerously close to founder. She is seriously allergic to bugs, when I got her she had rubbed her face, neck, mane and belly completely bald and scabbed, raw and oozing.
If I were to force her to stay outside all day every day she would be miserable. After a few hours outside foraging around and playing a bit, she's at her gate nickering and pawing, desperately ready to come in. I ride her and exercise her, and soak her in fly spray and keep a fly sheet on her. But she is not happy outside. Putting a horse like this on pasture would be a death sentence.

My Belgian has a docked tail and can't keep the bugs off him. After several hours in his field he's very ready to come in. I'm not going to ignore my horse who's desperately trying to get my attention just because I have some ideal in my mind that horses should live outside.
This blanket statement that horses need to live on pasture is silly. I have 3 horses who would beg to differ.
My third horse has the indoor/outdoor stall, I leave his door open all day and let him choose. When I get home, all his waste is in his stall and so is he. He doesn't go out, despite the grass.

My horses get free choice hay (except my fat mare, she's on a strict diet) and the feed they need and of course free choice water. They are exercised regularly and groomed and cared for. They have their feet done (all have exceptional feet). They have the vet requirements met. They are good, happy horses. Pasture is not the end all be all for horses- in fact for some it's detrimental.
Hidalgo13, bsms and Cynical25 like this.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    08-21-2013, 12:04 PM
  #22
Green Broke
I think that, with adequate exercise, your horse should be fine. Are there no turnouts you can use at all?
texasgal likes this.
     
    08-21-2013, 12:23 PM
  #23
Foal
I don't think anyone can actually answer the question 'do horses NEED pasture'. Each horse's preferences will be different, as humans are, and since we can't ask a horse, only guess subjectively what their behaviour is trying to tell us, we will never no!

However, what we can see is the health implications of long term stabling, so whilst the horse may like it, it is not necessarily in their best interest. You also have to remember that if someone has always lived in a little house they are not going to be constantly depressed, like humans horses adjust to stabled life but that does not mean they wouldn't be happier in a large field, nor does it mean those in a field wouldn't be happier in a stable, they get used to what they are given!


Finally, one of the big issues I see is people often have horses that are bred for different climates or a different lifestyle, therefore a pasture full of grass will be 'detrimental' for a Icelandic pony but a pasture full of snow will be 'detrimental' to a thoroughbred. That is not to say the 'pasture' is to fault and they should be stabled, but we have failed to replicate their natural lifestyle- which is often the point of pastures! (obviously we can't change climate though!)


So in conclusion (necessary after the monologue I wrote!), your horse will be fine how he/she is, they appear healthy and have grown accustomed to their lifestyle, but that is not to say they would or wouldn't be better off in a pasture, you won't no till you try!
     
    08-21-2013, 12:36 PM
  #24
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceman    
Sorry, but I can't make any sense out of that.

Let's not fool ourselves or rationalize keeping horses in less than ideal conditions...
We have 6 months of snow, or more. Even if we did have pastures for them, they would not survive on just pasture because the grass stops growing in the winter. Same with dry areas like Arizona. My parents live there and there is hardly any grass. Horses do survive because they are given hay.

I'm not rationalizing anything. I'm stating facts. The OP said that the horses do get turned our into paddocks and are fed.

Is it ideal for horses to be out in pasture? Yes, but that wasn't the question. It wasn't if it would be better for them to be on pasture either. It was if it was ok for what they did have.
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    08-21-2013, 12:49 PM
  #25
Green Broke
I'd be more concerned about the stall cleaning agreement. How many days, what days, what about sick days or vacations, things like that?
Sometimes if you figure out how much board is per day & compare it to how long cleaning takes you'll find you're working for a really crummy wage. Oh, & you'd be surprised how quick cleaning can turn into other chores too.
If you like the guy & the place you may want to be paid real money whenever you work. That seems to keep the peace better as many times one party or the other starts to feel they are getting the shaft.

Congratulations on getting your horse.
bsms likes this.
     
    08-21-2013, 12:49 PM
  #26
Green Broke
My personal preference: My horses are on pasture. Period. They will never live in a stall or paddock. It believe it is much healthier for them to graze 24/7 like their bodies were intended for, and to get natural circulation in the hoof as they graze. Yes, they will still need extra food and water (especially in the winter or in times of drought). And if they have any issues (like founder) they will need special rotation on the pasture.

Sure, I realize not everyone is so lucky to have pasture. And that some people show at the big time and need their horses pristine. But my guys will always get pasture. It's always going to be the healthier option (minus any health issues, as I mentioned above.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets    
We have 6 months of snow, or more. Even if we did have pastures for them, they would not survive on just pasture because the grass stops growing in the winter.
So just devil's advocate here because I'm feeling like it:
How did the wild herds of Nokota horses survive in the Badlands before the Medora park board started feeding them hay in the winter, if horses cannot survive on pasture alone in the snow? The horses were there long before the park fenced them in.
     
    08-21-2013, 12:54 PM
  #27
Trained
^^ Ever seen how skinny deer get after a long winter? Horses might survive the winter, with some losses - just as some deer survive, and others die. But most of us would like our horses to have a high probability of surviving winter.

Horses could survive in pockets of the Sonoran desert, but they sure would not thrive.
paintsrule, natisha and Celeste like this.
     
    08-21-2013, 01:14 PM
  #28
Super Moderator
In the UK the Household cavalry horses and Police Horses spend the bulk of their working lives in stalls. Same with racehorses, competition and hunting horses too in the season
The difference between these horses on a properly managed regime is that they get a lot of attention and a lot of exercise plus going to shows or hunting so they get a lot more stimulation and work than a horse that's maybe spending all but for an hour every day on a very small space - and that's when the bad habits start to crop up
I totally understand that its not possible for all owners to be able to have a large pasture for turnout but a horse needs exercise for healthy muscle, joint, blood circulation, lung function and feet so if you aren't able to provide that by way of a large enough area for it to move around freely then you have to provide it in other ways that take up more time and effort on the owners part
My own horses do have enough room to gallop around but they also spend time stabled. If I look outside at them now they are all standing under trees or grazing one small area.
texasgal, COWCHICK77, bsms and 1 others like this.
     
    08-21-2013, 02:05 PM
  #29
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
^^ Ever seen how skinny deer get after a long winter? Horses might survive the winter, with some losses - just as some deer survive, and others die. But most of us would like our horses to have a high probability of surviving winter.

Horses could survive in pockets of the Sonoran desert, but they sure would not thrive.
You misinterpreted my point bsms.

I'm not suggesting horses should be left to starve on their pasture in the winter, without any hay from their owners.

Just saying that they could survive on pasture alone in the winter, and they have.
     
    08-21-2013, 02:31 PM
  #30
Trained
"How did the wild herds of Nokota horses survive in the Badlands before the Medora park board started feeding them hay in the winter, if horses cannot survive on pasture alone in the snow?"

I suspect a wild horse herd, like a wild herd of deer, won't all survive the winter. Or they will survive, but be skin and bones. That was why usandpets wrote "they would not survive on just pasture because the grass stops growing in the winter". Some would survive, maybe most, but they would not survive the winter in the way most would want.

With water, a horse could survive here in the Sonoran desert, but it might be at a ratio of 2 sq miles per horse. I don't know how much pasture it would take in the Dakotas, but a winter of scrapping away snow & eating anything they could find would be hard on the horse, as it is for a feral horse.
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kids horses, show horses, & ranch horses for sale .Delete. Horses for Sale 9 04-22-2013 05:30 PM
Pastured Horses. Iseul Horse Training 9 01-30-2013 10:29 PM
Putting a pastured horse on to 24/7 stall rest? wild_spot Horse Health 14 08-28-2012 01:19 AM
If your horse is pastured.. furbabymum Horse Talk 15 01-24-2012 02:46 PM
best supplement for pastured horses? garlicbunny Horse Health 6 01-23-2012 07:07 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0