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fordtraktor
Jun. 14, 2010, 10:04 AM
I just moved to northern Indiana. I have always kept my horses out 24/7 as I think it is healthier, but it looks like the winters here will be worse than where I'm from (West Virginia).

Very few area barns seem to keep horses out, from looking at their arrangements. I have stalls and could put them in at night. Does anyone leave their horses out all the time in deep snow and freezing temps? If so, do you blanket?

citydog
Jun. 14, 2010, 10:08 AM
Out 24/7 with run-ins and extra hay in Vermont. Only the clipped tend to get blanketed, although some do just fine with a bib clip and no blankets.

sk_pacer
Jun. 14, 2010, 11:07 AM
Here, where it gets really cold, in at night from October to Aprilish is the normal practice. In really bad weather, it is common to leave at least horses and dairy animals in for the length of the storm or bitter cold. When the snow blows over top of fences and stuff can walk out, in all the time. It isn't so much the cold that they can't handle but the winds here....and the fact that along about January, the fences disappear under 6-10 feet of snowdrift

millerra
Jun. 14, 2010, 11:43 AM
I'm quite a bit north of you and mine stay out 24/7 from Sept to May. Unless its really cold. e.g. -20 w/ a strong wind - they stay out and do great (w/ lots of hay). Northern Indiana shouldn't be a problem but rumor has it that you get more ice down there. I keep mine in if there is major ice, too.

They are in days during the summer months due to biting insects - gnats, deerflies, horseflies and the like that can make the horses run.

Welcome to the midwest!

sublimequine
Jun. 14, 2010, 11:55 AM
I second the welcome to the Midwest! :)

I'm in IL, and my mare has lived out 24/7 her whole life. She always has shelter (manmade and treelines), and I do blanket her all winter. Some horses don't even need to be blanketed, but if your horses are from W Virginia, they'll probably be more comfortable blanketed this first winter.

I've never brought her in to a stall due to weather, although if it was CRAZY bad, I could ask BO if maresie could hunker down in the indoor arena for the night. She doesn't do well stalled.

She's been outside in -50F windchills though and did just fine. She was double blanketed, but stayed toasty warm. :)

Leather
Jun. 14, 2010, 11:59 AM
How Horses Cope with Cold:

http://www.saddleshop.com/sentinel/articles/coldhorses.htm

BoysNightOut
Jun. 14, 2010, 12:06 PM
Not in the Mid-West, but I switched my older TB to 24/7 turnout this past winter. Him & his buddies had plenty of hay, a 3-sided run-in, warm water, and I always had either a mid-weight or heavy-weight blanket on him (depending on weather). He seemed a lot happier being able to move around more, even if I had some trouble sleeping the first few nights knowing he was out there, lol.

Aven
Jun. 14, 2010, 12:40 PM
I live in Ontario (not sure if you are colder than us lol) My horses live out. If we had better shelters they would be out 24/7. They actually are better at the really cold dry temps than that nasty drizzly rain at just above freezing.

fordtraktor
Jun. 14, 2010, 12:41 PM
Great info, and thanks for the welcomes! I am going to try to keep them out and see how it goes. The barn has an overhang but I may add a bigger shed.

Hannahsmom
Jun. 14, 2010, 12:55 PM
I live just south of Indianapolis and there is a farm near me where the horses are kept out 24 by 7, no blankets and no real shelter to the west (barn is on the east side of pastures). The horses seem fine, even with the wind blowing from the west across many acres of flat corn/bean fields. Brrrr...

I think if they can get shelter from the west wind, and possibly a rain shelter, the cold alone shouldn't be a problem. At the farm my horse is at we have quite a few horses that stay out 24 by 7 no matter how cold but we have three sided tromps, all with shelter above and from the west. You may want to invest in some good hay feeders and a really good water system.

saje
Jun. 14, 2010, 01:21 PM
When I lived in Maine mine lived out 24/7, with access to shelter and with good windbreaks.

25 deg and snow is much less of a problem for horses to handle than 40 and rain, provided they have plenty of hay.

leilatigress
Jun. 14, 2010, 01:24 PM
We had a mustang come in from the Montana area and for the first couple of winters down here she looked like a wooley mammoth. It was like she just kept waiting for the snow and the wind but down here in southern Texas there just really isn't. Year three her coat finally didn't come in at all and of course epic winter of snow and ice and horrid wind. Every year after that she blanketed up like a wooley mammoth till the day she died. Just give them access to shelter and they should be fine.

dmalbone
Jun. 14, 2010, 01:27 PM
I live in Indiana, formerly Northern Indiana, so welcome! You're right, not many people do seem to leave horses out 24/7 here in the winter. My main problem has always been the snow. MANY times the snow accumulates and then drifts, then you have to throw in the sleet, rain, or slight melting and refreezing during the day which leaves you with a 3'-4'+ drift with a solid coating, letting the horses walk right over the top of the fence! :lol: As long as they have proper shelter from the elements they'll be fine. I know in the winter mine longs for his warm stall though. :) Many days I literally have to drag the poor lad outside with a whip to the rump. I think he makes it quite clear he hates snow.

Go Fish
Jun. 14, 2010, 02:00 PM
As long as they have run-in shelter(s) they'll be fine. If you are a worry wart, throw a t/o sheet/blanket on them when the weather turns brutal.

2DogsFarm
Jun. 14, 2010, 02:12 PM
Welcome Newbie Hoosier! :D

I'm in NW IN & my boys lived out 24/7/365 with free access to their stalls if they wanted. They hardly ever wanted & that included my 20+yo TB.

Both grew thick Winter coats & I blanketed only if we had wet, icy snow that soaked them through on their backs. Then I'd put on waterproof turnouts and remove those as soon as they were dry underneath.
They used to sleep in the snow as I could tell from the Horse Angel impressions they left in the drifts.
The only other concession to weather I made was to toss out a few flakes of hay for them to "graze" on while I was at work.

My new guy came from FL on 12/1/09 and he had no coat at all so he was blanketed all Winter.
He also had free access and chose Out over In most days.
His uncovered legs & neck did grow some good topcoat so he may go unblanketed this Winter.

As long as there is access to shelter, some hay to chow on and drinkable water I think most horses do fine staying out in cold weather.

katie+tru
Jun. 14, 2010, 02:29 PM
You could, and lots of people here in southwestern PA do, but why would you honestly want to? Sure, horses can deal with the cold, we know that. But it doesn't mean they enjoy it or always get any real benefit from it. It seems to me to be more work to keep horses out in the super cold/snow than to just stall them. I mean, you have to keep hauling extra food out there because they gobble it up to stay warm or it gets wet/frozen. Wouldn't YOU rather feed inside a barn where you can stay warm?

I also feel like it's a safety issue to get horses out in real deep snow or ice. My trainer has an old Arab mare that's permanently off on her one stifle because the vet believe she slipped on some ice and basically did a split with her hind legs. Ouch. I wouldn't want that on any horse. Deep snow is no better. The horses just have to exert more energy to travel around.

I say if you want them turned out do it during the day when they atleast have the sun and when the snow isn't too deep. But be kind and bring them in at night so they can sleep well.

Go Fish
Jun. 14, 2010, 02:39 PM
But it doesn't mean they enjoy it or always get any real benefit from it.

Well, you're gonna hear it from people over that statement! :lol:

There are exceptions, but I know very few horses that would rather stay cooped up in a stall vs. living in a nice big field with a run-in shed. They adapt to stalls, sure, but given a choice, most horses prefer to be outside.

I think it's fairly proven that horses DO benefit from 24-hour turn out, no matter what the weather. They are sorta designed for it.

sublimequine
Jun. 14, 2010, 02:45 PM
You could, and lots of people here in southwestern PA do, but why would you honestly want to? Sure, horses can deal with the cold, we know that. But it doesn't mean they enjoy it or always get any real benefit from it. It seems to me to be more work to keep horses out in the super cold/snow than to just stall them. I mean, you have to keep hauling extra food out there because they gobble it up to stay warm or it gets wet/frozen. Wouldn't YOU rather feed inside a barn where you can stay warm?

I also feel like it's a safety issue to get horses out in real deep snow or ice. My trainer has an old Arab mare that's permanently off on her one stifle because the vet believe she slipped on some ice and basically did a split with her hind legs. Ouch. I wouldn't want that on any horse. Deep snow is no better. The horses just have to exert more energy to travel around.

I say if you want them turned out do it during the day when they atleast have the sun and when the snow isn't too deep. But be kind and bring them in at night so they can sleep well.

There's so much that's incorrect with this post that I don't even know where to start. :lol:

saje
Jun. 14, 2010, 02:49 PM
OMG my guys love the cold and snow! We don't get much here in TN, but in PA, MI, & ME a snowstorm was an excuse to go and play! Pawing in drifts, rolling, galloping and leaping and feeling great, so fun to watch.

Here in TN my 30 yo guy is so much happier in the winter. He lives blanketed in the winter now because he has no teeth and can't eat hay any more, but he puts on weight, gets snorty and feisty, and makes me think that he must've been a serious handful as a young man.

And personally, I'd rather throw hay a few times a day and check a trough or two rather than clean stalls!

katie+tru
Jun. 14, 2010, 03:02 PM
I dunno... but in my experience when we used to turn horses out during the day, just for a couple hours, in the snow, they all just stood around. No one looked particularly thrilled to be there. There wasn't much prolonged frolicking. More like, trot around for a couple minutes then mingle by the arena windows and half-heartedly paw around for some grass. Maybe my barn just has wimpy horses.

Yes, I realize that perhaps older horses or those with certain conditions benefit from being able to move around. My horse is one of them. But I wouldn't turn him out in a foot of snow. I'd turn him out in the arena or just walk him for awhile. Infact, he moves more if you just walk/ride him than turn him out, because then he just parks himself to eat.

If the horses genuinely likes it, fine. But I have yet to meet many who do. A couple thought it was fun to sneak out of the arena and jump around in the 30" we had in February but there was no way we were leaving them out there. They were smaller and the snow was up to their stomachs.

millerra
Jun. 14, 2010, 03:25 PM
I'm pretty sure my horses prefer to be outside - except when its buggy or when the wind is howling. They all line up w/ their noses at the door. Two put their noses into their halters.

But - this is all anthropom.... what ever... what a horse thinks.

Proof "positive" is in my "hard keeper". When he is turned out 20/7 (they are actually in 4 hours for supper and work) - he eats all his grain and hay and keeps his weight up. As the summer progresses (he's stalled during the day during summer because of bugs) - he'll start to lose weight and stop finishing his grain. He'll start cribbing more. Even if I keep hay in front of him all the time and put him on an ulcer supplement. In the winter, he's fat and happy as a little clam... And he is a thin skinned, sensitive TB. He wants OUT.

But I will say - it is whatever they are used to and what they like personally. Some horses may really want to be in... I just don't happen to have any (except when the bugs are bad!)

2DogsFarm
Jun. 14, 2010, 04:46 PM
You could, and lots of people here in southwestern PA do, but why would you honestly want to? Sure, horses can deal with the cold, we know that. But it doesn't mean they enjoy it or always get any real benefit from it. It seems to me to be more work to keep horses out in the super cold/snow than to just stall them. I mean, you have to keep hauling extra food out there because they gobble it up to stay warm or it gets wet/frozen. Wouldn't YOU rather feed inside a barn where you can stay warm?

I also feel like it's a safety issue to get horses out in real deep snow or ice. My trainer has an old Arab mare that's permanently off on her one stifle because the vet believe she slipped on some ice and basically did a split with her hind legs. Ouch. I wouldn't want that on any horse. Deep snow is no better. The horses just have to exert more energy to travel around.

I say if you want them turned out do it during the day when they atleast have the sun and when the snow isn't too deep. But be kind and bring them in at night so they can sleep well.

I'm going to hazard a guess you've never kept horses at home.
Stalling them actually makes MORE work as you are going to have a messy stall if they stay in.

As for wasting feed - you learn quickly to gauge how much hay, if any, is wasted outside and feed accordingly.

Unless the barn you are stalling them in has decent ventilation you are going to deal with respiratory issues as well. 45F might seem chilly to us humans, but it's Primo comfort level for horses.
If you can smell "barn smell" - ammonia, etc - then your horse's lungs are already being compromised.

Older horses more often benefit from being able to move around than being kept in a stall. They didn't get old by being stupid and most are careful on icy ground.
Accidents can & will happen, but I think the benefit of being able to keep their circulation going & move at their own speed outweighs the What If factor.
I also believe stall-kept horses are more likely to injure themselves blowing off steam when they finally DO get out.

As for sleeping well - pls see my post above - my horses had deeply-bedded clean stalls available and they CHOSE to sleep outside, in the snow.

I'd bring them in from blizzard conditions, provide hay for them & they'd munch a little, decide no extra treats were forthcoming, then go right back out into the storm.

Aven
Jun. 14, 2010, 04:48 PM
Yes, I realize that perhaps older horses or those with certain conditions benefit from being able to move around. My horse is one of them. But I wouldn't turn him out in a foot of snow. I'd turn him out in the arena or just walk him for awhile. Infact, he moves more if you just walk/ride him than turn him out, because then he just parks himself to eat.



See I just don't get this. Are all more southern horses wimps? I mean if horses didn't go out in a foot of snow here they wouldn't go out for months at a time. Why wasn't there food out there for them?

I wouldn't say mine enjoy snow. But its no big deal. I had a horse slip on the only patch of ice this year and have to be put down (broken pelvis :( ) but than could happen even if she had only been out for an hour. If there had been snow, it was early spring, she wouldn't have slipped. Actually it would be more likely she would have been running around if she got limited turn out.

Even high level show horses go out in snow here. Its just the way it is. They eat their hay, roll, stand around in the sun, play halters, just the same as the rest of the year. Only difference is they are doing an excellent yak impersonation, or are wearing blankets.

Now I have seen people move up from the south with horses. THEY assume their horse is cold because they are slower to acclimatize. But if you watch the horse and feel their ears (if ears are cold, horse is cold) its pretty easy to tell if they are cold.

Mozart
Jun. 14, 2010, 05:56 PM
I dunno... but in my experience when we used to turn horses out during the day, just for a couple hours, in the snow, they all just stood around. No one looked particularly thrilled to be there.

That's because they were only going out for two hours and weren't accustomed to the cold and probably did not in fact like it. However if they live outside they grown an appropriate coat and not only tolerate it but do not even like to come in.

I live where it gets really really cold and my horses usually come in at night. However, a lot of horses around here live out 24/7. Three things are very important.

1)Shelter to get out of the wind (not just roof but a three sided, roofed shelter and big enough for all horses so there is no odd man out)
2) Access to water at all times(necessary for thermoregulation)
3) Sufficient hay (digestion of hay creates heat)

If you have those three things, they will be just fine.

The problem is if you actually want to do anything with them because they will grow a substantial coat. If you then ride in a heated arena they will need to be clipped so they don't over heat. Clipped horse out 24/7...not a good idea, even if you blanket.

If your arena is unheated and you ensure that the horse is completely totally dry before they go out it could work but that is practically more time consuming than just cleaning a stall in the a.m.

A couple of years ago I had two horses living outside 24/7 in literally all weather. I checked on them constantly as I was a bit worried especially as one of them was a yearling. They were absolutely, completely and totally fine. There were a couple of days when one of them got a bit shivery when there was freezing rain. I put a water proof blanket on him, checked on him a couple of hours later and he was warm and happy. Amazingly, it was the mature horse, not the yearling.

The big challenge (from my experience) in keeping them outside all the time is not keeping them warm and happy, it is keeping them in work while doing it. Real work, I mean, not a leisurely hack in the snow.

I should add that I don't really know what winter in Indiana is like; you might get a better idea from those that live there. I can only speak for my winter.

dalpal
Jun. 14, 2010, 06:10 PM
See I just don't get this. Are all more southern horses wimps? I mean if horses didn't go out in a foot of snow here they wouldn't go out for months at a time. Why wasn't there food out there for them?

I wouldn't say mine enjoy snow. But its no big deal. I had a horse slip on the only patch of ice this year and have to be put down (broken pelvis :( ) but than could happen even if she had only been out for an hour. If there had been snow, it was early spring, she wouldn't have slipped. Actually it would be more likely she would have been running around if she got limited turn out.

Even high level show horses go out in snow here. Its just the way it is. They eat their hay, roll, stand around in the sun, play halters, just the same as the rest of the year. Only difference is they are doing an excellent yak impersonation, or are wearing blankets.

Now I have seen people move up from the south with horses. THEY assume their horse is cold because they are slower to acclimatize. But if you watch the horse and feel their ears (if ears are cold, horse is cold) its pretty easy to tell if they are cold.


LOL...nope....mine are Southern horses and I treat them like horses. They go out..PERIOD. The only reason I have a stall at all is because there is no permanent shelter in the pasture.

Mine are out at least 16 hours a day, they stay out 24/7 on the weekends...doesn't matter if it's raining, hot, snow..etc...they go out. I was one of the crazy boarders who threw mine OUT in a snow storm at a commerical barn a couple years ago....WHY? Because it made more sense to me for the horses to be out in it while it was coming down...instead of locking them in their stalls for three or four days and then turning them out and watching them act like idiots/slipping and falling.

Horses are as tough as we make them...treat them like a horse and you have a tough immune system/healthy horse...treat them like a china dolll and you have all sorts of health issues.

dmalbone
Jun. 14, 2010, 06:19 PM
I'm going to hazard a guess you've never kept horses at home.
Stalling them actually makes MORE work as you are going to have a messy stall if they stay in.

DITTO x 1,000,000. I'm looking forward to the day that new pony can be out all day. I'm not doing 24x7 regardless for different reasons (1. she's a pony = will be a pony blimp if on grass 24x7, 2. small acreage, 3. Live on a busy road and don't feel comfortable). Regardless, they are in stalls with attached paddocks and they both stand outside under their overhangs now and not in their stalls in front of their fans. Once they are used to each other (they haven't been introduced yet) their butts will be locked OUT of their stalls during the days. The difference in cost for bedding makes it worth it for even a couple extra pees outside!

sk_pacer
Jun. 14, 2010, 08:34 PM
. Three things are very important.

1)Shelter to get out of the wind (not just roof but a three sided, roofed shelter and big enough for all horses so there is no odd man out)
2) Access to water at all times(necessary for thermoregulation)
3) Sufficient hay (digestion of hay creates heat)

.

Ya forgot #4, Mozart - fences that do not disappear under 6-8 foot drifts. That renders pasture useless.

Mine DO go out in winter until the fences disappear, even if it only for a couple of hours, but frequently, windchills are so bad that they go out, walk around the barn and promptly start banging the door to get back in.

deltawave
Jun. 14, 2010, 10:44 PM
Mine are out 24/7 year round, near the shores of Lake Michigan in SW Michigan where we get horrific, howling winds, wind chills, and FEET of snow. I do have stalls, and on very bad nights will leave them open for the horses to go in and out if they wish, but usually they choose "out".

Clipped/working horses are heavily blanketed, although I try to give them "naked time" if the weather allows. Unclipped horses are blanketed only if they are acting cold or not holding their weight. I feed lots and lots of hay and they have a natural windbreak in addition to an overhang to get out of heavy snowfall. My Shetland usually leaves "belly tracks" in the snow when it gets above about two feet. Underneath her thick fur she's WARM, baby.


in my experience when we used to turn horses out during the day, just for a couple hours, in the snow, they all just stood around.

Yes, they do stand around a lot. In fact, they do this in the spring, summer, and fall as well. :D Frolicking is not what horses do all day, every day. They eat, they stand around, they eat, they stand around . . . :lol: Not much different from what they'd do in a stall, except when they're outside they actually DO move and they breathe clean, fresh air all day and night. :yes:

carolprudm
Jun. 14, 2010, 11:06 PM
Well, you're gonna hear it from people over that statement! :lol:

There are exceptions, but I know very few horses that would rather stay cooped up in a stall vs. living in a nice big field with a run-in shed. They adapt to stalls, sure, but given a choice, most horses prefer to be outside.



I don't think anyone is saying coop them up 24/7 but mine BEG to go in in the heat of the summer or the dead of winter. And they don't like cold rain in the spring or fall either.

It's not like staying out is slumming....they are in a 7 acre pasture with good grazing or a round bale and a 20 x 40 foot shed.

They are in about 6 hours a day in the spring and fall up to 14 hours in the dead of winter.

I just spent 3 weeks horse sitting for the neighbor's 3 horses. Like mine they are in stalls part time. It took them 2 days to learn the sound of my golf cart and be waiting at the gate to go in.

FWIW, these 3 get pellets and hay, mine just get hay so mine at least aren't going in for a yummy treat.

dmalbone
Jun. 15, 2010, 12:57 AM
they go out, walk around the barn and promptly start banging the door to get back in.

Yeah... my guy has realized that his stall door is nice and echoey for a big "boom" when he paws to be let in. :lol: It sounds like a bomb going off. It's funny... they stayed out in the pouring rain the other day, but then one day as soon as it started raining they ran up. The little pony yearling was kept outside with NO shelter her whole first year so I figured she's stay outside for anything. She's been tucking herself into her stall regularly when it's rainy. :lol:

Mozart
Jun. 15, 2010, 12:47 PM
Ya forgot #4, Mozart - fences that do not disappear under 6-8 foot drifts. That renders pasture useless.

Mine DO go out in winter until the fences disappear, even if it only for a couple of hours, but frequently, windchills are so bad that they go out, walk around the barn and promptly start banging the door to get back in.

Yes, non-disappearing fencing is key!:lol:

My property is a bit sheltered (not bald prairie) so I don't get the really deep snow drifts. One corner fills in and once we notice the fence line get down to an easily jumpable height we dig away at the snow there. I am kind of amazed they don't consider jumping out. Some sport horses! I suppose the effort is not worth the reward as there is just snow on the other side of the fence too.

The winter that I had the two live out 24/7 I was really surprised that they did not want to come in. They had a fairly deep shelter that was deeply bedded with straw and never once did they seem interested in trying to get into the barn.

Summer time is a different story for me. A few horseflies and suddenly everyone wants in pronto.

At the end of the day people just have to do what works for them and their horses and sometimes you end up surprised at what works and what doesn't.

My retired TB wants in at night regardless of the weather. He has lived that way his whole life and on the few occasions he spent the night out he was very put out and acted as though I had done something offensive.

I still think having a northern horse out 24/7 and in serious work would be at least really difficult if not impossible. However, I don't really know how cold it gets in Indiana. sk_pacer and I have similar weather, I think hers might be even a bit more extreme than mine ;)

IFG
Jun. 15, 2010, 01:40 PM
Mine has 24/7 access to stall and paddock. So long as there are no bugs, he is out. The minute the bugs come out (and he has a fly mask and fly sheet), he is inside during biting hours. Sleeps outside at night. In winter, out almost 24/7.

Go Fish
Jun. 15, 2010, 02:25 PM
I don't think anyone is saying coop them up 24/7 but mine BEG to go in in the heat of the summer or the dead of winter. And they don't like cold rain in the spring or fall either.

I guess I don't see the difference between a loafing shed and a stall. Horse stands in shed away from the elements and bugs (in the shade) or stands in a stall away from the elements and bugs (in the shade).

Horses are creatures of habit. Both of my broodmares had show careers with limited turn out while in a professional barn. They were always brought in when it got hot, cold, or the bugs started irritating them. When I retired them and brought them home, they thought they should be brought in under those same conditions. Because I wouldn't bring them in, they eventually learned that the loafing shed provided the same conditions as their stalls and gave up being pansies.

Melissa.Van Doren
Jun. 15, 2010, 07:54 PM
I lived in NE Indiana (Columbia City) for five years and kept my three geldings at home. I had a three-stall center aisle barn with a 12x36 run-in built into one end, opening into a large stone dust paddock... and that opened into an eight acre field.

My guys were usually out 24/7, but in the winter when the wind was howling and the sleet was flying, they - for sure - preferred being in. If they were using the run-in, this almost always guaranteed that the Low Totem Pole Guy was at least partially out in the weather. So I'd bring them into their stalls for the night and let them all have a private space to rest.

So, like many other things in life... It Depends.

If your horses get along fine and are always happy to share shelter, and they're healthy, 24/7 field living (with some kind of wind and precip break) can be very beneficial as well as cost-effective. There's nothing wrong with giving it a try to see how it goes. You'll know by your horses' demeanors and weight if it's a good solution for you.

EqTrainer
Jun. 15, 2010, 08:06 PM
I dunno... but in my experience when we used to turn horses out during the day, just for a couple hours, in the snow, they all just stood around. No one looked particularly thrilled to be there. There wasn't much prolonged frolicking. More like, trot around for a couple minutes then mingle by the arena windows and half-heartedly paw around for some grass. Maybe my barn just has wimpy horses.

Yes, I realize that perhaps older horses or those with certain conditions benefit from being able to move around. My horse is one of them. But I wouldn't turn him out in a foot of snow. I'd turn him out in the arena or just walk him for awhile. Infact, he moves more if you just walk/ride him than turn him out, because then he just parks himself to eat.

If the horses genuinely likes it, fine. But I have yet to meet Imany who do. A couple thought it was fun to sneak out of the arena and jump around in the 30" we had in February but there was no way we were leaving them out there. They were smaller and the snow was up to their stomachs.

How strange. I have had dozens of horses and have only owned one who prefers a stall to being outside, regardless of weather conditions. Maybe yours don't know how to play and run around? Weird!

foundationmare
Jun. 15, 2010, 08:23 PM
Why are you asking this in mid-June??? You're giving me cold weather apprehension! I'm sure it's a diagnosable condition. For the record, I definitely anthropomorphize my horses' experience during bad weather. For me, having an option to escape the inclement weather is paramount. They must be able to have a buffer from wind driven rain, freezing rain, snow, etc. And they must have ample hay, regular grain and warmed, fresh water. I want them to be comfortable and I think that's how I can help them achieve it!

I have TBs and some of the harder keepers need some pampering, but that certainly doesn't encompass the bulk of them.they would be the ones who might not be okay on 24/7 turnout.

I would LOVE to have a situation where they could have a stall with open access to a paddock, but that's a stretch. Especially after a thunderstorm escapade at 2:00 a.m. a couple weeks ago......

carolprudm
Jun. 15, 2010, 09:42 PM
I guess I don't see the difference between a loafing shed and a stall. Horse stands in shed away from the elements and bugs (in the shade) or stands in a stall away from the elements and bugs (in the shade).

.
I have a 20 x 40 foot loafing shed. However I don't put hay in there because I don't want arguments. There's 7 acres of grass or a round bale for them to munch on outside and they do go in and out.

But when they see me opening stall doors and putting hay in them they come running.

The barn has better ventelation and fans, fresh cold water (warm in winter)en suite and nice clean sawdust to snooze on.

I know if my horses are eating and drinking normally. And I can go to a show or clinic and not worry that my horse will have trouble if they have limited turnout.

FWIW, I have 11 horses. Barn chores are about 2 hours a day

CHT
Jun. 15, 2010, 10:22 PM
My horses do well in the cold and snow. The ones that are ridden in the winter get blankets, the ones that aren't ridden, don't. Even my show horses live out 24/7.

When it gets abnormally cold, I add an extra feeding or two of hay to help them stay warm.

It is the wet snow, or rain when it is just above freezing that my horses hate and that makes them shiver. -40 and sunny? Playtime on the farm. Their favourite game when it is really cold is to steal my hat and run.

Some barns around here leave the horses in when it gets really cold, but I think that is in part to just help keep the barn warm and keep the water pipes from freezing, and not so much for the health of the horse.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jun. 16, 2010, 12:17 AM
Only time my naked mare shivers is freezing rain (which totally makes sense). We had some epic weather last winter too. Yuck, yuck, yuck (I agree--why are we doing this now?).

Shelter, hay, and water and the are good to go. I only blanket horses that are being ridden because I do a bib clip and, really, because it is easier for me to clean them up.

saje
Jun. 16, 2010, 08:27 AM
My guys spend twice as much time in their run-in stalls in the summer than they do in the winter. Bugs will drive them in, winter winds and snow don't, as a rule.

ManyDogs
Jun. 16, 2010, 08:42 AM
When we lived in interior Alaska, my Arabian mare (who was born in Alaska) was outside all winter. I'm talking about -50 F winter. We put up a windbreak and she was stuffed with food, including me hauling warm water out flavored with molasses. The only time I stalled her was due to winds. She did just fine.

Now in SW VA, where I would compare last winter to an Alaskan winter (with out the studded tires/4 wheel drive/and good ol' Alaskan sanding trucks :D ), my 4 had access to the barn 24/7. They would go in, wander around, poop :mad:, then go out. If the weather stunk, they stayed down the hill in the trees, next to the bale of hay. I bought nice new blankets for everyone, but I figured if they didn't use the barn, they weren't too cold.

I try VERY HARD :D to let them be horses, but it pains me sometimes!!

seeuatx
Jun. 17, 2010, 12:10 AM
I live in the same region as Katie+Tru, and I have to say, while I now feel entirely different I used to think the same. Of course, that just seems to be how it's done around here.

I used to board at a farm that had STB broodies out 24/7 with one big run in and natural cover. I thought it was horrible when I saw them out in the rain or snow huddled up in a circle with their butts out (outside the big shed, naturally) Now, I'm the "crazy" one begging to have the Old Guy thrown outside if only for a few hours. This Feb. was an exception because no one was expecting 3' dumped overnight and the barn couldn't even get the tractor dug out for two days to get the paths to the fields cut out.

I learned my lesson a few years ago when I moved to SE VA for a few months. It was hot and buggy by late spring, just the kind of weather G absolutely hates. He was always the 1st at the gate at 8 am in the summers, freaking out because he wanted in NOW(!) before it got hot. We moved to a barn that had stalls but the horses were out much more(inside if the weather was horrid). The BM and I talked at length as I was worried how he would transition. She placed him in a stall that opened right into the field with one other buddy and left their stalls open.

Week One: 90% of time spent inside with face in the fan
Week Two: Ventured out around dusk, in by 9ish and stayed there ever after breakfast.
Week Three: Getting bored so venturing out mid-day.
Week Four: Sissy boy was happily standing outside in a torrential downpour caused by the outskirts of a Tropical Storm and absolutely refusing to come in.

Now, I am a certified believer (even if G is back to his sissy self being brought in every time the weather hints at something... such is boarding since I moved home). Someday I will have my boy at home and hope to have a set up where he can come and go at will. Worst case, big run in sheds that he probably won't use ;)

carolprudm
Jun. 17, 2010, 09:44 AM
When we lived in interior Alaska, my Arabian mare (who was born in Alaska) was outside all winter. I'm talking about -50 F winter. We put up a windbreak and she was stuffed with food, including me hauling warm water out flavored with molasses. The only time I stalled her was due to winds. She did just fine.

Now in SW VA, where I would compare last winter to an Alaskan winter (with out the studded tires/4 wheel drive/and good ol' Alaskan sanding trucks :D ), my 4 had access to the barn 24/7. They would go in, wander around, poop :mad:, then go out. If the weather stunk, they stayed down the hill in the trees, next to the bale of hay. I bought nice new blankets for everyone, but I figured if they didn't use the barn, they weren't too cold.

I try VERY HARD :D to let them be horses, but it pains me sometimes!!
LOL, WINTER in VA isn't hard on horses....it's the summer. Today won't be to bad but it's supposed to be 97 on Sunday

fordtraktor
Jun. 17, 2010, 11:27 PM
Ha, sorry to bring this up in June! Just trying to decide what kind of hay to buy this year, round or square.

carolprudm
Jun. 18, 2010, 12:05 AM
Ha, sorry to bring this up in June! Just trying to decide what kind of hay to buy this year, round or square.

Some of both:)

Mine have a round bale in each pasture for daytime munching and a half a square bale each in their stalls at night.

FWIW I used 40 round bales last year and about 1000 square bales:eek: