Need some advice on bringing young warmblood home from barn to pasture!

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Need some advice on bringing young warmblood home from barn to pasture!

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  • Training plan young warmblood
  • Acclimating horses to pasture

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    05-10-2011, 12:02 PM
Need some advice on bringing young warmblood home from barn to pasture!


I am considering bringing my 5 year old gelding home for a few months this summer for a number of reasons.
1) to give him a break to be a horse (he's been in full time training 5/6 days per week for a year now)
2) to give my bank account a break (I am paying board on 2 horses but live on an acreage!)
3) to be able to enjoy my horses everyday and take care of them myself, which I love!!!

My dilemna is this... I had a horse die of colic recently so am very very paranoid. I want to make a non-stressful smooth transition. As he's be in a stall and small paddock, feed 4 times /day and ridden daily, now to be on 4 acres where we have fresh grass growing (though we have a dirt corral too) and he'll be out 24/7.

Second dilemna, he's very full of himself right now, quite strong and hard to handle + is not used to being ridden outside. I'm worried I'm bringing home an accident waiting to happen. BUT the other part of me is hoping if he has a break, can run around outside all day long and be a horse that's exposed to so much more, he'll settle down a bit and be okay.

Sorry this is a VERY long post! Any advice on any of it would be great ;)
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    05-10-2011, 04:19 PM
What I would do before you bring him home is...1. Check the fencing to make sure it is sound...
once you get him home, pen him in your dirt pen, only let him out for short periods of time on the grass(to prevent colic) you can increase the time he has out over a week or so, then he can be out all the time. No worries.. I would go out and work withhim some. Not hard,but a little walk trot,or lunge him, just so he can get used to you comeing to catch him, and things like that. That way if/when you decide you want to ride him, he'll be easier to catch...I'd also keep his grain the same: same type same feeding schedule, atleast while he is still getting used to living at your house, then you can change it if you want. With him having 4 acres of grass you may find that you can cut down his feed some. Do you know the signs of Colic?? I always keep a close eye on my horse and the horses I train. Colic is such a bad deal,but if caught quick enough can usually be attended to and the horse will get over it.
    05-10-2011, 06:57 PM
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. I rode him again today but he's such handful I'm not sure if I'll be able bring him.

Yes I know the signs for colic all to well. I noticed my gelding was awfully quiet then started to get up and down. I got the vet out within 1/2 an hour. She banamined him, she was okay until the next night and went down all of a sudden and we couldn't get him up and on the trailer. Again the vet was out within 15 minutes. He had a twist, pretty devastating :(

Thanks again
    05-10-2011, 07:48 PM
First of all, sorry about your gelding. I had a horse die of colic once and it was awful. I agree with the previous advice, but another suggestion is to invest in an electric fencer and string a single strand along the top of your fences, just as an added precaution. Also, will he have any company? If he's not used to being alone it might make him very nervous. It might help to line up a quiet older horse for company for him- maybe a boarder or a friend's horse?
    05-10-2011, 08:37 PM
I second gradually introducing him to the grass and the electric fence and a buddy. You're correct in thinking turn out will take the edge off of him for riding, however before I turn him out into the big field every time I would work him, at least for the first month. He's not conditioned for running around and doing so hard would likely cause injury.

Good luck!
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    05-10-2011, 09:10 PM
The first week you bring him home, I would keep things as normal for him as possible. Minimal to no turnout--providing you ride him for exercise and feed him 4 times a day like he's used to. I think the new location will be enough of a change for him.

Week 2, I would start to work with his diet. Unless you have time to feed him 4 times a day, gradually decrease that. During this time, I'd start allowing him to spend some time in the paddock. Maybe only an hour, or less. Will you sill be riding him for exercise? If not, maybe lunge him some so he's still in the rhythm of working and he's not just suddenly stopping. I would do this for several weeks.

After that, I think he'd be okay to leave out to pasture without risking upsetting his tummy. ;) Just be aware of his diet and how much grass he's suddenly being able to eat!
    05-10-2011, 09:30 PM
As far as acclimating him to the pasture.

Start with 15 mins grazing per day and increase by 15 mins/day until you hit 4 hours. At that point it should be fine to turn him out full time. This is only in regards to his digestive tract, not his attitude or anything else.

DO NOT turn him out full time after a week. You are asking for problems in terms of his digestive tract. You need to acclimate very slowly. You need a little over 2 weeks to acclimate him correctly. If you notice loose stool or other upsets stay at the same turnout timeframe for a couple of days. With my sensitive horses I have taken 3-4 weeks to acclimate them to full time pasture.

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