View Full Version : Planning for Pony Freedom Day

Lori B
Dec. 10, 2009, 05:18 PM
Ok, so next Friday, barring any serious setbacks or atrocious weather, Katy has gotten the vet greenlight to be re-introduced to turnout with The Girls, her mare herd of 4 others.

Katy has been stall and then paddock-rested as part of recovering from a front suspensory injury since February. She sees all these horses coming and going and near her paddock, but the herd has changed in composition since she was last out with them.

I'm going to put on front galloping boots & bell boots. I'm going to give her some Ace. We are going to turn her out initially for just an hour or so late in the afternoon, and we will be picky about the footing for sometime -- if it's questionable, she'll just be in for the day until we are farther along in her rehab.

Any other thoughts about how to manage returning a horse to turnout after long absence? We don't expect her to be super silly, but there will no doubt be a bit of running and a bit of bucking, there's no way around that. I hope they don't cover her with nips and kicks, but they can be an exuberant bunch at times.

I am so happy about this, if a bit nervous. I plan to be there with a camera and champagne. (for me, carrots for her)

Lori B
Dec. 10, 2009, 05:25 PM
Oops, misposted, meant it to go in Horse Care. Mods? (thanks.)

Dec. 10, 2009, 05:38 PM
Being from the State of No Turnout, I have no advice but only congratulations for you and Katy.

Lori B
Dec. 10, 2009, 05:46 PM
I swear, Peggy, I'm going to mail you and Star a big chunk of Maryland orchard grass sod. Katy wants you to know that she is terrified at the thought of a world without grass.

Dec. 10, 2009, 09:10 PM
Do you have more have more than one pasture to divide her up with a buddy first?

Dec. 10, 2009, 09:17 PM
Maybe you can hotwire a small enclosure outside the paddock so she can be there with the real fence between her and her mates? My guy was in an adjoining pasture for x days and then the most accepting guy (usually the oldest) was put in with him, so he had a buddy. Finally they moved them both into the herd. I don't know how many days they took, but that was standard for a re-introduction to a herd.

Lori B
Dec. 10, 2009, 10:08 PM
Katy's current small paddock is near (but not adjacent) to the larger turnout. We don't have any way to do temporary fencing enclosures, BM doesn't like them, thinks they are unsafe.

If I had complete control, I would re-introduce more gradually, but this is how it is done at the place I board. She has been out (before the injury) with 2 of the 4 horses, and gets along with them alright.

Dec. 10, 2009, 11:53 PM
One thing I could suggest if at all possible, is to grab a friend and walk them all together for a few minutes before you turn them all out. Something about them all travelling together creates a stronger herd mentality so that instead of just sticking her out there into an already established herd as a newbie, shes already been included in one of the herds adventures. There will of course still be some silly stuff as they figure out the hierarchy but I've found that its not nearly as dramatic. We just introduced my gelding to the little herd he was with a year ago. We spent time walking them all together and he survived it without a scratch. The two geldings are now bff after only a week out together.

Good luck and congratulations. I know its amazing to be able to turnout after so long on stall rest.