So I would like to move my gelding to pasture board--I want him out 24/7 anyway, and so it seems stupid to pay for a stall that I don't even want. I was justifying it to myself saying it would be great to have for injuries, but knock on wood he has never had an injury he can't be turned out with. We also have had more stalls built (and soon a whole new barn) so space is not necessarily an issue anymore.
However, I do have two problems. One of them is that he just does not get along with other horses. If they try to beat the crap out of him, he doesn't back down and he fights harder. If they kind of just leave him alone but don't get the heck out of the way when he walks by, he beats the crap out of them. There is one pony that he can be turned out with because the little guy runs for dear life from him, and my gelding finds that acceptable, but of course that's just mean for the pony. He doesn't keep him from grazing or anything serious like that, but the stress is obviously not something he should have to deal with.
The second problem is that if I were to go to pasture board, I would have to come out and feed him myself. Although I am more than willing to do this, my current job just doesn't allow it--there would be no way I'd get there before 8pm on an given weekday. There is another boarder who I believe comes out every evening--do you guys think it would be reasonable to ask her to drop his feed, if we can figure out the turn out situation? I would be more than willing to pay her of course, but if another boarder asked you, would you do it? I really don't want to leave, I love love love my trainer, love the property (the main reason I'm considering pasture board is the grass), and its close to my house but sadly not close to work.
Keep in mind that if your horse isn't on grass there is much less chance of founder.
My horses are out 24/7 (although I have stalls for bad weather or medical needs). I'd talk to other border and try to work out something. Say, he/she feeds your horse during a week and you take care of her horse on weekends, or something else. I did feed other people horses when I was boarding (never was paid), and personally I don't see it to be a big deal.
Grain is the number one cause of founder - not grass. A proper pasture that consists of a wide variety of good and poor forage and not a lush homogenous grass will rarely founder a horse. Sadly, too many people think thick, lush pastures with only one or two types of grass are best, when they are not. They are pretty to look at, though.
She also mentioned leaving him out 24/7. If they are pastured year-round (obviously fed hay in the winter), they are also less likely to founder. It is the horse kept in the barn that is let into the pasture and gorges himself that is at risk for grass founder.
The best time to switch a horse to pasture if he hasn't been on it 24/7, is in the early summer or early winter. Spring and fall are bad times to move a horse to pasture cold turkey.
With that being said, of course there are some horses that will founder on just about anything. But those are special needs horses and are exceptions to the norm.
Where we are at now we are the only boarders there, it is a private family farm....
But when we boarded at a facility, I was often asked to help out with another boarder's horse if they were sick, had to work or had something planned...I had NO problem with it! I was there already and had the few minutes it would take to feed or turnout, so why not do it! Oh, and I did not want or accept money for it.
Most people wouldn't mind helping you out, i am sure.
Speaking as someone who boards horses, problem #1 is a deal breaker. If the horse does not have the social skills to exist peacefully with pasturemates, he doesn't belong and the BO can't make him their personal project. No other boarder should be subjected to their horses fighting and possibly becoming injured because of one misfit. Now having said that, is it a mixed herd? Segregated herds always work best as far as fighting. How are the individual herds matched? How much time has he been given to fit in? Is he the only one that is removed nightly? Is there plenty of food available? All of these are variables that put him at a disadvantage and he overreacts to the stress.
Food is not an issue, its 17+ acres of pasture, he could be on one end and they could be on the other (which when he is turned out with them, that's always how I see it) but I'm guessing at the gate and at the water trough, they meet and then he's like "oh, other horses" and its kind of game on. In the past when he was turned out with other horses, he had no problem sharing a round bale with them--they just don't respect him enough, in his opinion. Quite frankly, he's had a year of mixing and matching to see who he could be turned out with, and a year and a half at another facility before that. It just doesn't work. He is rotated out with the BO's nasty mare (who can't be turned out with anyone else, either) so it ends up working out okay, for the most part.
I think the main problem here is that there are two awful horses instead of one--because if it was just my gelding, then he could just stay where he's turned out now with the little pony. Oh, and how the pastures are laid out, thats a problem too, haha. (we have 1 17 acre pasture, 1 4-5 acre pasture, 1 12 acre pasture with pasture boarders in it, and 1 little 1 acre pasture.) If there was a possibility we could cut a little bit of the 17 acre pasture off, I would offer to build the fence, but its not her land so we can't just build crap.
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