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GallopGal
Jan. 2, 2008, 11:06 PM
In about 5 years I want to move to Colorado. I would put a small barn but no stalls (maybe one or two for lay ups). I would like to have one or two dressage horses and a few ranch horses. I have never really liked the idea of stalls. I think the more turn out the better. Let a horse be a horse as much as possible. I was thinking of fencing in a 10-15 acer pasture and hopefully keeping it irrigated. Talk to me about pasture keeping a horse you show or train.

This would mean you wouldnt have to do turn out or clean stalls. Also I would use the grass and round bales to do most of the feeding so that would save time. I would put large heated waterers and a shed. Of course there would be pasture maintance to keep you plenty busy. So does it work for the show/ training horse?

Sabovee
Jan. 2, 2008, 11:08 PM
I have a 4th, 2nd, 1st and Training level show horses who all live outside 24/7. All my horses do.

I do have stalls, but the horses are so much happier out. :)
It can be done!

GallopGal
Jan. 2, 2008, 11:12 PM
I have a 4th, 2nd, 1st and Training level show horses who all live outside 24/7. All my horses do.

I do have stalls, but the horses are so much happier out. :)
It can be done!

I guess my biggest thought would if your horse is that harry is it hard to ride with out spending hours waiting for them to dry?

Sabovee I like those feeders you link to on your website.

EqTrainer
Jan. 2, 2008, 11:14 PM
Trace clip and blankets!

All my horses live out. We have stalls for horrible weather but according to my horses, we only have horrible weather once or twice a year. Tonight the low is 20 with high winds and they have double blankets on and a ton of hay to eat... outside.

Most of them are working horses. The horses who live at my sister farm come here for vacations :) Quite frankly, I think it's a lot easier to keep them fit and they sure are happier.

Sabovee
Jan. 2, 2008, 11:16 PM
Trace clip and blankets!

All my horses live out. We have stalls for horrible weather but according to my horses, we only have horrible weather once or twice a year. Tonight the low is 20 with high winds and they have double blankets on and a ton of hay to eat... outside.

Most of them are working horses. The horses who live at my sister farm come here for vacations :) Quite frankly, I think it's a lot easier to keep them fit and they sure are happier.


Exactly.
I have very happy, healthy athletes!

Anyone that's in work gets clipped and blanketed. :)

quietann
Jan. 3, 2008, 12:09 AM
My good friend keeps her two horses in turnout with access to stalls 24/7. She *does* have to clean the stalls; the mare trashes hers within a few days, while the gelding (who competes) is more neat. She does not have to clean daily, more like pick out every 3 days or so, add shavings as needed, and replace everything about once every two weeks.

I do believe that horses should have as much turnout as possible!

atr
Jan. 3, 2008, 12:27 AM
The keeping of them is relatively easy. The riding of them in a snowy, cold climate in the winter is more difficult. You need to plan for that, depending on where you choose to live. You can easily have significant snow on the ground in the Rockies for 5 months of the year, and as much as everyone will tell you that you can ride and train in snow, and I used to when I lived in lower New York State, it ain't so when there's 3ft on the ground and more powder coming, and the roads are too treacherous to trailer out... and all this is followed by the most horrendous mud season you have ever seen...

I've finally given in and board my dressage horse in the winter so I can have a decent arena to ride in, especially after work in the winter, and have some hope of making some progress.

GallopGal
Jan. 3, 2008, 12:40 AM
The keeping of them is relatively easy. The riding of them in a snowy, cold climate in the winter is more difficult. You need to plan for that, depending on where you choose to live. You can easily have significant snow on the ground in the Rockies for 5 months of the year, and as much as everyone will tell you that you can ride and train in snow, and I used to when I lived in lower New York State, it ain't so when there's 3ft on the ground and more powder coming, and the roads are too treacherous to trailer out... and all this is followed by the most horrendous mud season you have ever seen...

I've finally given in and board my dressage horse in the winter so I can have a decent arena to ride in, especially after work in the winter, and have some hope of making some progress.

Yeah I was thinking that too. I might want to put up a small indoor arena with 2 stalls for lay ups or cold nights.

cyndi
Jan. 3, 2008, 09:14 AM
My third level horse and the two youngsters all live outside 24/7 year round. It does not get very cold down here (well, ok, it was freezing last night, literally!). They have a large run-in shed they can use, and when it's going to be very cold, I blanket them. However, none of them are clipped. Because it doesn't get cold, they don't grow a lot of hair.

I could not really stand to keep my horses stalled. I know they are happier outside. The down side is, when I go to shows, my mare is not used to being locked up and by the second day, she is more than ready to go home. So she always does better the first day of a show. I try and hand walk her a lot at shows, and if it's a venue that's close enough, I've often trailered her home after showing the first day to turn her out all night, and then taken her back for the second day.

Simrat
Jan. 3, 2008, 11:23 AM
My horses live in 1/2 acre and 1 acre paddocks with run in sheds. They get sheets on only to keep them clean. When it is cold, I throw extra hay. Next years I will consider a trace clip on one mare, who gets a bit shaggier than the others, as cooling her off does take a little longer.

Mine have lived in stalls in the past, so they do just fine at shows. It's nice to give them the experience of stall living at some point when they are younger, so it's not an entirely new thing on the occaision that they need to be stalled.

Keeping them out does mean more hair and more grooming, but it is so worth it. Some days, they are the only horses outside... It also makes me concentrate on mud management for my paddocks.

Valentina_32926
Jan. 3, 2008, 11:26 AM
The down side is, when I go to shows, my mare is not used to being locked up and by the second day, she is more than ready to go home.

Yup - this is one reason I have my horses out from sunrise to sunset and stalled in the evening. They're more accustomed to stalling during shows so handle being "in" more during that time. And yes - I DO walk and lunge them several times during the day (and evening) at shows.

Reiter
Jan. 3, 2008, 11:52 AM
Most of mine are out 24/7, but they are blanketed in the winter. The broodmares go in the barn 1-2 months before giving birth and the babies are in the barn with a huge paddock over the winter because I don't blanket foals and that way they get used to barn life and are easier for me to work with. The horses that are in training also come in and have to live in stalls for a while. My show horse is sort of an inbetween. She's in at night, mainly because she is fed different and low horse in rank, so that way I can make sure she gets what she's supposed to. I usually ride her in the morning, so after I'm done riding her she gets turned out with the broodmares. On the days when I can't ride her she get's turned out right after breakfast. I don't mind picking out stalls, but I do believe the more turn-out the better and my horses are the proof! In over 20 years of horse ownership I've never had one colic or any other serious problems besides bumps and scrapes and the occasional retained placenta! Knocking wildly on wood now! ;)

GallopGal
Jan. 3, 2008, 02:51 PM
With all the added blanketing and clipping and grooming is it more work keeping them inside or out?

Kimberlee
Jan. 3, 2008, 03:25 PM
Definitly more work if you are keeping them inside. Cleaning a stall is more work than throwing on another blanket.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Jan. 3, 2008, 03:32 PM
Mine is out 24/7, isn't blanketed unless needed (ie, almost never). He's hairy for a TB. However - I'm careful how I work him. There is plenty you can do in hand, on the ground, or at the walk to increase suppleness and strength and balance.

Last year we worked through the winter except in the worst of the cold (or when driving conditions/ice made it too difficult to do anything safely, like drive there) and we never needed his cooler.

PS He'll be 16 in March.

seeuatx
Jan. 3, 2008, 03:43 PM
I ride for a woman that keeps her horses out 24/7. The horses (all WB's, not that it matters though) LOVE it. Her older guy (3rd level Dutch) comes in at night in the winter, but only because his feet fall apart from the wetness. All her babies stay out to be babies. We reduce work load to maintain with out overdoing in the cold, which I think is good for their brains too. The fields have large run-ins, but each horse has a stall just in case.

My dream farm would have a barn with dutch doors that would open into fields so that the horses could come and go, or be brought in for severe weather.

lorilu
Jan. 3, 2008, 04:01 PM
Colorado isn't New York. The sun shines almost every day on the eastern slope, and there are many snow free days.
I lived in Boulder for 9 years in the 70's.... took horseback riding for my PE credits, showed in the winter..... no indoor at that time, all outdoor rings, don't remember many "no riding" days......
Loretta

Adagio
Jan. 3, 2008, 04:07 PM
If you live on the front range I wouldn't get to worried about snow. Yes you'll get it but it usually warms up in a day or two and your able to ride again. You do, however, have to deal with a frozen arena so riding first thing in the morning is out. Of course it would certainly be excellent to have an indoor - even a small one - for those days when the weather makes it impossible. If you move into the mountains that's a whole different story and is more like the above poster described with snow all winter.

What I'd be more focused on is the water and irrigated pasture. Water rights put property at a premium and getting the water on the property can be expensive and time consuming. I looked for awhile to try and buy something with water - everything that had water was too expensive or too beat up to even think about moving into.
Good luck with obtaining your dream

FriesianX
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:59 AM
Mine are all out 24/7. The riding horses have access to a run in shed row mare motel, and are on smaller pastures (1/2 to 1 acre), except my stallion, who has a 100x70 pen (just because it is EXPENSIVE to put up suitable stallion fencing). Mr. Stud muffin has a large 3 sided run in shed in one corner of his pen. The bigger pastures (5 to 20 acres) all have 3 sided shelters too - where the broodies or youngsters reside.

It isn't as cold as CO, we have evenings into the mid and upper 20s at the coldest, and no snow.

My riding horses are clipped and blanketed. Either trace clip, or body clip but with full hair on the head and legs (well, I trim up the face a bit, but I don't clip it, and I take off feathers). The blanket keeps the body clean, so mostly it is hosing off muddy legs (you do need to get a look at those legs to make sure no cuts, swelling, scratches, etc). and knocking mud off the head. I DO think a stalled horse is MUCH cleaner, but I don't think they are HAPPIER!

petit fromage
Jan. 5, 2008, 01:33 PM
"My dream farm would have a barn with dutch doors that would open into fields so that the horses could come and go, or be brought in for severe weather."

Yes, seeuatx, that's what we built. I'd never go back to closing my horses in or the "turn in and out" thing. I clip and blanket for winter riding....small clip job and light blanket.

MontanaDun
Jan. 6, 2008, 08:27 AM
Our critters are out 7x24, some are furballs and some are blanketed, but this year I finally broke down and took my competition horse to a place with an indoor for the winter. It's really nice to come home from work and be able to ride on perfectly groomed footing instead of picking our way through a semi-frozen mess. He's out about 8 hours per day - I wish it could be more, but he will come home in the spring to more turnout.

So the out full-time thing is great, but I agree with atr on the good footing "thing"!

MD

Moll
Jan. 6, 2008, 10:30 AM
Yes, it's doable, and better for the horses. But I wonder about this "it's easier, no cleaning stalls" - at least with my horses, I spend a lot of time cleaning the paddocks instead. So you can't expect to get out of cleaning.

rhymeswithfizz
Jan. 8, 2008, 01:30 AM
In about 5 years I want to move to Colorado. I would put a small barn but no stalls (maybe one or two for lay ups). I would like to have one or two dressage horses and a few ranch horses. I have never really liked the idea of stalls. I think the more turn out the better. Let a horse be a horse as much as possible. I was thinking of fencing in a 10-15 acer pasture and hopefully keeping it irrigated. Talk to me about pasture keeping a horse you show or train.

This would mean you wouldnt have to do turn out or clean stalls. Also I would use the grass and round bales to do most of the feeding so that would save time. I would put large heated waterers and a shed. Of course there would be pasture maintance to keep you plenty busy. So does it work for the show/ training horse?

Come be my neighbor!! :D I love it here in CO. I know tons of people who have plans very similar to what you describe. Though just to warn you, in CO there is virtually no irrigating of pastures allowed unless you have a very rare type of well permit. Come August, those fields will likely be brown. And if you really have 5 horses on 10 acres, they'll have it eaten down to nothing by the end of the summer. We just don't get much rain here. But hey, this weekend we just had several gorgeous almost-60 degree days, in January, so it's a trade off!

We recently moved to a little 5 acre farmette with my retiree and soon-to-be-show horse. Mine are out during the day and stalled at night though - I still want them to be stall-able (though my "stalls" are still open to small private runs separate from the pasture) and have mealtimes to themselves. Riding alone is a bit of an adjustment for me but not too terrible. My two are almost completely potty-trained - they rarely do their business in the stalls, so poop pickin' is a quick and easy 5 minute job. I clean the runs once a week, weather permitting.

Speedy
Jan. 8, 2008, 10:42 AM
I think it is nice for them to live out - but - you may need/want more land that you are anticipating. You need *at least* 2 acres per horse to ensure that the horses have good grazing year round. I know people do it on a lot less, but let's face it, they are often on dry lots for much of the year that way. So, since you aren't going to spend a ton of money building a barn anyway, if I were you, I would put more into the property itself.

The other thing is shoeing. If you are going to have a lot of snow every year, you may need to consider whether or not your horses can go without shoes and still remain in work. It is so awful for them to teeter around on snowballed feet, and a bit less likely if they are bare foot.

Personally, I would have to have an indoor to ride in but I am a total wimp when it comes to bad weather!

rhymeswithfizz
Jan. 8, 2008, 01:09 PM
I think it is nice for them to live out - but - you may need/want more land that you are anticipating. You need *at least* 2 acres per horse to ensure that the horses have good grazing year round.


In fact, my vet has stated that in Colorado, it is recommended for there to be 35 acres PER HORSE if you want good grazing (and don't supplement with hay). I don't know anyone who has that luxury, so we do the best we can!

Speedy
Jan. 8, 2008, 02:20 PM
In fact, my vet has stated that in Colorado, it is recommended for there to be 35 acres PER HORSE if you want good grazing (and don't supplement with hay). I don't know anyone who has that luxury, so we do the best we can!

Wow! Thank god I live in Virginia!

JLR1
Jan. 8, 2008, 10:58 PM
This is my first year having my horses out 24/7 and I will NEVER stable them again. My pasture-kept, barefoot, unclipped gelding has been very successful in the dressage ring. I live in AZ, so I don't have severe cold to deal with, but when it rains I put a sheet on him and he stays nice and dry. My DQ friends think its a huge inconvenience to spend a little more time grooming, or heaven forbid have to walk a little further to get my horse out of the pasture....to me it is extra time I am happy to spend to keep my horse happy.