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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are planning to move to a home with acreage and a barn and move our horses there. I made a short schedule but would like input on how effective it would be! Be as harsh as you would like, I am looking for help and information. We have two horses right now and they would be stalled at night and turned out all day. So my schedule would go like this:

7:00 A.M. - Feed/water horses.
8:00 A.M. - Turn out horses.

I go to school from 8:35 to 3:35 so I couldn't do anything from then.

4:00 P.M. - Feed/water horses.
4:30 P.M. - Muck out stalls
5:30 P.M. - Ride both horses.
9:00 P.M. - Stall both horses.
(I feel like I'm forgetting something...I'll remember as soon as I post it..:hide:)

This is only a rough draft of a schedule and it probably change depending on what's happening, but I would want to feed them at a specific time. The number of horses might/will increase with time but I will know more of what to do when that happens.

So what are your schedules? I would love to hear them! Please ask questions as I do need help.
 

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It certainly appears like a doable schedule and if that works for you then good. You've covered the basics of making sure the horses' needs are taken care of.
You may need to factor in maintenance work at some point - I would assume you'd try and do that on the weekend when you have more time (if it can be put off). Maintenance is mending broken fences, replacing stall hinges, dealing with snow (if you get it), etc. - picking up feed could probably be included in here as well.

My horses are out most of the time and just come in overnight during the hard part of winter. In the winter, they are watered twice a day (morning and evening) and enough hay put out to last a 24 hour period. During the summer, hay consumption is way down as they can graze the pasture.
 

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If your barn has light, if I were you, I'd ride first, then feed and muck out afterwards when its dark. Then you're not wasting daylight!
 

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Agree with the above, but also if it's 90 degrees in the summer you'll want stalls done asap.

I would plan on feeding at 9pm. Hay at 7 4 and 9 and grain at 7 and 9. That way you aren't riding after you eat and the grain's more spread out, and hay 3x is better than 2x and then they'll have something to munch on while in.

Around here most people feed at some point in the am, and then pm is right before dark. So in the summer it will be 6-8 for the most part (depending on the person/place) and in the winter is will be 3-4 (again, depending). Of course that depends on your climate and lifestyle.

I would suggest riding/working with the horses earlier in the day if possible (I know you said you couldn't for the most part) that will be the first thing to go when you get tired or don't want to.

I prefer not to feed at a specific time (in a general time frame of course) because the more rigid your schedule is the more rigid it HAS to be. I've known horses that get fed at 7 am exactly and 710 are climbing the walls (and 8 am would probably be in a full blown meltdown or colic), or I even saw a horse (same place) on stall rest who knew his turn to be handwalked was next and was eager to get out and when the lady went over be a few minutes working the previous horse the horse on stall rest was having a meltdown in his stall (and defeating the purpose of stall rest). To each their own, and obviously you have your own schedule but I prefer to not be so rigid. My horses/animals get fed within a general time frame and if I need to go earlier or later one day than it's no big deal.
 

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Just from personal experience, at least for my mare, I've found that her stall seems "ickier" after cleaning it, if I leave it dirty all day.
I'm not sure of the whys or wherefores, but maybe it has something to do with any leftover wetness being able to evaporate during the day? I'm not sure.

Anyway, my singular horse is stalled at night and out during the day, during the winter [summer, she's out 24/7], and our usual schedule looks like:
7:30am - feed, clean stall
7:50am - turn out

School, school, school.

3pm - other barn chores/riding if there's time/watering
4-4:30pm - feed in stall, bedtime!

Of course, if I had electricity, I would ideally leave her out until later. As it is, I have to work with the hours of daylight I have. Depending on my school schedule, I have fed/put her in for the night in the dark, but she really does not like that at all.

I'm probably lazy [haha] but I've found it to be the most efficient if I sort of "group" my barn activities. Like riding, feeding, and putting her in for the night all together, instead of riding at a separate time.
Of course, my horse is on my neighbor's property and is a 5+ minute walk from my house so I imagine it'd probably be different if she was right outside my back door.

The other thing I found to be helpful is feeding her in her stall before/while putting her in for the night - after the first few weeks of doing that, I haven't had to do much more than call her over at dinnertime. She knows it's time for dinner and her stall and she's perfectly happy to come in because she wants her meal! :D
Same with feeding, I hang a slow feed haynet in her stall [she has plenty of grazing in the pasture during the day, but on the off chance she wants hay, her stall is also her run-in shelter and her stall always has hay during the winter] and she has hay all night. Each evening I prepare her hay while she eats her ration balancer - she gets too distracted if she has grain AND fresh hay. :lol:
If you're feeding multiple horses, feeding them in their stalls gives you more control over who's eating what and how much.

Those are just some things I've found work for me, you'll soon figure out what works best for you and your setup. :)
 

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If I were stabling my horses every night, and if I fed my horses hard feed, this would be my regime:

First thing:

Feed
Turn out
Muck out (if it's really wet, you have the option of leaving the bed up for the day to dry out)
Fill overnight haynets & hang up
Make up evening feeds

Daytime non-horsey-jobs

Ride

More non-horsey jobs

Evening

Put beds down
Bring in
Feed
Make up next morning feeds

In the winter, I would put hay out in the pasture before turning out.
 

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We feed at 5:30 a.m., turn out at 7 a.m., muck out at 5:30 p.m., feed at 6 p.m., go in and have our dinner and turn back out approx 8 p.m. if it's going to be a nice winter night otherwise they stay in til morning, ride on weekends if it's nice during the winter.

Summer we keep pretty much the same schedule except we might go out and ride for a while after about 7-7:30 p.m. til dark at 9 p.m. mid week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It certainly appears like a doable schedule and if that works for you then good. You've covered the basics of making sure the horses' needs are taken care of.
You may need to factor in maintenance work at some point - I would assume you'd try and do that on the weekend when you have more time (if it can be put off). Maintenance is mending broken fences, replacing stall hinges, dealing with snow (if you get it), etc. - picking up feed could probably be included in here as well.

My horses are out most of the time and just come in overnight during the hard part of winter. In the winter, they are watered twice a day (morning and evening) and enough hay put out to last a 24 hour period. During the summer, hay consumption is way down as they can graze the pasture.
Yes I would try and do maintenance on the weekends. They both would be outside 24/7 during the summer, if all goes as planned. I hadn't thought of maintenance for some reason so thank you!!

If your barn has light, if I were you, I'd ride first, then feed and muck out afterwards when its dark. Then you're not wasting daylight!
Wow how did I not think of that either! Good idea, thank you!

Agree with the above, but also if it's 90 degrees in the summer you'll want stalls done asap.

I would plan on feeding at 9pm. Hay at 7 4 and 9 and grain at 7 and 9. That way you aren't riding after you eat and the grain's more spread out, and hay 3x is better than 2x and then they'll have something to munch on while in.

Around here most people feed at some point in the am, and then pm is right before dark. So in the summer it will be 6-8 for the most part (depending on the person/place) and in the winter is will be 3-4 (again, depending). Of course that depends on your climate and lifestyle.

I would suggest riding/working with the horses earlier in the day if possible (I know you said you couldn't for the most part) that will be the first thing to go when you get tired or don't want to.

I prefer not to feed at a specific time (in a general time frame of course) because the more rigid your schedule is the more rigid it HAS to be. I've known horses that get fed at 7 am exactly and 710 are climbing the walls (and 8 am would probably be in a full blown meltdown or colic), or I even saw a horse (same place) on stall rest who knew his turn to be handwalked was next and was eager to get out and when the lady went over be a few minutes working the previous horse the horse on stall rest was having a meltdown in his stall (and defeating the purpose of stall rest). To each their own, and obviously you have your own schedule but I prefer to not be so rigid. My horses/animals get fed within a general time frame and if I need to go earlier or later one day than it's no big deal.
Thank you so much! I was trying to decide whether I would feed 2 or 3 times per day, and I just went with 2 until I heard more opinions. So if I was feeding 3 times a day it would be at 7, 4, and 9? And then grain at 7 and 9? That makes sense. The summer will be much different than the winter, and I will spend much more time riding and working with them during the summer. But I am making it a rule that I must ride at least 3-4 times per week. The times will probably not be real specific, but I would like it to be within the same hour. Making sure they don't get real schedule driven is a good idea, thank you!

Just from personal experience, at least for my mare, I've found that her stall seems "ickier" after cleaning it, if I leave it dirty all day.
I'm not sure of the whys or wherefores, but maybe it has something to do with any leftover wetness being able to evaporate during the day? I'm not sure.

Anyway, my singular horse is stalled at night and out during the day, during the winter [summer, she's out 24/7], and our usual schedule looks like:
7:30am - feed, clean stall
7:50am - turn out

School, school, school.

3pm - other barn chores/riding if there's time/watering
4-4:30pm - feed in stall, bedtime!

Of course, if I had electricity, I would ideally leave her out until later. As it is, I have to work with the hours of daylight I have. Depending on my school schedule, I have fed/put her in for the night in the dark, but she really does not like that at all.

I'm probably lazy [haha] but I've found it to be the most efficient if I sort of "group" my barn activities. Like riding, feeding, and putting her in for the night all together, instead of riding at a separate time.
Of course, my horse is on my neighbor's property and is a 5+ minute walk from my house so I imagine it'd probably be different if she was right outside my back door.

The other thing I found to be helpful is feeding her in her stall before/while putting her in for the night - after the first few weeks of doing that, I haven't had to do much more than call her over at dinnertime. She knows it's time for dinner and her stall and she's perfectly happy to come in because she wants her meal! :D
Same with feeding, I hang a slow feed haynet in her stall [she has plenty of grazing in the pasture during the day, but on the off chance she wants hay, her stall is also her run-in shelter and her stall always has hay during the winter] and she has hay all night. Each evening I prepare her hay while she eats her ration balancer - she gets too distracted if she has grain AND fresh hay. :lol:
If you're feeding multiple horses, feeding them in their stalls gives you more control over who's eating what and how much.

Those are just some things I've found work for me, you'll soon figure out what works best for you and your setup. :)
Okay I will see if I can clean it in the morning, that might work better. The idea of feeding in stalls is really good, and it would definitely work well for me! Thank you so much! Also grouping all the barn chores/riding/stalling is a really good idea, I will definitely use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I were stabling my horses every night, and if I fed my horses hard feed, this would be my regime:

First thing:

Feed
Turn out
Muck out (if it's really wet, you have the option of leaving the bed up for the day to dry out)
Fill overnight haynets & hang up
Make up evening feeds

Daytime non-horsey-jobs

Ride

More non-horsey jobs

Evening

Put beds down
Bring in
Feed
Make up next morning feeds

In the winter, I would put hay out in the pasture before turning out.
Hmm... Good schedule. I think mucking in the morning is a great idea. So you use haynets in the stalls at night? I would've thought you would just put the flakes in the feeder. I will have to do more research on that. Thank you!

We feed at 5:30 a.m., turn out at 7 a.m., muck out at 5:30 p.m., feed at 6 p.m., go in and have our dinner and turn back out approx 8 p.m. if it's going to be a nice winter night otherwise they stay in til morning, ride on weekends if it's nice during the winter.

Summer we keep pretty much the same schedule except we might go out and ride for a while after about 7-7:30 p.m. til dark at 9 p.m. mid week.
Another good schedule! I'm impressed. So do your horses stay out at night or do they stay in? I guess it would depend on weather?
 

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Another good schedule! I'm impressed. So do your horses stay out at night or do they stay in? I guess it would depend on weather?
I only keep them in during inclement weather. If it's snowing (hah, starting to forget what that looks like), heavily raining or hailing (forgetting that too!), or if there is an imminent tornado warning, or like the last couple of weeks when we've been 70 F on the weekends and then BOOM! below 0 F on Monday morning, I bring them in. Otherwise, if it's clear and cold, they stay out. If it's howling wind with significant wind chills but otherwise clear, I blanket and they stay out.

Today it was 66 F, tonight down to 33 F, so they're out. Tomorrow 66 F and Monday morning, it's supposed to be -5 F with the windchill and high wind. I'll bring them in Sunday night and keep them in til probably close to noon on Monday when it will be back above 0. This year has been just insane for weather.
 

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Just a word of caution. When you get horses on a rigid schedule like that they are going to EXPECT you be out there at 7am on the DOT. Kiss sleeping in good bye because they are going to start screaming and acting up as soon as breakfast doesn't come their way on time. I used to horse sit for a friend of mine. She wasn't kidding when she said she fed at 7. 6:55 they were pacing, whinnying and squabbling with each other. I was late feeding them once (10 minutes late) and a neighbor called to check and see if everything's ok.
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Although you want to have a general schedule, keep in mind that you'll want to alter that considerably depending on the time of year, i.e. hours of daylight. We typically turn out/put up our horses based on sunrise/sunset.
 

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I agree with being a little more flexible. Firstly, what happens when the unexpected occurs and you can't get out to feed at exactly 4pm. Maybe you get stuck at school or a car/bus breaks down. Being flexible with feedings means you won't have to worry about your horses getting worked up.

Also, consider the seasons and riding times. In the middle of summer, I like to ride in the mornings before work to avoid the heat. Luckily there's plenty of light. Right now, however, I try to stay in bed for as long as possible and stay warm.
 

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Feeding 2x per day is fine, but as always the more the better and if you are around might as well do 3. 3+ is ideal. If you do 2 I would still do 9pm because you want them as evenly spread out as possible.

If your horses are in I would assume you are feeding in stalls? But if not, I do agree that's a good idea.

I do more of a routine than a schedule (again the whole time thing). Since everyone else is writing it out I will too. I have taken care of lots of different horses and for the most part it's the same.

Feed horses , turn out (get t/os ready with hay and water, doing extras as I go (scrubbing buckets), then change blankets, flyspray, w/e and bring out), clean stalls, extras (paddock picking, sweeping, etc) ride (my own horses of course, I TRY to schedule this but it tends to not happen or I'll just ride when I can or later) /groom/work horses, leave alone. Feed lunch if the horses get lunch. Usually just hay and top off water, make any changes (bring in if rainy, change blankets if need be).

PM- clean stalls if I didn't in the am and didn't get to during the day, set up stalls (grain/hay/water) bring horses in, again changing blankets, doing "night stuff", clean the paddocks if need be, (bring water buckets in, whatever, again obviously depends on your set up) double check horses are all set and do anything extra (grooming, riding if you want) triple check horses are all set, doors are shut, tuck them in and go in :) Most private owners don't do a night check unless they want to give carrots or something lol (or a sick horse), but if you want to go for it. I would check water and give more hay if you do go back out.

Sorry if that was hard to read, I thought the details may give you some ideas. At the end of the day as long as they eat regularly and aren't standing in poop they'll be fine lol.

I would not use haynets at night personally. Most people don't, I only actually know of one barn that does in my area. Unless you have a specific horse that needs one I would use them for trailering or only if needed. I also would stay away from a feeder (manger I assume you're getting at) for the same reason. It is healthier for them to eat from a ground. Grain is not a big deal for most horses since they eat it and are done but hay is dusty and it takes much longer to eat. I would use a corner feeder or tub on the floor for grain (again tub on the floor is "better" since it's more natural, but not a huge deal) and throw the hay on the floor (obviously in a clean spot, usually next to the feeder's good).

As far as in vs out I think most people would agree that it's healthier for them to be out 24/7, but lots of people prefer to keep them in. For example, when I cared for my horses they were out all day and in at night. If the weather was bad (severe weather or just miserable) they were in (or I'd put the tough ones out and keep the ones that would stay in anyways in, basically give them the choice since I know what they want- we always use the one stall as a run in) but they were out almost all of the time. Now my mother cares for them and prefers to have them out 24/7 and use all the stalls as run ins. One horse prefers to be in, one doesn't care, one prefers to be out. This way they always have the option but the barn is more open to the weather since all the stall doors are open. Less shavings (cheaper, better for environment and our compost) but I like to use shavings to encourage them to lie down and the stalls feel cleaner. I like to have them in the stalls so I know they are separate and "safe" and so they can have some time where they know the others are there so they feel comfortable but they are separate so they can relax. It's easier to let them eat like that. Currently my mother feeds them and then has to go back out hours later to let them out again. Even though it's a very short walk it's still a pain at 10 pm when you're in your pj's and it's 10 degrees out!

The shavings do help insulate too :p.

So pros to out:
easier to clean (scrape with shovel)
very light use of shavings (MUCH cheaper/ better for environment/less dust) (again due to minimal shaving use I find stalls don't seem as clean and smell worse, the shavings help absorb all that extra that you just won't get with a shovel)
better for horses (more movement which is good)

Pros to in:
easier to feed
horses will lie down more
horses will be separate (no fussing when you aren't around)
slightly safer environment (no going through fence, can supervise, can monitor if horse is ill)
horse will be used to it if stall time is necessary
better for horses (in some ways, see above, I feel they relax more at night because they feel safer in)

Again, some horses prefer to be in, some hate it, it also depends on what they are used to and any medical conditions/issues. I would ultimately let the horses decide. As you can see I prefer to keep them in so I may of been heavier on the pros for that, but I tried to put everything and there are also pros for out, some of which are pretty major. While ours are currently out at night they always get shut in a paddock closer to the barn.

For most horses they should get as much turnout as possible (weather permitting) whether it's day or night, though the standard is out all day in at night, and right behind that out 24/7.

Sorry for the long post:oops:
 
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