Wondering if I should pasture board during the winter in Michigan?
I'm taking a horse home from the camp I work at and the only way I can is if I find a place to board at for less than $350 a month. I would consider pasture boarding because the horse I'm interested in taking home doesn't prefer stalls but I'm concerned about pasture boarding during the winter because it gets really cold and snowy. Should I do it? I'd look for a places with good run ins, but if you know a place that has cheap stall board with open stalls, please let me know! :) thanks!
What area of Michigan are you in?
I'm from Michigan as well. My horses are out the "majority" of the time. Unless we have pouring rain in cold temps, heavy blizzards or hail. Or the temperatures are below 10 and super windy. So 80% of the winter they are out. They do well.
We do NOT have a run in at this point in time (will come September), which is why we bring them inside during bad weather. Because they would have not way of getting out of the weather...at all. We don't have many trees to use as a blockade. I do blanket a few of my horses, not all of them.
Friends of mine have run ins and never bring their horses inside and they all do great. No issues what-so-ever. And they also don't blanket at all. So yes it's possible, no it's not crazy. But it also depends greatly of the horse you have as well.
I live in Northern Wisconsin. My horses have the choice of being inside or out in the pasture during the winter. We get some serious cold weather and some big blizzards. 99% of the time, they're outside.
The only time we ever had an issue was with a horse we bought in January that was used to being stalled nights. He hadn't grown a proper winter coat and we did have to use caution with him with cold weather. As the previous poster mentioned, freezing rain is a big concern, and with him we had to be careful to bring him in if there was a cold, freezing rain.
I also tend to see issues in horses that are blanketed a lot. You really can't beat Mother Nature for creating the perfect winter coat, but when horses are blanketed a lot that coat doesn't grow in the way it should. Unless there is some reason the horse isn't growing a proper winter coat, a blanket should not be necessary.
The bigger concern for pasture boarding is actually summer: mine are inside most of the day to get out of the flies.
I live in Mid-Michigan and my horse is outside 95% of the time. She has a shelter in the pasture but only comes into the barn if the temps get below 20° at night. And no, she does not wear a blanket.
I live in Manitoba (Canada) and our horses are on pasture 24/7, even in the winter. They do have run-in sheds, which they sometimes use but not a lot; seems like as long as they can get a break from the wind then they're fine, and I don't ever blanket them. They grow lovely thick shaggy coats, especially the miniatures!
Where in Michigan are you? I live in West Michigan ( Grand Haven area ..) and my guys are both out 24/7. Mine has some arthritis and would stiffen right up if he were stalled. They grow nice shaggy coats, have lean to's if they need, although it is rare that they even go inside them. I think it depends on what your horse is used to. My husband initially was concerned over them being out side in bad weather, but I reminded him that no one brings the deer inside, and they do just fine...
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