Young horse on hills
Hi, I'm new to this forum...and need advice.
I have an 18 month old New Forest gelding. There are lots of arguments in our yard atm about who is having which field:-?
I have been told that I shouldn't put my yearling on the steep paddocks as his bones are soft and may end up with bent legs or something :think: Can anyone tell me if this is true?
I don't particularly want him on the hills anyway as the whole place is like a swamp atm and it aint easy getting up and down the hill!
Any advice would be great.
I don't know about bent legs, what I would be concerned about is if he got rowdy and something and slid down the hill and got hurt someway. How steep is the hill? Is any part of is flat? If its is a safety issue or your young horse who is still growing I'd make that very crystal clear to the barn owner and other boarders. I wouldn't pay to have my young future prospect to be put in a turnout place that was possible a danger to his growth or health in any way!
It's not dangerously steep, just unpleasant.
At the moment he is in a flat field, but with all the arguing going on I have been asked why I don't put him in the marsh/hill paddock. After one guy said you shouldn't put youngsters on hills I'm now worried about it. I want to use that as an argument to the yard owner, but wanted to be sure it was true first.
I put my yearlings in the steepest, roughest and rockiest fields I have or can lease. It makes them develop good bone and feet and makes them better, safer and sounder horses for the rest of their lives. The worst thing you can do it raise them in a box or a paddock. Then they have softer bone, poorer feet and a lot less coordination and surefootedness than horses raised in rough terrain.
I just got back a couple weeks ago from Vienna were I got to tour the Spanish riding school and learned they put all the yearling out on steep pasture hills to get them strong and good hard feet and all sorts of things! I found this very cool! I would put my young horse on a hill as long as it was t super slick :)
I would say if the hills are dry and not dangerous, there is no reason he shouldn't go as long as there are flat areas in the turn out. Turn out on hilly ground won't cause his bones to bend.
However it sounds like it is slick and mucky, I would be cautious to turn any horse out there because if they are running and playing they could slip downhill and hurt themselves.
Good luck with your argument!
I always put my babies in the craziest terrain possible. It builds strength, bone density and a ballanced and sure footed youngster.
A youngster turned out in a rough paddock, develops so much more balance, stamina, muscle etc. than one turned out on a perfectly flat, square, manicured paddock.
My young warmblood has been turned out on a hill, with rocks and trees, since he was 12 months old. Yeah, he's had a few tumbles, but heck is he sure footed now, and very brave!
I like my young horse to have his time as a young horse, mucking around like a bat out of hell in the paddock. The owner of the other young horse in the paddock, tries to keep him rugged to the eyeballs, plaits his mane and tail etc so he doesn't rub it out, and flips out when my youngster chews her horse's mane, jumps on him etc. I couldn't care less, half of Billy's mane has been chewed out, he's full of bite marks, scrapes etc. But he LOVES being out there playing!!!
Phooeyness! That's utterly ridiculous. If the story you've been spun was at all true, just about every wild/feral horse would grow up with bent legs!
For more exercise & better development, etc, I'd definitely choose a hill paddock rather than keeping a horse on the flat.
Now I'm not bothered about him going on a hill (I wouldn't have been in the first place if that man hadn't said that to me!)
My only argument to someone in our yard that said in the wild they would go on hills, was that in the wild they have a choice, and also, if their legs weren't perfectly straight it didn't matter cause nobody was gonna ride em.
I'm now thinking if nobody wants the hill paddock I'll take it as it's 32 acres! :D
Thank you all
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