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View Full Version : Turnout- make anyone else SOOOO nervous?



Alterrain
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:34 PM
In the wake of Cabana Boy's recent demise (RIP :( ) I was thinking about all the terrible life-ending injuries that have happened to top horses during turnout. Obviously, you can't NOT turn horses out, but I will admit I am pyschotic when it comes to booting/ limiting activity. All of you that turn (esp. expensive performance) horses out for hours on end, or even overnight :eek: how do you ensure they don't get hurt?

enjoytheride
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:36 PM
By turning them out for hours on end. Being out as much as possible decreases the chances of them running like idiots and doing something stupid. If they're out enough to not have extra energy, have a big space, be familiar with the footing and if it's good or bad, and know where the fences are.

DandyMatiz
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:40 PM
Turning them out more. Pretty much what PP said. I watch to make sure they aren't with another animal that is gonna freak out, or fight. I don't turn them out on Fourth Of July, watch footing (ice in winter, etc). But really.. they can injure themselves anywhere, so just cross your fingers, pray, etc. and do it.

Kinda like having kids, and letting them ride there bike themselves.. Yeah, bad stuff could happen, but ya gotta let them do it anyway.

Summit Springs Farm
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:41 PM
Absolutely, just think about Chase Boggio's horse Graphic, broken while being turned out earlier this year, truly heartbreaking, had to be put to sleep.
I am so crazy when I turn out my show horses,but I do it with a watchful eye, and if I see anything they come in. BUT I own my own farm and can watch them, many do not have that advantage!

RougeEmpire
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:45 PM
"pasture accident" must be taken with a grain of salt. Ever notice any time a HIGH DOLLAR horse gets injured and is put down it's a "pasture accident"? It's no coincidence. Remember that is insurance involved with these big money horses. I know more than one big money horse that was injured NOT in pasture but had a "pasture accident" on the paper work. NO Im not accusing anyone but the fact it's become a generic term. Modern wambloods are bred to be freaking GIANTS and the fact no horse nature ever designed was meant to stand 17 hands tall and 1600 pounds. It's just the risk take is creating horses that are freaks of nature. NO amount of 'boots" and bubble wrap is going to stop a horse from shattering a leg while TROTTING AROUND his TINY paddock. Most of these big horses do NOT get injured as a result of anything that would usually hurt a horse, it's usually taking a wrong step and then SNAP! Most can rip a tendon and shatter a fetlock standing in a stall just as easily as WALKING around a pasture. We need to breed better more REALISTIC (not EXTREME) horse instead of focusing on " a better boot" and the worlds most restrictive turnout. IMO

shawneeAcres
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:47 PM
The more they have turnout the less likely they are to run and hurt themselves, but all of my horses go out ALL night in summer and all day in the winter. They go out regardless of weather unless we have ice, but snow, rain etc they are out. They are horses and are meant to live outside. A lot of the horses that are not being shown are out 24/7

CBoylen
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:49 PM
It depends on the horse. Some are not suited to going out overnight, and I've seen it lead to injury for those types, injury that possibly could have been prevented. Conversely, the ones that are very suited to be out an extended time unsupervised, those are the ones that tend to get too fat under those same circumstances ;).
My own I don't turn out unsupervised, and still sometimes things happen that you can't prevent. The most you can do is be aware of the surrounding activity, check the paddocks for hazards, and be vigilant about preventing situations before they happen. If there is going to be a huge amount of activity on the property, the horse should come in before it takes off running, not after when you finally catch it. If they're in for any extended period, such as the snow days we had over the past winter, I definitely sedate in decreasing doses when they start going back out. But no, you are not the only one that worries, especially when the ground conditions aren't optimal. There is only so much you can do, and the rest is luck.

harkington
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:50 PM
By turning them out for hours on end. Being out as much as possible decreases the chances of them running like idiots and doing something stupid. If they're out enough to not have extra energy, have a big space, be familiar with the footing and if it's good or bad, and know where the fences are.

This, for sure! After my horse has been inside for a few days (rain, stall rest, what have you) and he finally gets to go out, he is WILD, and it scares me. But he is honestly much happier turned out, and after the initial 5-10 minutes of playing, he settles down and just hangs out.

Turnout in the AM is when most incidents happen at our barn. After being cooped up for 12-16 hours, the horses are more than happy to be back outside. I've seen everything from cuts to pulled shoes to a broken leg happen in the first few minutes of morning turnout. So guess what my BM decided to do with the crazies that were prone to hurting themselves after first getting out? Turn them out for longer, and it actually seems to be helping.

Of course bad things are going to happen on the occasional turnout. But the alternate, in my opinion, a bored and restless horse that still has energy to get out -potentially while undersaddle with a vulnerable rider- is well worth the risk of the one in a million chance of a horse getting seriously injured.

dogbluehorse
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:54 PM
Horses that are turned out colic less, have stronger bones, better feet, stronger tendons, are altogether a lot more robust. If you go from no turnout to all day turnout, you will start out with some more nicks and dents, but once the horse adjusts, it works out great. I have a horse that was worth a total packet at one point (A/O jumper, but brave, bold, total trooper), always got turned out, rolled in mud, had fun with his buds. He got the odd scrapes and cuts, but pre-turnout (first place I boarded him had limited turnout) he had way worse injuries, severe colic several times, etc. So personally would not EVER keep a horse anywhere that did not have at least 12 hrs turnout per day, I don't care how high level the horse is at competition.

amastrike
Sep. 27, 2010, 09:28 PM
Limiting activity :eek:. No way! Granted, my horses aren't worth much (one isn't worth anything), but they're priceless to me. They're outside all the time. I'm not going to bubble wrap them in the hope they'll never have a booboo. The important thing is that they get to be horses, and that they're happy. They might be "safer" locked in stalls, but that's not a life for a horse. If you care so much about your money, leave it in your savings account.

keepthelegend
Sep. 27, 2010, 09:45 PM
Being in the TB industry is what has helped me relax. Multi million dollar mares and the majority of stallions, even those worth 30+ million, go out 24/7 or all night (stalllions). I started to feel silly being so paranoid with my show horse. Now he is out most of the time (retired, but even so I was neurotic with him) and so much happier and healthier. I think it's worth the risk. Make sure your fences are good and I find a good, quiet companion helps a lot.

Across Sicily
Sep. 27, 2010, 09:50 PM
Horses can injure themselves anywhere... yeah, they can break a leg in the pasture, but they can get cast inside and die just as easily, if not moreso. Or while under saddle, they can put a foot wrong and it can snap.

Horses... get injured easily. I don't think turnout has a whole lot to do with it. Your horse - and you, in the long run! - will be infinitely happier with turnout.

Crown Royal
Sep. 27, 2010, 09:57 PM
Like everyone else said- more turnout typically results in less, if any, accidents. The eight or so horses I've ever had here at my farm have rarely hurt themselves and they are mostly turned out 24/7, if weather allows, with access to plenty of shelter (stalls, overhang). We don't have wire or board fencing, just the PVC piping and electric tape, but still. The worst I've had is small bites and a thrown shoe here and there when it's super muddy. I don't do rated shows, just local with one of my guys, so I don't need them in pristine condition, but they've always been fine. I coat any cuts with ointment, the hair grows back, and you wouldn't even know the difference.

I can understand keeping them inside when they need to be clean without cuts or something, but for injury purposes, mine are better of outside.

Sheila
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:04 PM
Last month, we lost our beloved 24 year old horse in a paddock accident- He broke his leg and had to be put down. He went in his usual large paddock with the same 4 horses he always went out with (who got along famously) and in the paddock next to the road where coincidentally, anyone coming into or off the farm would see them. You would never had known he was 24- he looked 16 and was leading the HOTY for his under saddle division - so he was in work and not wild. Just a freak accident.

I truly believe in turn out with calm, mild mannered small groups for as long as they are able to stay out. My guy would not tolerate being out overnight and when they saw he was getting antsy around noon they moved turnout times to early morning (6 am - noon) to avoid the bugs and the hottest part of the day. He would come in to stand in front of his fan, have his lunch, have his nap, then be ridden.

The grooms and owner are very careful if any of them run- they come right in and they are super careful about adding new ones to turnout.
No amount of booting would have saved him considering where the break was. It was just an accident- Just like someon can break an ankle walking off a curb.

make x it x so
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:04 PM
My horse is much more likely to hurt himself in his stall than in turnout. He HATES being inside. During the summer, he's out 24/7 in my trainer's backyard. His turnout is small (tiny compared to most, but that's the trade-off of living on Long Island), but he can walk, trot, and canter a few strides if he wants to, and it's enough for him.

Over the winter when we go indoors, he is turned out in a significantly larger space, but only during the day. This combined with a larger stall and a regular work schedule is enough to keep him happy/healthy.

BLBGP
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:05 PM
"pasture accident" must be taken with a grain of salt. Ever notice any time a HIGH DOLLAR horse gets injured and is put down it's a "pasture accident"? It's no coincidence. Remember that is insurance involved with these big money horses. I know more than one big money horse that was injured NOT in pasture but had a "pasture accident" on the paper work.


So did you report these horses you know about for insurance fraud?

Hunter Mom
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:06 PM
I believe that horses are better off out as much as possible. Mine live outside 24/7 in pens with two other horses. Both of mine were miserable when stalled for injuries. I think it goes a long way toward keeping them sound.

Trixie
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:06 PM
It's not like supervising really helps. Sure, you can get to an injury faster, but you're hardly going to be able to prevent it.

Mine are out 24/7, in to eat. They're horses and they're ones that are well-adapted to this particular lifestyle. I saw more crazy running around when I was at a show barn where they were in 22/7 and out for an hour or two than I generally do at our farm, unless we're turning them out in a different field or something.

I'm pretty much with amastrike. Regardless of their value, ours are priceless to me, but they're definitely happiest being out. Of course, there are some horses that don't do as well out, and one should work with that accordingly. I definitely wouldn't bother to limit my guy's activity unless he was really unhappy in turnout.

Janet
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:11 PM
A few years ago we had soem REALLY NASTY ice. Several horses broke their legs.

There were three baisc approaches to turnout.

1- Some people kept to their regular turnout schedule, regardless of the ice (I fell in that category)

2- Some people kept there horses in for a week, but then let them out for short periods when the ice was starting to melt, but hadn't gone away completely.

3- Some people kept their horses in until the ice was ALL gone (close to a month IIRC).

Most, if not all, of the serious injuries were in case 2.

Turning out a horse that hasn't been out in a while is when the horse is most likely to act like an idiot.

sptraining
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:21 PM
My horse sleep walked head first into the wall of his 12x12. Big gash...

I've seen tons of cellulitus in horses that live in 12x12 stalls...

My horse slashed the inside of her back leg in her 36x36 corral...

My horse cut her shoulder open climbing into and out of her water trough...

I heard of a horse that got a life ending leg stress fracture in his 12x12 stall while on an un-associated layup...

It doesn't matter what you do - they'll find a way to hurt themselves. I wish we had more turnout in Southern California. I think overall it's better for them physically and mentally for them to get out as much as possible.

It would be interesting to see what percentage of injuries, serious and non-serious happen in which type of setting...

ktm2007
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:49 PM
"pasture accident" must be taken with a grain of salt. Ever notice any time a HIGH DOLLAR horse gets injured and is put down it's a "pasture accident"? It's no coincidence. Remember that is insurance involved with these big money horses. I know more than one big money horse that was injured NOT in pasture but had a "pasture accident" on the paper work.

I don't know how the insurance policy reads of the horses you are presumably talking about, but with my policy, mortality is mortality. Claiming it was a "pasture accident" when it wasn't makes no sense to me (speaking in terms of my policy anyway. If the horse has to be put down because of an accident, or dies, I get the money either way). And, how do you know that the horses that you are talking about didn't in fact have a pasture accident? It happens a lot. I had my retired AO Hunter shatter his shoulder while on "turn out" (I used qoutations because he lived outside) Just a freak thing, nothing had changed with his routine.

I had another horse shatter his pastern and basically obliterate every other bone in the leg. It happens.

That said, I am a firm believer of constant routine, and as much turn out time as possible in a safe paddock. I have one right now that I just *can't* turn out. Believe me, I kicked and screamed about it because I thought he needed to go outside. He had never been turned out before in his life (I bought him when he was 7) and the times we tried he would seriously hurt himself, or just go ahead and jump out (and then tear around). He's okay with it (while I am not really alright with it) but he also gets out every day, sometimes twice.

IBWmassage
Sep. 27, 2010, 11:02 PM
I think it depends on the horse. My current gelding is off the track and HATES to be outside for long. It took me the better part of a year to transition him to being outside for more than four hours at a time. He prefers nights to day, but no matter how we do it, after four hours he's standing near the gate and clamors to come in whenever he sees someone.

Our biggest issue is that he gets beat up on a regular basis. I'm wrestling with my current barn because he needs either individual turnout or to go out with one easy going horse. He prefers mares. But they don't do individual turnout, don't do mixed genders, and are the only barn within 30+ minutes.

stoicfish
Sep. 27, 2010, 11:06 PM
Horses that are turned out colic less, have stronger bones, better feet, stronger tendons, are altogether a lot more robust. If you go from no turnout to all day turnout, you will start out with some more nicks and dents, but once the horse adjusts, it works out great. I have a horse that was worth a total packet at one point (A/O jumper, but brave, bold, total trooper), always got turned out, rolled in mud, had fun with his buds. He got the odd scrapes and cuts, but pre-turnout (first place I boarded him had limited turnout) he had way worse injuries, severe colic several times, etc. So personally would not EVER keep a horse anywhere that did not have at least 12 hrs turnout per day, I don't care how high level the horse is at competition.

:yes:

JumperLove555
Sep. 27, 2010, 11:15 PM
It really doesn't make me nervous at all. The more time my horse spends in his pasture with his buddies, the happier he is. Yes he's had occasional scrapes, bites, and missing shoes, but I trust that my BM has taken the time to match him with horses he gets along with. In fact, we will even wait to leave for a horse show as late as possible so the horses get as much turnout time before they hit the road.

Because he spends so much time turned out, he really doesn't act stupid at all. He usually just walks down the hill and eats grass with his buddies. The risk of an accident is there no matter what we do with our horses. They do so much for us, the least we can do is let them be horses and enjoy their down time.

Acertainsmile
Sep. 27, 2010, 11:19 PM
I believe in as much turnout as the horse will tolerate! I have a racing background and we also breed TB's to sell. Most of my horses want to come in at the end of the day, so they do.

This pic is of some of our sale babies... pretty much says it all! :)

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r237/missoceana22/snowJan09010.jpg

SquishTheBunny
Sep. 27, 2010, 11:39 PM
I once boaded at a barn that didnt turnout in snow or ice - they got 10 minutes of turnout in the indoor.


Horses would get SO excited to get their 10 min, one horse ran like an idiot and broke her leg.

Now, my horses get a good solid amount of turnout (8+ hours), my $$ show horse is in GROUP turnout (suitable for him, 2 other geldings). They stay inside if its super icy, but otherwise are outside as much as possible. He tolerates long turnout because he as buddies who love the outdoors too. I would rather a HAPPY horse that "may" injure himself, than a miserable horse standing in a stall 24/7 who is just as likely to injure himself under tack.

horsechick
Sep. 27, 2010, 11:44 PM
"The more they have turnout the less likely they are to run and hurt themselves, but all of my horses go out ALL night in summer and all day in the winter. They go out regardless of weather unless we have ice, but snow, rain etc they are out. They are horses and are meant to live outside. A lot of the horses that are not being shown are out 24/7"

Ditto...

PNWjumper
Sep. 27, 2010, 11:53 PM
I'm another one that isn't even the slightest bit worried about it. All of my horses (including my 2 AO Jumpers and my very nice young prospect) live out 24/7. I do group turnout when it makes sense, and that's usually where I draw a can/can't line. I think my TB gelding is responsible for breaking the leg of one of my mares because he's got a wicked side kick on him (not a malicious thing, just a lightening fast reflex when he's having fun that goes in a different direction than most horses). He lives in his own pasture. But the rest live with one (or more) in a big(ger) pasture.

It was really interesting being at a boarding barn many years ago where the entire barn had a phobia about turnout. All of the horses went out in full "body armor" (boots all around, bell boots all around, sheets, neck covers, etc.), and people would panic if anything ever got left off. My theory was always that if my horse couldn't figure out that something was going to hurt then he deserved it! Said tongue-in-cheek, of course. Though on a more serious note, I didn't want a horse that was totally reliant on boots to the point that if he got loose or turned out without protection really could injure himself because he was used to always having that protection on.

And, for the record, I've also seen terrible accidents in a variety of other places; stalls, horses tied to things, cross-ties, wash racks,trailers, in the arena, etc. I think it really comes down to that old saying:

A horse is an animal that spends every minute of the day trying to find new and unusual ways to destroy itself. Every day it doesn't succeed is just one more day it has to plan for something even more monumental.
(I've seen lots of variations, but you get the point!)

There just really is no such thing as "a safe place" for a panic-prone, thousand(+) pound animal! :lol:

*jumper*
Sep. 27, 2010, 11:56 PM
My horse is living outside 24/7 for the first time (with shelter, but he has fairly large paddock). I'm back the barn I ride at during the school year, and figured that since he's now 15, the extra space and mobility would be beneficial, especially since I'll be giving him some extra time off in the next few months. (The idea being he'll be able to walk and around and stay somewhat active rather than sitting in a stall if I skip a day or two).

Does it make me nervous? Yes, but I'm even more worried when I turn him out fully booted and he decides to run around like a maniac. Horses were designed to roam freely and gallop over ungroomed terrain, all without boots or wraps. Could they-and did they-get hurt? Yes, of course, but things happen. I know that my horse isn't the type to run around like an idiot the second he's free; he prefers to roll and then roam around or sunbathe. The more he gets out, the less likely he is to act unpredictably and potentially hurt himself. Furthermore, he managed to somehow gash both forelegs last year in his stall (no sharp edges to be found...it was strange), and in my opinion, horses are going to hurt themselves anywhere. If yours is particularly loco when set free, turn him out more often, starting with a roundpen, perhaps, and moving up to bigger spaces until turnout is more 'meh' than crazy time.

BeeHoney
Sep. 28, 2010, 12:04 AM
All of my horses have regular turnout. Even my horses that show think of their paddock as their home and their stall/the barn as a staging area for being ridden. My nicest horses go out with a single handpicked friend with whom they get along very well and if I owned a million dollar horse (unless it was a stallion) this is what I would do with it to keep it as safe as possible.

IME, completely private turnout increases injuries. These horses get a little nutty from not having horse friends. I'm sure there are those of you out there who will disagree, but IME horses on long term private turnout tend to have higher rates of injury than horses that are out with a quiet friend. I also think that medium to large groups of random/changing horses are extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, these are the two most common options that boarding barns offer.

whbar158
Sep. 28, 2010, 12:21 AM
I know a horse that use to be on limited turn out and if he started to play or run around they pulled him in right away. This meant he often went out for an hour at max. Then they were always complaining that the horse was wild. Did not make sense to me. I think it is fine to be cautious, ie have safe pastures small groups, maybe not turn out when it is super wet or icy or in storms, or rain if there is no shelter.

Horses will find a way to hurt themselves no matter what. My horse some how scraped all the hair off of his hind leg in his stall, and we still don't know how. I do think a horse that is only turned out an hour a day is much more likely to run around and pull shoes that way than if they went out 8+ hours a day. I do think some horses prefer to be in when its very hot or wet, and if they are going to be a show horse they need to learn that being in isn't all bad, I know too many horses that would freak being in a stall because they lived out all the time.

There are many hazards to keeping them in 23/7, higher chance of colic, ulcers, the need to lunge or ride harder to get quiet, boredom habits like weaving and cribbing.

BridalBridle
Sep. 28, 2010, 12:54 AM
It's quality of life. Mine go out at night in the summer and out during the day in winter. They are double fenced 3 board oak with elec to keep them away from the boards. About 2 acres each and NO ONE TOGETHER. No trees in the fields. Bell boots and appropriate blanket/scrim horse clothing. If it's going to rain, they stay in ...afraid of thunder and lightening. Ice/snow they stay in and go to the indoor for excercise free lunging. It's the best I can do and keep them safe and sane.

Simbalism
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:29 AM
My TB mare lives out 24/7 and has for quite a few years. She is much happier and much more pleasant to work with or ride because of living out.

Renn/aissance
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:39 AM
Mine goes out for 12 hours a day with bell boots because he forges. He's a very relaxed alpha type leader, so when he is not exiled to the dirt lot with his pony friend, he'll go out with baby racehorses, hot show horses, or anyone else that needs to be in a field with someone who won't play. Sister's horse falls into the category of "needs to be in a field with someone who won't play" because he loves to roughhouse.

I figure they can buck and fart and screw around in the field with a suitable group of horses like a horse is supposed to do, or they can do it under saddle in a crowded arena where someone's much more liable to get hurt. Besides, turnout is good for their brains and their bodies. I'd rather have a horse live like a horse and be happy than get so hung up on its monetary worth that I forget it has four legs that like to run.

arbor hill
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:41 AM
Originally Posted by RougeEmpire
"pasture accident" must be taken with a grain of salt. Ever notice any time a HIGH DOLLAR horse gets injured and is put down it's a "pasture accident"? It's no coincidence. Remember that is insurance involved with these big money horses. I know more than one big money horse that was injured NOT in pasture but had a "pasture accident" on the paper work.





Our horse Graphiq was turned out for no more than an hour or so a day, behind the barn where he was watched, in a field that looks like a golf course, suited up in both front and hind boots. He leaped up, caught a toe upon landing and shattered his knee cap from impact.

'Pasture accidents' do happen, they are horses. No amount of insurance money can replace our amazing horse. He was truly unique. Generalizations should not be made implying that if it's a 'high dollar' horse, as you say, the 'accident' is in question. It's not always about the money!

_____________________________
www.arborhillfarmllc.com

Kikki
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:34 AM
Injury is always a concern, no matter where they are. My A/O hunter goes out currently with my 5 year old all night long. Actually Woody doesn't love being out but I am a big believer in turnout so he just has to deal. The only thing is he stays in if it MIGHT rain because the only times he has been hurt is when he has been out when a storm blew in. Right now he has some chew marks on him from the baby but nothing major. I'd rather him not have bite marks, but he isn't going to indoors this year so he can keep going out with his little brother until Oreo stops chewing on him or we get closer to some bigger shows.

I think the horses in general do better with more turnout, not less. I have known two horses very recently who would go in to meltdown mode when they were out 2 minutes longer than they wanted to and both ended up with injuries and found themselves living outside most all the time. And both these horses were pampered show horses! They were both originally appalled to be out against their will, but ultimately both learned to LOVE turnout. When one of them went back to work you couldn't catch the darn thing outside. He just loved it out and now even though he is back to showing he lives outside most all the time. He just is happier there now.

I most definitely worry about the horses outside, but I also worry about them inside - they can hurt themselves by getting cast, heck the barn can burn down. But I try to remind myself that first and foremost they are horses and should be allowed to be horses as much as possible. They are show horses second. If my horses get hurt 'being horses' I will be devastated but I will know that I provided them with the best balance in their lives I could and did the best I could for them to make sure they were happy and well adjusted. I'd probably actually be able to handle a tragic injury from a pasture accident than from a riding accident.

Twisting
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:36 AM
Why bring a horse in just because they start to run. . . Isn't that kind of the point of turning them out? To give them a chance to run and play? I mean I can see pulling them in if the were frantic or spooked about something, but just running?

amastrike
Sep. 28, 2010, 03:50 AM
It's quality of life. Mine go out at night in the summer and out during the day in winter. They are double fenced 3 board oak with elec to keep them away from the boards. About 2 acres each and NO ONE TOGETHER. No trees in the fields. Bell boots and appropriate blanket/scrim horse clothing. If it's going to rain, they stay in ...afraid of thunder and lightening. Ice/snow they stay in and go to the indoor for excercise free lunging. It's the best I can do and keep them safe and sane.

Umm... you are aware that horses are herd animals, right? How is denying them companionship giving them quality of life?

SEPowell
Sep. 28, 2010, 08:04 AM
Jonathan Sheppard, leading steeplechase trainer and trainer of eclipse award horses on the flat track, turns out all of his "expensive performance horses". It's common practice in the racing world for those who have farms.

Poniesofmydreams
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:06 AM
Wow! All I can say is there may be some people that have forgotten they have horses. These majestic creatures are not stuffed animals. They need outdoor time not drugs. Most don't do well living a solitary life either.
I lost a beloved mare to a turnout accident and my horses still live mostly outside. We are building a new barn and each stall has a very large paddock attached. This way they can do what pleases them when they can't be in the big pastures due to bad weather.
Even though I experienced the absolute worst thing during turnout, I think more is beneficial. And no paranoid nail biting here. If I can't do what is best for my horses I don't deserve to have them. And spending hours of their life alone locked in a stall is not a life I want for them.

fordtraktor
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:18 AM
Running around in turnout is not always evil, to me it can be a good thing. My boys live out 24/7, and once a day the TB self-exercises by taking a few turns at a gallop around the fields for ten or 15 minutes. The older jumper does a lap or two with him, and the old retired one watches benevolently. I think it's great, as the horse has a lot of energy and if he didn't expend it running around the field, he would expend it being naughty under saddle. He doesn't get upset, he's just playing and running for the sheer joy of it.

The horses I have seen injured on turnout are usually the ones that do only get out for an hour a day. Some develop pent up energy and lose their minds when they can actually run around a bit. Then you do need to go get them or they will work themselves into a self-destructive frenzy.

But accidents can and do happen anywhere. I am sorry for everyone who has lost horses due to bad steps in turnout, under saddle, or anywhere else.

MistyBlue
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:23 AM
Turn out more, nit pick less.
Especially if it's a show horse. That lifestyle is already completely backwards for ensuring you have a conditioned athlete.
Know of any other athletes that have a health schedule of high calorie diet, 1-2 hours of medium to high activity per day and then sit on the couch the other 22-23 hours?
Ever wonder why it's mostly show horses with soft tissue injuries, early arthritis, ulcers etc?
because any mammal would have decreased stamina/joint health/muscle condition/gastric problems on a schedule like that.
Of course turning out more often means a bit more work on the owner's part to keep them clean, but if that's what is important to the owner than I guess the horse is a piece of sport's equipment instead of a living sport partner.
If stalling a horse most of the time (more hours in the stall than free to move) then please, please, please take the time out of your schedules and take that horse on conditioning rides at least 3-4 days per week. Not schooling rides, not ring work...conditioning rides. Long working gaits in a field, on trails, etc. Keeps the horse fit, better for the animal in general and also a benefit to the rider. Mental health is as important as physical health.
If a rider is afraid of having a fit horse...they need more saddle time. I promise that after a week or two of conditioning rides outside of a ring...both horse and rider will gain fitness and confidence. :yes:

Pennywell Bay
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:38 AM
The more they have turnout the less likely they are to run and hurt themselves, but all of my horses go out ALL night in summer and all day in the winter. They go out regardless of weather unless we have ice, but snow, rain etc they are out. They are horses and are meant to live outside. A lot of the horses that are not being shown are out 24/7


YES!:) It can be done responsibly and they do not need to be bubble wrapped. Unfortuneately, horse can get injured in a field, or in a barn aisle, in their stall, in a trailer - just name it. It is the risk we take by owning and caring for these big but fragile animals.

magnolia73
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:48 AM
I mostly worry about change in turnout routine. If Niki has been in a day or two for weather or if a new horse is introduced that's when they act silly. This summer, she was in all day and out at night (so hot all summer) and settled into the routine nicely. She'll go back to 24 hour as soon as the weather settles.

It seems like horses that are out all the time are less prone to big injuries as they tend to not run around like fools and seem to have the herd figured out. It's the ones that rarely get out or go out in small pens with no food then get bored that seem to get hurt.

I do think that horses that go out in groups tend to get more "scrapes". It seems like every so often she will go through a period of coming in scraped up. I have no idea how she keeps scrapes from becoming gashes.

I'm sure the dynamics change when horses get expensive and I have noticed that some of the nicest farms for training have some of the least amount of turn out space.

And I think the reason we hear about high profile horses dying in pasture accidents more than "backyard" horses is because they are just that- high profile. My friend boarded at a place- 2 horses died in the pasture. I know a woman who's horse broke his leg in the pasture and needed euthanized. But they were not "big time" horses so they got no obituary in the chronicle and little discussion in public.

life lives on
Sep. 28, 2010, 10:46 AM
Its simple horses need turn out or they become loons. The price of the horse should not limit how much turn out they get. I know of some very expensive race horses that get 2-3 months off in the summer to go be on turn out so they are better off mentally and continue to win. The best example that I know is WholelottaBurbon, he is about 8 know and continues to win and love his job. He is a lucky one in that he spends about 6-8 months just getting to be a horse and the rest of the year doing his job and becuase he gets to be a horse he still loves to run.

I am surprised by the amount of people who are so worried about their horses being out on turn-out. If the pasture is set up properly and the horse is worked into the schedual slowly all should be good. Also when horses are kept in side that is where a lot of training problems stem from, they finally get to let loose they most likely do not want to do it on your terms. I know my mare is a great example of that she kept throwing her shoes and I had a big show coming up so she was not allowed any turn out and was put on the machine everyday instead. She was not happy and was so angery that she was no fun to ride. Now that she is back to her regular turn-out with her new best friend she is a very happy horse.

Let horses be horses. They will be much more happy, willing to work and healthier. Its amazing to see how so many of TBs turn around and become happy healthy horses when they get turn out and are allowed to have friends and be a horse.

fivesocks
Sep. 28, 2010, 10:58 AM
As a group, the dumbest, spookiest, naughtiest group of horses I know of are fancy dressage horses (not that riding style has anything to do with it, but eh..) at a barn that does only individual turnout for a very short time.

And people wonder why Mrs. Fancy pants with impeccable bloodlines and stellar movement is unrideable... oh well, if we can't ride her, let's breed her!! ;)

I also love it when people board at a place that feeds only top quality hay--alfalfa!!-- because obviously anything other than that is inferior ;) keep horses in almost 24/7, and then complain because the horse is crazy!

I should advertise my horse as a turnout buddy for the crazies that need a quiet friend to set an example of how to calmly graze and mosy around. Maybe there's a market for it :)

To the MAX
Sep. 28, 2010, 11:06 AM
This is my horse. He lives outside 24/7 (because I'm a mean mommy and I hate him, he says):

http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9fqigN0Zt1qaipyfo1_500.jpg

He spends 12 hours every day in his shed. Even if it's a gorgeous day, he just doesn't come out. He lives by himself because he tries to kill everyone he's ever gone out with (you wouldn't think so from how sweet he looks, right?) He's the type of horse that thinks trotting is hard work. And, he still managed to do this yesterday:
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9ff5jRhyd1qaipyfo1_500.jpg

Horses naturally try to kill themselves. It's just a fact of life. I know some horses just don't like to be out...I have one of them! But the less they go out, the crazier they get. The crazier they get, the more likely they are to hurt themselves!
I know several horses who only get to go out a few hours per day. They're all ill behaved and not pleasant to be around. I wouldn't want to be locked in a box for 23 hours a day either!

CBoylen
Sep. 28, 2010, 11:43 AM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

Pennywell Bay
Sep. 28, 2010, 11:48 AM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

Good question.
I have not yet gone on the road for weeks ( yet) but I have never had trouble stabling away from home ( Devon, Warrenton which I know is a big difference then weeks at a time, just giving my experience). I guess the difference is that when we are showing, she is in on a schedule but she is not "denied" turnout ( excluding inclement weather). Now, I have had horses that had to be in for extended periods, for various reason, and honestly, with handwalking, riding etc, it has not been an issue - for me. This has worked for all my youngsters to varying degrees of course, depending on their personality.

Anyplace Farm
Sep. 28, 2010, 11:56 AM
I worry every time I turn my horse out because he comes in with something new nearly everyday. However, I'm aware of my paranoia and try not to inflict it on my horse. I don't put boots on and I encourage his being out as much as possible, especially when it is mild out like now.

I have had to ask my barn owner to come up with something safer than a thin strand of hot wire over the top board of the fence between him and his arch rival. Mine has gotten tangled in that wire twice. The first time caused a nasty laceration and an uglier abrasion. Laceration has healed (got reopened in a different direction during the last entanglement episode) but the abrasion, over a month later, still is not growing hair.

I also worry that if I don't get out there everyday that someone else won't notice stuff like dead squirrels in the water trough and dump it and clean it out with Clorox like I do.

Basically, I find I have to walk a very fine line between turning a blind eye and watching like a hawk.

fordtraktor
Sep. 28, 2010, 12:04 PM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

Probably the same thing most of you do that don't have them out 24/7 -- long handwalks/grazing twice a day, and long hacks on days we don't show. We rent a paddock if possible, split among the barn so that everyone gets out for an hour or two. I've never had an issue with the horses adjusting quickly to the new routine. They are pretty relieved when they get back home, I take the shipping boots off and they get tossed back out in the field, though. They all go roll in their favorite scratchy spots, trot around a bit and start grazing. When coming back from Florida they go in a field without much grass so that their systems don't get overwhelmed.

grayarabpony
Sep. 28, 2010, 12:09 PM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

I've never been on the road for an extended period of time, but when I travelled to a show or clinic with no turn-out, I hand-walked my horse a lot.

whbar158
Sep. 28, 2010, 12:10 PM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

Not sure about horses out 24/7 but horses I know have always done fine going from ~12 hours of turnout to being in at shows. At shows they are often ridden (even if just very lightly hacked) twice a day and go for walks during the day. Yes I also know some horses that don't do well, but they aren't big fancy horses and rarely even go to over night shows. I think being able to handle it is part of being a show horse and if they can't handle it then maybe they aren't really show horse material. That is just my opinion. Though I am not totally anti-stalled horse either because sometimes that is just the way life is, but like other people have said they need to be conditioned differently and get out of the stall and ridden more. To me a stalled horse should be ridden twice a day, one just a relaxing ride just to get out and the other can be work.

Summit Springs Farm
Sep. 28, 2010, 12:16 PM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

Mine are on night turn out in the summer, not every night, but some, depending on many things, but when we go on the road I do worry about them as well as the ones at home, as they get less turn out when I'm gone, just don't trust that everyone will see all I see, but that's a personal problem;)

I do agree with everyone that they need turn out and the more, the less they get dinged up. But I also think its truely an individual decision as every horse is different.

Another thing about my show horses, they all have a paddock behind their stall that has ring footing in it and are large enough for a good buck or two, about 50X40 feet. So technically they can be in or out in their small ring footing paddock all the time.

Renn/aissance
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:22 PM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

Mine does not often go away for weeks at a time, but it is an adjustment. We do a lot of long hand walks and grazing and strolling around the show grounds (obviously you could not do this at WIHS) and playtime on the end of a longe line for sister's horse, who wants to do more monkeying around than mine does. It's not wear him down longeing but "Okay, you clearly need to bounce around, have at it so you don't send your kid flying."

RugBug
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:23 PM
I'm very paranoid about turn-out, but for my horses' sake I try to stuff the paranoia.

My first horse just couldn't do well on the amount of turnout he could get (30 minutes to an hour a few times a week). He'd start running like a mad man after about 10 minutes. It was not I'm-having-a-blast running. It was I'm-going-to-die running. Solution was no turnout.

Fast forward a few years and I finally got him in pasture 24/7. (well...for a lot of your standards, it's still just a small turnout...but we don't have large pastures here in CA). The transition was a bit scary, but he did it with a solid citizen who wouldn't get worried when my horse was worried. Turns out he took to pasture life great and now his a different horse. So much more rideable.

My new horse started the same as the first one. Running after about 10 minutes. He too got to use Mr. Been There, Done That to help transition him. He'd only go out for more than 15 minutes if BTDT was with him. He's finally okay by himself and will go out for quite awhile without getting amped. He still refuses to go out in the front turnout without BTDT, who I no longer have access to, so I just avoid that turnout...which also means he may not get as much time out as I'd like.

Basically, living in CA, and hour or two a few times a week is considered GOOD. My "inside" horse does fine on it, but the other couldn't tolerate that schedule so didn't get turnout until he was put ou 24/7.

I do agree that more time out the better, but I also know that if I had to stall my 24/7 guy for a show for extended periods, he'd revert to the more challenging horse he was before. Thank goodness he's no longer a show horse (and that I've never had the dough to show for weeks on end. :lol:)

Sheila
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:35 PM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

For my show horse, I bought my own truck and trailer so I could bring my guy to shows on the days he showed. Also, because he was 24, we only trucked him to shows that were less than 3 hours away- (we are very lucky that most of our shows are within an hour- most right up the street). All this year and last year, I think we stayed over 2 nights max. at Ox Ridge and Northeast benefit- due to travel times over 2 hours. On those days, he was hand walked and hacked twice. At Ox Ridge, we enjoyed hand grazing him while watching others hack and the guys do set up.

He only did English Pleasure and Hunter Pleasure so his classes were usually on the same day.

Spud&Saf
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:00 PM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

I keep mine out 24/7 in the summer and for 8-12 hours a day during the crummy part of the year.

I don't take mine on the road for weeks on end, but when she goes to away shows, I do slowly cut down her turnout the week before to make it less of an adjustment.

She doesn't do pro divisions, so I usually ship in end of week for weekend classes to limit her time in the stall.

Also, I don't keep her too fit so she gets tired after a day or two of showing.

On non-showing days we go for long trail rides at the main grounds we show at to give her some down time.

I'm not on a "program" though, so I have a lot more freedom in managing my horse before and at the show, which makes it feasible.

Thomas_1
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:02 PM
By making turn out a routine and not a rare and extraordinary exciting event.

By having decent decent fencing and ensuring as much as practical that there's nothing they can do any silly damage on.

By not having them hyped up on food or from lack of exercise.

LuvMyTB
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:13 PM
I worry about turnout all the time. Never used to, but my horse has had a freak pasture accident requiring 3 months of stall rest PLUS a surgery/suspensory requiring another month of stall rest all in the last 9 months.

He DOES run in turnout and all I can think of is him blowing a suspensory again after all the rehab and $$$$ I've spent getting him sound this year. To make matters worse, we're at a new barn, AND the weather is changing--to me it's like the perfect storm!

However, I am getting REALLY sick of the stress I'm putting on myself over this. Vet's coming this afternoon and if she gives the all clear, I'm going to let the barn staff start turning him out during the day when I'm not there to freak out about it.

In the meantime, he's been getting turned out twice a day in the indoor and ridden 5 days a week.

SaturdayNightLive
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:32 PM
No, turning out my horses does not make me nervous. Keeping them in stalls for days on end with no turn out makes me nervous. My horses have always gone out 24/7, weather allowing. When we're at shows I just make sure they get out several times a day for light hacks, grazing, etc... Yes, the occasional bumps and bruises happen, but mostly my horses are sound, healthy, and rideable. :yes:

It's interesting to note that the people on this thread saying that they don't turn out are the ones on other threads saying that drugging at horse shows is necessary. Just an observation.

crazyhorses
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:45 PM
My horses are on 24/7 turnout (and yes, the ARE show horses).

Because they are on 24/7 turnout, they don't have crazy moments all the time. Only when the weather changes or something spooks them or people are on the trial behind our house. Have I had accidents? Yes. A cut knee, an impaled haunch (turned out fine), and various scrapes and bruises. I'm not one of the strange people who says "NO STALLS!!!", but I do think my horses are happy and healthier on 24/7 (their feet are awesome!).

Chris said he likes to turn the horses out as much as possible, so I am assuming this was just a totally freak accident. Cabana Boy spooked at something and hurt himself. And yes, that does worry me that it can happen to my horses. But I like to think that since they are on 24/7 then these spooks don't happen very much *knock on wood*!

dani0303
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:55 PM
My show horses (ranging in value from upper 4 to upper 5 figures) are turned out for a MINIMUM of 10 hours a day. They're all in small, compatible herds and large grassy pasures. Other than scrapes, cuts, and the occasional mysterious swelling, I've never had any problems.

DCN
Sep. 28, 2010, 03:16 PM
My two horses + one other have 24/7 access to the field from their stalls, rain or shine. They're usually only closed in their individual stalls during meal time. Mine wear bell boots to help avoid pulled shoes, but no polos or shin boots. The reality is that with free choice, they still want to spend a fair amount of time in their stalls, either napping or eating hay. In the summer, due to heat and bugs they typically don't put themselves out until well past dark and always are waiting in their stalls for breakfast at 6:00 a.m. In the cooler months they do want to spend a whole lot more time out, but they still choose to hany out in their stalls for hours on end. My now-retired show horse has lived this way for 10 years and has yet to have a pasture injury. Prior to that he lived at a show barn where he had 2-4 hours of turnout a day by himself or with one sedate buddy, and he constantly hurt himself because he would run like a lunatic, either due to being fresh, being bothered by bugs, getting hot, whatever. We never would have wanted to leave him out any longer because he would have killed himself. On the other hand my young horse, who also lived at the show barn for a while, has done equally well in both situations --injury free and dead quiet no matter how little/much turnout he gets.

So I guess I would have to say that it really depends on your horse and the set-up that's available to you. My retired horse only likes extended turnout if he has access to comfortable shelter, but with that set-up he absolutely thrives. The young one could be kept in 23 hours a day or turned out 24/7 and he wouldn't care either way as long as he had hay or grass in front of him.

The young horse hasn't shown yet, but the retired one was on the road a fair amount even after he started living at the 24/7 farm (but we didn't go to Florida). He had no problem at all with being in a stall at the shows because (1) he had hay in front of him all the time; (2) he was being ridden multiple times a day; (3) there was a lot of activity around the barn area to keep his attention when in his stall; and (4) he got handwalked/grazed several times a day. My main concerns were colic and/or ulcers, but neither one was ever a problem.

IBWmassage
Sep. 28, 2010, 03:28 PM
I think 24/7 turnout with access to a stall is just ideal. I've never owned a horse that didn't thrive in that situation.

purplnurpl
Sep. 28, 2010, 03:41 PM
I'm a turn out freak. I'm all about 24/7 and I have the horses on my own property.

that being said, my grey horse almost never gets turned out.
He comes in with a busted eye, a popped splint, a scraped up shoulder...you name it.

So finally, after 6 years of owning him and 6 years of countless injuries, I have decided that he will never get turned out.
He stays in the barn, in his stall with run, by himself.

He seems perfectly fine and dandy.
I just can't afford another 20K bill and 2.5 years of a lame horse.

HRF Second Chance
Sep. 28, 2010, 03:49 PM
My horse is turned out 24/7. He's a pretty sensible dude so he doesn't act like a fool. He does get a little banged up, but its better than him being in.

When he's in (especially for extended periods of time) he acts like a moron. Spooky, shy, and won't go back IN the stall. So he stays out. And he's fat and happy that way!!!

my_doran
Sep. 28, 2010, 04:40 PM
there is quite a few people i agree with on this topic of turnout....my horse is one of those ones that doesn't like to be cooped up for very long,the only time i have him stalled is only yucky rainy days and as soon as it clears up i let him out.he lets off quite a bit of energy when i first let him out and (he doesn't get energy grain.,but he settles down after a few minutes of running off some steam.i have had the odd nick or scrape,but hes pretty good at not doing big damage to his body,legs etc.keep in mind my horse has only a in and out stall with very small paddock.so he isn't really completely locked in.
anyways,i just keep watch for a while till he settles and just make sure fences(wood,electric or otherwse)is in good repair and just praying your horse doesn't do anything stupid when you are not looking or there.just like other posters have stated.
theres only one reason i don't boot up for turnout...i feel it will just hold too much moisture on my horses legs and cause skin probs.

keepthelegend
Sep. 28, 2010, 05:11 PM
http://www.drf.com/news/real-quiet-1998-derby-winner-dies-15

Just thought this was pertinent! Doesn't change me turning out just about 24/7 but it can be nervewracking to think of what can happen.

dalpal
Sep. 28, 2010, 07:42 PM
Treat a horse like a horse...you have a horse.

Treat a horse like a china doll, you have a china doll.

When it snowed two winters and everyone else locked their horses down in their stalls...hell, I threw mine out in it with hay. Less likely to be idiots if they had endure it while it was coming down.

But then again, I toss mine out in most weather.

They are horses......they aren't meant to be locked up 24/7. I always feel sorry for a horse who stands in a stall 24/7 because the owner is afraid it might hurt itself. They would rather risk colic, weak bones/tendons, ulcers, etc....not me. The ones I have personally known who got little or no turnout had bizarre behaviors that normal horses don't tend to have.

billiebob
Sep. 29, 2010, 12:11 AM
My gelding, along with nearly every other horse at the farm, is out 24/7 except for meals and bad weather. He's such a miserable punk when he has to stay in--he knows how to open stall doors and goes back down the yard to his paddock. If he's not trying to kick through the walls, that is. I wouldn't board him at a place that doesn't offer at least all day turnout.

The only horses not on 24/7 turnout are the stallion, one of the broodmares, and her foal. The stallion HATES being out for more than a few hours, especially in hot/muggy/rainy/snowy/anything besides 70 and sunny weather. The broodmare and the foal get about 6 hours out a day. She's pretty much fine with living in or out, but the baby already hates coming in!

Kikki
Sep. 29, 2010, 01:22 AM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.


There are only 2 or so times a year that my horse shows 4 or more weeks in a row, the rest of the time its typically a schedule of 2 weeks on the road with at least a week or two at home in between. When Woody was a pregreen horse he would get longed maybe 4 days a week at shows to account for his lack of turnout. He got to dictate his longing though - he might play for 20 minutes, he might be done in 5. But I always took him out to check and see what he wanted to do. It was the same with turnout at home - he might run around for an hour, he might walk out, roll, then go stand by the gate to be brought back in. Now he just gets plenty of handwalking and an am hack and that seems to be plenty at shows for him. Ironically, and I think this has to do more with age (he's 12 now) and being better adjusted than anything, he is quieter now than even 2 years ago at shows and gets WAY more turnout at home than ever. The young one hasn't been to but a few shows but all he takes again is a hack in the AM and is fine. The last show I took him to (and only his 3rd ever) he was rowdy for a couple days and I was annoyed with him. I don't even know if he lunges, but I did take him and 'gallop' him for 15 minutes in the schooling ring and he loved it. Was well behaved and seemed to enjoy just getting to blow off some steam. After that he was fine all weekend. I didn't even hack him before he showed on the weekend - just took him for a handwalk.

It does take some effort to get them to adjust to the two different schedules they keep - the one at home and the one at shows, no doubt. But I am fortunate enough to have the time to keep them mentally stimulated throughout the day so they do just fine. I'm sure there are plenty of horses that don't adjust to the back and forth in schedule as well and do better just on the same schedule all the time. The two famous A/O horses at the barn get very little turnout and seem to do just fine on that schedule and are well adjusted too.

Polydor
Sep. 29, 2010, 01:56 AM
At work, everyone is turned out. The only time they are in is if they are injured or are in for education. All the rest (200 and some) are out. We do have a few multi million dollar ones on property. They get treated just like every other one does.

We do sedate the new horses when they arrive due to them not being turned out while they are at the track.

The only time we get nervous is with thunderstorms. We don't get many and we have had some pretty nasty results because of them. But they still stay out since we don't have room for 200 horses inside. So we hope for the best, get up early to check everyone and if there are issues we deal with them.

Also we don't have sheds/shelters. Just nice tree lines for the most part. The couple sheds we do have never get used so don't bother any more with them.

I have been in the h/j world where some horses don't go outside. Some just don't know how to act when they are outside because they haven't had turn out in years. Those ones either went out for hand walk/grazes , were watched ( someone literally standing at the paddock watching) and for a limited time at that. But we did have a couple that slowly came around to enjoying their turn out.

P.

PNWjumper
Sep. 29, 2010, 02:11 AM
Those of you who say you have show horses on 12-24 hour turnout, I was wondering, what happens when you go on the road for several weeks in a row or to Fl ( where you may have turnout, but it's generally shared among a whole barn and small)? I would think it would make it hard to manage a horse with that big a change in routine, from 24 hours out to no turnout. Honest question.

My horses are on 24/7 turnout all year round when we're home. I haven't ever had one that had an issue with the show schedule of being stallbound 24/7 for a couple of weeks at a show. Though as a quick side note, I haven't done more than 2 weeks at a show since I had my first kid 6 years ago.

I make sure to do as much handwalking as possible in the early part of the week when they might be a little antsy about not getting out. But I've found that the natural exhaustion of the horseshow negates any exta energy by the 2nd or 3rd day. If I have a horse that's still winding itself up I'll let them play around on a lunge line in addition to the handwalking and hand grazing. If I'm not staying on the show grounds I pay my stall guy extra to help me handwalk.

It is something I've paid a lot of attention to, though, since I've had several that didn't do well with schedule changes. But interestingly (to me at least!) I've never had a horse that didn't handle the transition to horseshows well. I've had several that I had a hell of a time adjusting to 24/7 turnout, but never a tough time going from turnout to stallbound (even among those that were never in stalls prior to starting to show).

Could have something to do with the fact that I always have one of my big jumpers with me. And they're both completely happy at home or at a show, so perhaps their comfort level rubs off on my babies???

jetsmom
Sep. 29, 2010, 03:11 AM
I just moved Jet to full time turnout last year, and used to worry horribly. But he is so much better now that he is always out. At first, if it rained, I'd bring him in to a stall, but then when I'd turn him back out, he'd be an idiot, and have my stomach in my throat. So now I just leave him out. And he behaves out there. He has 2 other horses with him, who won't play, so he's pretty safe.

iloverain
Sep. 29, 2010, 07:52 AM
horses get hurt. be it your backyard shetland, or your upper six figure eq mount. as long as you make sure theyre on a regular schedule, as not to go crazy freeing them self of any energy, and you dont have any chainsaws lying around, youve done all you can do.

theinstigator
Sep. 29, 2010, 08:18 AM
The barn where I currently ride keeps the majority of the horses out 24/7 all summer in big grass fields, which is great, except there is ZERO shelter in many of the pastures. I mean, not so much as a single tree in many of them. :no:

They are also stuck in their stalls 99% of the time from December-February, with limited time in the indoor ring, due to the amount of snow and cold we get. The barn is pretty much on lock-down, no ventilation even, and half of the horses end up with respiratory problems in the winter.

This is the best place in this area. Needless to say, there are lots of colic issues and snotty noses in the spring and fall, and lots of rider falls and horse injuries come spring when people decide to start riding again. I swear I'm the only person who ever rides in the winter.

I won't be getting my own horse again until I can afford to have my own barn and land. I refuse to subject them to being locked up all winter.

So no, turnout doesn't make me nervous. Keeping them penned up for months at a time makes me nervous.