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FineAlready
Mar. 14, 2012, 12:41 PM
Out of curiosity, other than for an injury requiring stall rest, what is the longest any of your horses have been kept inside at a stretch? As in, kept in due to weather conditions, ground conditions...that sort of thing.

Also, for those of you who turn out regardless of weather, mud, ice, etc., have your horses sustained injuries as a result of the turnout conditions?

Finally, for those of you who do not turn out in mud, ice, rain, snow, etc. and therefore end up with horses kept inside for long periods of time, do you believe your horses have sustained injuries or suffered unsoundnesses (mental or physical) as a result of the lack of turnout?

JFJ
Mar. 14, 2012, 12:52 PM
I remember a couple years ago we had really bad ice and it was down right dangerous for the horses to go out. I think they were in for about a week or maybe more. They took it fine, but most of them are retired show horses and they are used to being in a stall a lot. I had a couple younger ones and it was a little more difficult for them. I do have one very small paddock right off the barn so I worked to make that safe first (breaking up the ice) so I had something! Mine are in at night and out all day depending on weather. Some of the old guys seem to really enjoy staying in on rain days!

findeight
Mar. 14, 2012, 12:53 PM
Since I had horses for about 20 years straight and never turned them out as there was no turnout available (So Cal and So Tex)? And know there are many barns in Europe and other continents where they do not have turn out? Can't say that there is a direct connection between lack of turnout and injury/unsoundnes in a properly managed animal

When I moved East where there was turnout, I saw more injuries from pasture play, fence encounters, twisting legs, trip and fall, and snow over ice and rough ground then in stall bound horses kept in regular work including handwalking daily in addition to schooling/hacking. The ONLY serious leg injuries mine ever had were one suspensory in an icy field and a DDFT when out 12 hrs a day one fine late spring day on dry ground. And there was one compound fracture on a friends that lived out.

I have seen those in regular work suddenly having to stop and be confined to the stall. Those did risk further injury so were medicated during the strict stall rest period.

dani0303
Mar. 14, 2012, 12:59 PM
The only time we kept in was from ice, but it was never more than 2 or 3 days. I've never seen any injuries directly related from any other weather conditions.

AmmyByNature
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:03 PM
Up to about a week and a half to two weeks due to either weather or horse showing.

Not ideal, but everyone survived.

joiedevie99
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:10 PM
Up to three weeks for bad footing/weather. Never had a problem because of that.

I have had an abscess and a heel bruise from shoes pulled in bad turnout footing.

AlyssaSpellman
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:12 PM
My ponies at home do not go out over the winter, other than some exceptions, being: no snow (won't turn out in show - you never know what's under there), no ice, ground is not too hard, no mud. Living in New York, days like this during the winter and surrounding weeks rarely ever happen.
I also won't turn out in any other season in mud.
None of them seem to mind. On the days that they do go out, I put them out in the AM after they eat, and let them stay out as long as they like. As of right now, they haven't been out for around 5 weeks. They're hayed multiple times a day, fed grain 3x a day, and given supplements to make up for the lack of grass.

I have another horse (who we board) who hasn't been out in 4-5 months, and was probably kept in for over a year before I got him. When I bought him, we worked on turnout, but he just doesn't like it. Unless the conditions are pristine, he WILL run through or jump a fence in order to get back to the barn. So if it's too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too muggy, too buggy, too rainy, too foggy, etc. he isn't happy being out. Since I've owned him, I can only remember one day that he was happy to be out, and stayed quiet in his pasture for 3-4 hours. IMO there's no sense risking him getting hurt outside, when he'd obviously rather be in the barn.

I have never had any injuries directly related to keeping my horses in, but have seen way too many happen outside for me to take the chance unless conditions are 100%.

FineAlready
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:16 PM
Can't say that there is a direct connection between lack of turnout and injury/unsoundnes in a properly managed animal.

Findeight - when you say there was no turnout in So Cal, etc., do you mean no "real" turnout (as in, not out in big fields), or do you mean the horses were never out of their stalls except for when attached to a leadline, lungeline, or being ridden? No small outdoor dry lot or anything?

Also, regarding the part of your post that I quoted above, I do think that being confined to a stall is really hard on their stifles and hind end generally (even with hand walking, and even when in full work). At least, I really noticed that with my horse when I was rehabbing him from a suspensory injury (9 months of no turnout). I think that sort of ruined his hind end in general, to be honest with you. :( He's never been the same behind since, and the suspensory injury was in the front.

Mine also goes completely NUTS in the stall (rearing, bucking, pawing), even when in full work (and behaving great while ridden) when kept with no turnout of any kind at all for long periods. Turning him out for even a half hour a day, even in a rehab sized paddock, seems to "fix" him mentally. Hand grazing also goes a long way, but he will still screw around bucking and rearing in his stall to the point that I worry a lot about him injuring himself in the stall.

Thanks for your input (and thanks to others who have responded so far)...it's something I have been thinking a lot about lately. There is obviously a chance that they can get injured either way...as you said, you had one with a tendon injury on dry ground with 12 hours of turnout a day. I know of plenty that get hurt while being ridden, sometimes engaging in antics related to not having been turned out, sometimes doing nothing out of the ordinary at all.

I can see a lot of real risks with ice, for sure. Have known a few that had to be put down after slipping on ice. Especially curious about people's experiences with mud...

AliCat518
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:22 PM
My horses live out 24/7, but have access to a large tractor barn if they want to get shelter. (or at past barns, have had access to at least a small run-in).

They are never stalled for weather. In winter, if it's freezing/snowing/raining/super windy, they get the appropriate blanket. In summer, if it's super hot, I hose them and put fans up for them.

I put mine in for a few nights when they had scratches and I wanted to wrap them. One ended up very stocked up. That cant be good for em.

In 20 years of horse ownership, I've never once had an injury in turnout. (i've seen boarders, BO's, BM's etc have horses injured in turnout AFTER they've been stalled for long-ish periods of time).

K, im gonna go knock on wood now.....

FineAlready
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:28 PM
(i've seen boarders, BO's, BM's etc have horses injured in turnout AFTER they've been stalled for long-ish periods of time).

This is the part that scares me. If horses stay in for long periods of time and then go out, I feel like it is similar to lighting their tails on fire and telling them to have at it. When mine came off of the 9 months of no turnout, we were very careful reintroducing him to being out again. I always rode him before he went out, we waited until the footing was perfect, he went out in a small space, and he was sedated the first few times back out. If they are kept in for long periods and then go out again without all of the aforementioned precautions...that terrifies me. A lot.

TesignedInGold
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:32 PM
Horse is out as much as he likes - Gets brought in when weather is nasty at night. The longest he's been in is a couple of days.

We turn out in snow, rain, heat, wind, etc. They are used to the elements and therefore do not act silly. Even in snow, they will usually walk carefully to the nearest hay pile.

I've never had an injury for turn-out, knock on wood. Most turn-out injuries seem to happen when turning out after a long time being confined to a stall.

Evolution has created horses that are used to moving all day. Although I have no problem with stalling, I feel my horse is happier and healthier when he is allowed to be turned out. It gives him a break from work.

Plus.. standing in a 12x12 or 12 x14 box for days on end has got to be boring..

FineAlready
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:42 PM
Oh, and just FYI, I posted this in the H/J forum because I'm specifically interested in turnout practices for H/J horses (though will take input from anyone interested in giving it! :)).

overthemoon
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:44 PM
The horses I've ridden have always had ample turnout, and turnout is one if the single biggest factors when I decide where to board my mare. As such, I can't really comment on the advantages/disadvantages to having a horse inside... except to say that I've never witnessed anything more than a minor injury in a horse directly related to turn out - and those minor injuries are usually inflicted by herd mates (*knock wood*).

However I WILL say that I've seen some unfortunate injuries when it comes to foals who do not receive any/sufficient turn out. With the babies not being able to get outside, stretch their legs, and really use and develop themselves properly, I've seen some sad injuries where they just don't stand up to the work of a riding horse, and their under saddle career is over before they even get into double digits.

DressageOverFences
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:47 PM
Usually there are a few times each winter where the horses stay in for a few days. All the horses get some time in the arena though, plus riding.

I have seen horses fall in bad footing and sustain injuries so I dont like to risk it. plus, my horse just stands at the gate waiting to come back inside whenever we have bad weather anyways so I dont feel bad for keeping her in her box.

Cabaret SK
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:48 PM
My horse lives out 24/7 with a run-in barn type shelter to go into if he wants. The only time he's inside would be at a show.

Like AliCat, blankets when it's cold, etc.

The worst turnout injury he's had was a nasty scrape on his leg that healed up quickly.

MistyBlue
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:50 PM
when you say there was no turnout in So Cal, etc., do you mean no "real" turnout (as in, not out in big fields), or do you mean the horses were never out of their stalls except for when attached to a leadline, lungeline, or being ridden? No small outdoor dry lot or anything?


I'm not findeight...but lots of barns in congested areas, urban areas, etc have different stalls than other places. Common is 12x24...half of that with a roof, sometimes walls and the other half open-air. So not really what other areas would term small turnout, but it's much larger than just a stall. These types of places often have day-care type arrangements where someone takes the horse out for a short turnout in a larger area or longe it, etc.

If you're compiling info on turnout for any reason, having the location and type of area of each post might be a big help. And also what each persons' normal turnout amount is. And home vs boarding.

I'm in CT. We have a little of all kinds of turnout, from double stalls like in CA to 24/7 to everything in between. Dry turnouts and grass turnouts depending on area and age of property. (older places more often have more grass due it taking a long while and costing a whole lot to turn heavy woods into open fields, LOL)

The most my horses have been in has been 48 hours. Due to a very heavy sheet of ice covering the entire turnout. That was unusual as heck for me because although we get ice on a regular basis, I just break it up with the tractor and then turn out. We don't normally have weather where the weather itself lasts more than 24-36 hours. Even Nor'Easters blow out by then. That one time the sheet of ice didn't break even if hit with the tractor bucket. Weight of tractor didn't do squat. Took a couple days of sun to soften it enough for the tractor to smash it up and scrape it off.

My horses are home, I normally turn them out all daylight hours and in at dark. In bad/nasty weather I let the horses decide...I turn them out and put some hay outside and if they come back in and stand in front of the stalls I let them back in.

When I boarded, the last place the owner would turn them out pair by pair (same pair that shared turnouts together) into the riding ring so they could blow off some steam while he cleaned the stalls. Each pair got left out 30 minutes each. The place before that didn't turn out of the grass paddocks were soft, but he'd clean the stalls multiple times per day and after a couple days would turn them out one by one in a small dirt paddock for a short while.

Over the years I've known horses who've gotten injured in turn out and in stalls. Sometimes from too much of one or the other, mostly because horses are accident prone animals that can cause themselves catastrophic injury on a pillow. We love them and think them noble...but in reality they're not the brightest bulb in the box. :winkgrin: Mother Nature intended them as food, not longevity. She gave them speed, not brains. :lol:

CHT
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:51 PM
At my barn (which is entry level dressage, hunter and jumper) the horses mostly live outside, but the inside horses go out regardless of the weather. If it gets icey out, I make sure the more active ones get to come in to play in the arena a bit as they tend not to want to run outside.

Previous barn wouldn't turn out if it was wet and would ruin the grass. Horses did get nutty when finally back out, but one nice thing is the horses had a pretty long walk to the turn out, so they were at least "warmed up" by the time they got let loose.

Friends who ride at a BNT's barn have small pens for turn out and the "good" horses go out rarely and only for short periods when the weather is nice and the footing dry. The manager finds the horses do hurt themselves more when they are turned out, and would rather just have staff longe or hand walk them. I don't think mental soundness is taken into account, and I imagine a horse is more likely to hurt itself trying to play in a 50foot pen than in a larger area.

I'dRatherBRiding
Mar. 14, 2012, 01:59 PM
Currently, my horse goes out every day unless there is lightning or a blizzard. Seriously, her t/o instructions say just that:) It's about 9 hours/day of turnout in the fall/winter/spring, and in the summer when they switch to night turnout it's about 12 hours of turnout. I am a BIG fan of turnout for the horse's well being, but we have huge beautiful pastures that tend to not get too torn up when it's wet, and there is a large run-in for protection if the horses actually decide to go in there. The horses here are generally healthy, sane, and sound!

The barn I boarded at previously kept horses in whenever the weather was the tiniest bit inclement...i.e. a single drop of rain, too much wind, temperatures below 35, etc., so it was not unusual for my horse to go 5 days without turnout. This barn also used small, small, small paddocks from late fall to mid spring so that the grass in the fields wouldn't get torn up. Needless to say, the paddocks were atrocious, overcrowded, mud pits and the horses just stood at the gates. For my horse personally (an OTTB), the injury she sustained from it was a result of having too much energy from lack of adequate turnout- I had to longe her forever to get the yahoos out before I got on, so she ended up with a soft tissue injury. I didn't stick around long enough to find out what other injuries could occur!

The barn I boarded at when I was younger and had a nice horse with a show career had very limited turnout, and most horses did not go out every day. Priority was given to the owner's horses, then preferred boarders, then other boarders, then lesson horses. I knew this going in and still moved my horse there for the level of instruction and other amenities. My horse was a "preferred boarder" and went out on average about 3-4 hours every other day (occasionally back to back days) in pleasant weather only, when not away at a show. He ended up with ringbone and navicular at age 9 (4 years later). To this day, horses at that barn are plagued with suspensory issues, navicular problems, and lots of colic. It could just be because they are working harder and showing regularly, but I suspect the lack of turnout has a lot to do with it.

fatappy
Mar. 14, 2012, 02:19 PM
The longest stretch at my current barn was 3 days because there was ice on the drive that led to the pastures. Even then, every horse was handwalked twice a day, for 20 mins to stretch.

I think horses that are used to being turned out are fine, and horses that are used to being in for long stretches are fine. Horses like routines, and once the figure out their routine, most settle in to it well. I think it's when they're schedule gets disrupted (ie in for 5-10 days when they've been out for 12 hours a day for a few months) is when problems start. I've known quite a few horses to be let out after an unusualy long period in who have been complete idiots and hurt themselves. Again 'unusualy long' is relative term.

DMK
Mar. 14, 2012, 02:24 PM
Usually the longest is less than a week although there have been a couple 2 week stretches (horse shows) over the years.

The horse shows are less of an issue, because if mine is staying the entire two weeks it's probably because he is doing the pro and ammy divisions. If it was just one or the other, I'd bring him home and if they are doing both and getting all the hacking, exercise, showing at a show, turn out when they get home isn't much of an issue. The moment of "oh god please don't break/tear anything!" is usually reserved for that first turnout after 3-4 days winter storms + cold weather + horse that hasn't even been ridden (see weather issue).

However in all the years I've been dealing with that plus "crazy TBs" I have either been very lucky or much more likely (as I am not that lucky), a horse that gets regular turnout is more capable of dealing with turnout rambunctiousness than one who is intermittently turned out or bought in as soon as he starts playing.

I also think there is a lot to be said for the flexibility and "stretchiness" of soft tissues in a horse that spends a lot of time out. Just like any one of us, we know there is a point where we stop stretching soft tissues and start tearing them. That point is a lot sooner if you sit at a PC all day then get up and run around the block without warming up. It's kind of a no duh moment that the person who spends all day walking and moving can do that same running around the block and be far less likely to come back limping. But somehow we don't see that a horse who lives the same couch potato existence - standing in a stall 20 hours, turned out for 3 hours and ridden for 1 hour (if it's a really hard work day) is no where near as flexible as the horse who is turned out for 8/12/24 hours just walking even if he isn't ridden an hour a day (caveat - there are some upper level stalled horses that do not get turnout but have an entirely different work program than our not upper level horses and this logic probably doesn't apply to that situation).

westie55
Mar. 14, 2012, 02:27 PM
I don't think horses are hurt by no turnout for extended periods of time so long as they are able to get out and stretch their legs. My barn does not turn out in inclement weather and will not do so until the ground is fairly dry. It is not uncommon for horses to go days at a time without turnout. However, they are either ridden or handwalked so it isn't as if they aren't getting exercise. While they are on the road at shows there is NO turnout for weeks at time. Doesn't seem to be an issue... again, because they are ridden.

I previously was at a facility where the horses had 24/7 turnout. I am finding that I have far fewer injuries, lost shoes, etc. now that turnout is curtailed when conditions aren't ideal.

showidaho
Mar. 14, 2012, 02:33 PM
Mine go out every day - I try for a minimum of 12 hours...If I could, I'd let them live out, but alas I don't have adequate facilities for that. They seem to do well as they are used to being out and that is a part of their routine. I had a horse that had to be kept in (stall rest for an injury) for a month. It was horrible for him so I did what I could to hand graze him daily, give him a buddy, toys, etc.

We bought a horse that had lived with very minimal turnout for his entire life prior to living with us. He had never been out (so we are told) more than two hours a day. We put him out with a trusted gelding...we started with two hours and gradually adjusted to our program. Now, he thinks he needs turnout. I think horses can get used to anything, but I like mine to be out. ;)

Hinderella
Mar. 14, 2012, 02:43 PM
Probably no more than 3 days, and that would be due to ice. When we have real mud problems, sometimes the horses will have to share the drier paddocks, then a couple of horses will be in for 12 hours, out for the next 12. But other than that, the horses at our barn (other than the stallion) are out 24/7. Even the stallion's out for several hours a day, but there's not a suitable space for him to be out full time.

netg
Mar. 14, 2012, 02:55 PM
My horse raced, so he probably got no turnout that year.

I live in Southern AZ, and most places here have no turnout, too. As in, you may or may not have an arena on the property, and horses are in 12x24 pens for the most part with a metal shade if they choose to use it. I've always hated that, and always tried to get my horses turnout if I could because they've all always loved some.

My gelding had been out of work since the end of the previous eventing season when I got him, and his previous owner turned him out all day every day with another gelding. He loved it, so when he moved to a boarding stable and had to get back into that life he was not pleased and did not re-adjust well. He injured himself in multiple minor ways simply out of lack of adjustment to being confined in a smaller space. I turned him out every time there was an arena free for me to do so, which ended up being around 30 minutes 4 days a week. He would get out there and RUN. The entire time. It was terrifying, and I would always warm him up before turning him out, as he would just get out and run. Run so he was dripping sweat from his whole body, simply for the joy of being out, loving running, and being able to do it. Each time he went in an arena for the first time in some time he would check out the path he was going to run first, paw at questionable spots to determine footing quality, then run where he had picked - so I knew it was not panicked running, but merely that he felt a NEED to do it. I calculated that he was running approximately 15 miles/week in addition to his 6 hours under saddle.

I really hated the typical boarding culture, so built a place. All three horses now have stalls which we can close if necessary (we will during summer monsoons to block out some of the blowing rain) but most of the time they are out and free to choose where they go. My horse still runs for fun, but now it's just a couple laps around his pen and less of it is spent full steam. But the most important part is, he has blossomed physically. He's shinier, his hooves are healthier, and his topline immediately started to change as soon as he got to our house. He's more focused on work when I ride, and happier overall. His feed has not really changed.


Bad weather issues as far as ice and mud don't really happen here, but the horses know not to run through muddy spots in general, and I've seen them test out more slippery looking areas before doing any running across them.

LSM1212
Mar. 14, 2012, 02:58 PM
Over the years I've known horses who've gotten injured in turn out and in stalls. Sometimes from too much of one or the other, mostly because horses are accident prone animals that can cause themselves catastrophic injury on a pillow. We love them and think them noble...but in reality they're not the brightest bulb in the box. :winkgrin: Mother Nature intended them as food, not longevity. She gave them speed, not brains. :lol:

Love this... besides for injury, I think the longest my horse has been kept in was around 5 days when we had the ice storm in early 2009. Heck, my horse went out before I got power at my house. :lol:

I believe in turnout. I'd keep my guy out 24/7 if I could but he doesn't care for that. Thankfully, being an ex-show horse, he can stay in a stall for many days w/o it being an issue.

findeight
Mar. 14, 2012, 03:11 PM
With regard to my earlier post, I meant no turn out. When rocks and rattlesnakes are what constitutes "landscape" or you just don't have any space? You work with what you have. But they were also properly managed meaning they were walked and ridden daily. Most places did not allow stalled 23 hours a day horses turnout in an arena-that's stupid and asking for trouble. They were hand walked or put on the hotwalker daily and ridden 5 or 6 days a week. They did fine.

A couple of places were basically backyards and we rode over to the arenas. They did fine there too, I just had to get over there 5 or 6 days a week. It just takes some thought and planning.

Trust me, I like turnout better. But people deal with what they have available and have been for centuries. May not be your choice but you have the option and they don't.

Indy
Mar. 14, 2012, 03:44 PM
23 days during the DC area Snowmageddon two winters ago. It was awful. The BO doesn't like to turn out when it's snowing/raining so they weren't out during the storm to kind of mash down the snow so by time the snow stopped it was over the fence line some places and they couldn't get the gates to the fields open or closed. And of course, the tractor died two days before the snow started and there was so much snow so everything had to be hand-dug out just to get paths to and from the barns. A neighbor came by to plow the driveway about two days in so we could at least get in and out of the barn (it's down a hill so it was fun...I slid off the side going up it one of the days and had to get dug out). Fortunately the owners live on the property so everyone was cared for until the boarders could get in an out, once they were plowed out of their own neighborhoods. And of course, once the tractor was back in commission the snow had iced over so even with the gates freed, they weren't getting turned out because there was feet of frozen snow/ice crap in the fields.

It was a nightmare on all fronts. All we could do was hand walk them and attempt to ride to keep everyone from loosing their minds. My little horse hates the cold weather and being cooped up so she was unglued for 23 days. My goal every ride was to simply stay on. I was pretty close to tying a "Florida or Bust" sign on her neck, walking her to the highway and letting her find her own way south.

Once they finally got to go out again, they were all medicated for that first round of turn-outs. It wasn't worth the risk of any of the horses yahooing around the field and doing themselves an injury. Everyone (human and equine) lived to tell the tale but it's not an experience any of us would like to repeat.

FineAlready
Mar. 14, 2012, 03:59 PM
With regard to my earlier post, I meant no turn out. When rocks and rattlesnakes are what constitutes "landscape" or you just don't have any space? You work with what you have. But they were also properly managed meaning they were walked and ridden daily. Most places did not allow stalled 23 hours a day horses turnout in an arena-that's stupid and asking for trouble. They were hand walked or put on the hotwalker daily and ridden 5 or 6 days a week. They did fine.

A couple of places were basically backyards and we rode over to the arenas. They did fine there too, I just had to get over there 5 or 6 days a week. It just takes some thought and planning.

Trust me, I like turnout better. But people deal with what they have available and have been for centuries. May not be your choice but you have the option and they don't.

Got it - and just for the record, I wasn't being judgy about turnout in So Cal and elsewhere. I honestly just wasn't sure what you meant in your first comment. I think the daily hotwalker is actually a reasonable turnout substitute when turnout has to be limited otherwise. I used to board at a place that had one. I really miss it! Not only did the horses get to stretch their legs, they also got the mental release of "Look at me, out here walking around without a handler! I am like a wild pony out on the open range!" even when they were just walking.

For boarders, turnout where I live in the Midwest seems to be either extremely limited (sometimes in for months straight) or they are out in total slop pits (mud up to fetlocks) from first thaw until late May or June. When mine is in, even if he gets worked reasonably hard once a day and out for a walk/graze/whatever a second time each day, he still thrashes in his stall to the point that it is quite dangerous. When turned out regularly, he does not generally run or play much at all...just walks around picking at hay or grass and maybe socializes with other horses over the fence a bit.

Crown Royal
Mar. 14, 2012, 04:06 PM
My horses are kept at home. We have a center aisle barn with 12x12 stalls on each side that open up to the field (and there is an overhang about 6' past the stall opening. Their stalls are always open to the field so they can go in and out as they please. They are like this pretty much 24/7.

They are out in the field a large portion of the day but also sometimes hang out in their stalls or under the overhang. One large pony HATES being in the stall so having the overhang/open stalls is a blessing because he'll sometimes stand half in/half out and feel less trapped (he was confined to a stall 24/7 and sometimes beaten when we bought him). Some of the other horses love to hang out in their stalls.

I do bring them in during severe weather, typically only in the evening in the winter when it is so windy and cold that the barn doesn't provide enough warmth since it is open on both sides. That way I can close all the stalls up and they are out of the wind. But 90% of the winter they stay out because they have appropriate blanketing and dry stalls with hay to go into.

They do not come in during the summer unless I need to keep them in overnight before a show (to keep clean). The stalls are always open with fans on, they are flysprayed in the morning, and hosed midday and resprayed.

Every horse I've owned has been very happy with this setup and I've never (knock on wood) have a horse get injured from turnout. I have mares and geldings mixed, too. I have two horses that will stock up if kept in too long and the one pony can't stand being locked in or else he will weave and crib. 24/7 turnout makes them happier and is easier on me because I don't use as much bedding, don't have as much to clean, don't have a bunch of individual buckets to scrub and fill, and don't have to handwalk them all.

The longest I have had any horse locked in was probably about 2 weeks in a really bad snowstorm a couple years ago. I only kept one horse in that long because he was a body clipped Thoroughbred and his legs were exposed. I did hand walk him and turn him out for about half an hour in-between snowstorms that winter, but unfortunately he had to stay in much more than I wanted. The other hairy ponies went out after a couple days in and were fine in all the snow.

LauraKY
Mar. 14, 2012, 04:07 PM
Before I owned him, 8 years. He raced for that long. After I bought him 6 weeks for laminitis.

danceronice
Mar. 14, 2012, 04:12 PM
The only time we kept in was from ice, but it was never more than 2 or 3 days. I've never seen any injuries directly related from any other weather conditions.

This. Besides when Old OTTB had a few weeks of stall rest/hand walking after surgery on a kick wound, I don't think either horse has ever gone for more than 2-3 days, at least not after retiring from the track.

FlashGordon
Mar. 14, 2012, 04:18 PM
My ponies at home do not go out over the winter, other than some exceptions, being: no snow (won't turn out in show - you never know what's under there), no ice, ground is not too hard, no mud. Living in New York, days like this during the winter and surrounding weeks rarely ever happen.
I also won't turn out in any other season in mud.
None of them seem to mind. On the days that they do go out, I put them out in the AM after they eat, and let them stay out as long as they like. As of right now, they haven't been out for around 5 weeks. They're hayed multiple times a day, fed grain 3x a day, and given supplements to make up for the lack of grass.

I have another horse (who we board) who hasn't been out in 4-5 months, and was probably kept in for over a year before I got him. When I bought him, we worked on turnout, but he just doesn't like it. Unless the conditions are pristine, he WILL run through or jump a fence in order to get back to the barn. So if it's too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too muggy, too buggy, too rainy, too foggy, etc. he isn't happy being out. Since I've owned him, I can only remember one day that he was happy to be out, and stayed quiet in his pasture for 3-4 hours. IMO there's no sense risking him getting hurt outside, when he'd obviously rather be in the barn.

I have never had any injuries directly related to keeping my horses in, but have seen way too many happen outside for me to take the chance unless conditions are 100%.

Wow that's surprising to me, as I live in the same area and most people turn out in snow here. Even the show horses where I work go out in snow, and mud... thankfully the property has good drainage and it's not that muddy, but still.

Most boarding barns up here do have limited turnout in winter due to weather, but I don't know any that will not offer SOME turnout almost every day, either rotated in the indoor or out in a suitable paddock.

To me, them having to be in for 3-4 days at a stretch is too much. Let alone weeks. :eek: I get it if you live in CA or somewhere that doesn't have the space or really horrific footing but otherwise..... yikes.

quietann
Mar. 14, 2012, 04:27 PM
Mine spent the first ~10 years of her life outside 24/7 in a herd with only trees for shelter, other than the occasional training period or show where she'd be stalled (and when in training, usually turned out part or all day).

Since I bought her, other than when she was rehabbing from suspensory surgery, she's never been stalled for more than 2 or 3 days continuously. It was definitely an adjustment getting her used to stall life; she went a little nuts for a while and was super herdbound, but got over it. In fact, once she figured out that she'd never have to chase another horse off her food again, she decided her stall was just fine thankyouverymuch. :lol: She's had anywhere from 3 to 12 hours of turnout per day since I bought her.

Current barn has horses out for either 3 or 6 hours per day, roughly; mine's out for 6 as I consider that a bare minimum. Paddocks are smallish and muddy but I have seen far worse around here. BO only keeps them in if it's really icy or if there's a really heavy rainstorm as not all the paddocks have shelter. If it's just raining, they are out until they want to come in :)

In my perfect world she'd have a stall with a 24/7 run-out big enough to work up a good trot, and I'd have an indoor, outdoor, trails access, hot water and a nice bathroom :) Finding both those things anywhere near a big city is darn hard.

showidaho
Mar. 14, 2012, 04:43 PM
Over the years I've known horses who've gotten injured in turn out and in stalls. Sometimes from too much of one or the other, mostly because horses are accident prone animals that can cause themselves catastrophic injury on a pillow. We love them and think them noble...but in reality they're not the brightest bulb in the box. :winkgrin: Mother Nature intended them as food, not longevity. She gave them speed, not brains. :lol:

Best quote ever!

jhorse11386
Mar. 14, 2012, 05:11 PM
The longest my TB has had to be inside because of the weather is 3 weeks and that was when there was no alternative to grass turnout and it was very icy and rainy that year. My TB goes out for 5 1/2 hours everyday unless the conditions are dangerous ie: ice (seen too many horses break legs b/c they were turned out on ice), extreme cold or hot temperatures, thunderstorms, etc. He is turned out on grass when the ground is dry and is turned out on mud most of the winter and when it is wet. A lot of people are worried about turning their horse out on mud but I have not had any problems nor has anyone else at my barn. My horse has never lost a shoe, slipped and got hurt, gotten thrush or scratches. I actually think he prefers the mud paddock over the limestone paddock he used to be turned out on at the old barn when he could not be on grass.

What I have observed over the years is that the horses who have access to daily turnout, even if only for a few hours a day, and even if the conditions are not 100%, are not as likely to hurt themselves as the horses who are kept inside for long periods of time and are not turned out until the weather is perfect.

eclipse
Mar. 14, 2012, 05:19 PM
Longest inside: about 4 days due to very cold temps (below -25C). Generally our horses go outside every day. We get a LOT of Chinooks in Calgary so even after its been cold we don't get ice buildup too badly, for instance last night it snowed, this morning it's sunny but chilly, about 3C and tomorrow it's going all the way upto 14C. :D

My horses have never been injured from being inside for a few days but they do get wild to ride! :lol: They are then silly for thier first turnout, but again, nothings happend with them or any other of the barns horses. :D

spacytracy
Mar. 14, 2012, 05:38 PM
We kept them in last winter for a few days because we simply couldn't GET to the pastures, the ice was at least 6" thick. Nothing like leading a horse like a gigantic Bambi and praying you stay out of eachother's way.

When that happened we turned out each group in the arena to mosey around for a bit, then swapped them out for the next group. It was not a fun situation, and was an isolated incident.

For the most part they are out half the day, regardless of snow, ice, etc.

BrookdaleBay
Mar. 14, 2012, 07:36 PM
Turnout is very important to me and I would never take Matt to a barn that didn't offer turnout for less then 8 hours a day. I live in 'horse country' Ontario, so there is ample space. My current barn does 8 hours in the winter and 24/7 in the summer, and the worse injury he has sustained has been scrapes on his butt from rubbing on trees, or playing with herd mates.

For the last two winters he has been at the dressage show barn I work at, while the BNT and show clients are in FL. This winter has been mild, so there was only one day of no turn out due to ice. I toss them out if it is snowing, even heavily, but not in very high winds or freezing rain. In the summer, everyone is out regardless of weather, except for thunderstorms or all day rain. Drainage is good, so paddocks stay pretty dry.

Pally
Mar. 14, 2012, 07:42 PM
The longest...last winter we stayed the entirety of WEF (plus pre and post circuit) on show grounds without a paddock. It worried me at first, but I was amazed at how well they all took it - mega-mischief brat included ( hey it probably saved us like $200 in eaten bell boots :lol:). I may have worn some holes in my shoes hand walking them all. And in my butt on some long hacks. And of course there was their regular program of training and showing. Freedom, no. But stall bound? Also no.

That's not to say that I don't completely love the fact that this year we have paddocks, and try to give them as much time out there as practical. But what I learned from the last season, and from generally coming from 24/7 land to a limited TO "A" show mentality, is that they are more adaptable than we might think.

As some others mentioned, as creatures of routine, giving them time to adapt is very helpful. Obviously it's not always possible in the case of unforeseen injury or weather. But for instance, if you want your 24/7 out horse to start traveling to week long shows, you can do some trial runs to make sure they handle it. Or if you know weather is often a problem in winter you could cut your normal hours down. Then on the flip side, when introducing turn out after time in, of course being careful is advised (smaller pens, tired horse, sedation, etc).

The other point I am going to emphasize, is that the horses I speak of adapting well to little or no TO, are all on a professional type of full care program. This means that if Sparky is having a day off of being ridden and no TO, they are going to get handwalked/treadmilled/walkered/lunged or some combination thereof. If Sparky's owner Suzy isn't going to be out for a few days, then the trainer or assistants are going to ride it. No one running a quality program is going to let Sparky just sit in the stall for days on end. However, I have seen this happen to regular boarded horses. These are the ones I see muscle wasting (even sometimes with limited TO) and crazy behavior when they are out. Certainly NOT lumping all owners together, as I know there are plenty dedicated enough to get their own horses out of their stalls every day.....just contrasting situations where I see limited TO working and not.


As to the question of injuries, I think the person who said that horses will hurt themselves on a pillow had it right. I have seen injuries anywhere you can put a horse. My insurance provider does NOT turn out his horses because of all the claims he has seen. Including my out 24/7 his whole life horse who had a freak accident :no: I have seen a couple of ugly incidents in stalls, cross-ties and trailers. At the end of the day, I am going to keep trailering, cross-tying, stabling, and turning out horses, and just trying to keep those situations as safe as I can. Maybe I will buy stock in bubble wrap.....

dogchushu
Mar. 14, 2012, 08:22 PM
About a week during snowmageddon. Usually, they're turned out in the indoor if it's too snowy/icey. But the indoor collapsed from the snow, so that wasn't an option. :eek:

My horse was climbing the walls at the end of it. I know horses who are used to no turnout do fine, but mine was used to turnout. And there was no way to get her much exercise with a collapsed indoor. We couldn't even plow the outdoor and use it because of debris from the collapsed indoor.

Barn owner did plow some areas in the fields for handwalking. With the heavy snow and ice, it took forever and caused some problems with the tractor (the mix of snow and ice was really heavy). Not fun and I don't want to go through that again!

Credosporthorses
Mar. 14, 2012, 10:56 PM
My horse hasn't had turn out since he came in from the field to be started, so about a year(I don't really knew I bought him from the breeder in Canada). The first barn I boarded at did not have turn out to accommodate a stallion so poor guy had to stay inside or get arena TO if I was able to do so. Current barn has the TO to accommodate him but we have been getting so much rain/snow our TOs are mud pits. Just what I want him to do is run around in the mud and get hurt. He does get worked 6 days a week and we have a treadmill that he goes on almost every day to have his "free" exercise time. He doesn't seem to mind staying inside and whenever he did get ATO he would just stand by the gate and call to me.

FineAlready
Mar. 15, 2012, 12:02 AM
Well, my horse answered all of my questions for me tonight. Despite being ridden this morning (he was perfect) and hand grazed this evening (again, just fine), when I put him back in his stall after hand grazing he had a rearing, bucking, thrashing fit and fell very badly in his stall. He was down a long time and had three failed attempts at getting up before he finally made it to his feet. I was certain he had broken something, but nothing was swollen or hot as of when I left and he was walking okay.

I have all the information I need now, at least with respect to this particular horse. Now I am just praying he did not injure himself severely and that he does not have another accident before I can get him into a better situation.

Simbalism
Mar. 15, 2012, 03:53 AM
I can only remember once in the distant past when I was boarding at my trainer's that the horses stayed in for a couple of days because of severe ice. My horse has lived on pasture board for years, has access to a run in shed.

Personal Champ
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:33 AM
I have my horses at home, out 24/7, with free access to stalls. Blanketed in winter, fans in stalls in summer, with a comprehensive fly control program.

I have seen injuries in stalled and outdoor horses that just make you shake your head. MistyBlue had it right - injury on a pillow. I figure if they are meant to hurt themselves, nothing is going to prevent it. I make sure there is safe fencing, stalls, gates, feeders, footing (no gopher holes, etc) and let them have at it. You would make yourself nuts otherwise.

olivertwist96
Mar. 15, 2012, 09:43 AM
The only injury my horse has sustained thus far was FROM turnout. He had a sprained tendon in his front leg but it was not serious enough to xray. We just poulticed and wrapped for 4 days and one week of stall rest. After that incident, he is now only turned out in the round pens or the covered pen.

I don't think a lack of turnout causes injury, physical or mental, if the horse is properly conditioned for the level of work they are in. Yes, a horse who hasn't been turned out may be a little fresher than a horse who has been turned out 24/7 for the past week but that is why we have lunge lines.

Ozone
Mar. 15, 2012, 11:19 AM
In maybe a couple days at a pop. No big deal. Never have I witnessed injuries in stall or out in turn out or any type of mental distress with our horses because when they are in due to weather they are ridden (have indoor) when they are turned out we absolutely do not turn out in herds. 2 is company 3+ is a vet bill.

FineAlready
Mar. 15, 2012, 01:30 PM
Well, I can tell you unequivocally now that at least some horses, even horses that are worked at least once a day and walked/lunged/grazed a second time a day - are certainly at a huge risk of injury when they get no turnout.

Witnessing my horse's fall in his stall last night was all the proof I needed. It is actually a miracle he did NOT break a leg last night falling that way. He was worked that very morning (and every morning before that - six days a week) for about an hour with no incident (pretty much perfect behavior, actually), and he had just returned from hand grazing outside. He exploded the instant he was put back in his stall. The horse needs turnout. Period. End of story. For this horse, anyway, at least so long as he is not injured and requiring stall rest for a medical reason.

What some of you are saying regarding horses being fine if they are in so long as they are worked may be true for some horses, but it is not true for this one. I'm not sure why I doubted myself. I know the horse well and already knew the situation wasn't working for him. Thanks for all of your input. I was trying to gather information to make the best decision for my horse. As it turns out, he filled me in on everything I needed to know last night. Should have started and ended the inquiry with him in the first place!

Go Fish
Mar. 15, 2012, 02:10 PM
Each horse is an individual and I think breed can have something to do with it. My mare could live the rest of her life in a stall, never have ANY turn out, and she'd be happy as a clam. And, she was raised outside until the age of 3. My geldings like their turnout. One manages to try and kill himself out there, the other is pretty laid back outside and is only concerned with finding the muddiest or dustiest place to roll.

All 3 can sometimes go weeks without turn out, usually because of show schedules. It seems to me that getting them out of their show stalls frequently during the day has the same effect on their demeanor as getting turnout at home. My horses seem to be more addicted to routine than the actual time they spend outside. When lunch time rolls around, they want in, NOW.

My western horses NEVER had turnout when stabled at professional barns. It just wasn't done. These were all QHs. It did not affect their performance or soundness in any way.

Turn out is sometimes nothing more than getting the horse outside. The size of the pens (corrals) are not much larger than the stall the horse came out of in many parts of the country.

MintHillFarm
Mar. 15, 2012, 03:55 PM
The answer to the OP's question for my horses is No days...

My horses are able to go in and out as they choose...they all have matted, bedded stalls, heated buckets in winter, a fly system in summer...

They wear good waterproof sheets and blankets as needed.

I am in central NY where the weather could be (though not this winter) pretty bad. My horses are careful on the footing which could be snowy or icy. Some are shod with borium and some are barefoot.

They love being outside in the cold and tend to stay in during the day in the summer when the flies are out.

I am not a believer of leaving horses in a stall. I think they do more harm to themselves this way...

Win1
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:44 PM
This is the part that scares me. If horses stay in for long periods of time and then go out, I feel like it is similar to lighting their tails on fire and telling them to have at it. When mine came off of the 9 months of no turnout, we were very careful reintroducing him to being out again. I always rode him before he went out, we waited until the footing was perfect, he went out in a small space, and he was sedated the first few times back out. If they are kept in for long periods and then go out again without all of the aforementioned precautions...that terrifies me. A lot.

Ditto. Which is why mine are out 24/7, with access to the stalls when they chose. I don't do stall rest for injuries either, I just give them a smaller paddock and they heal just fine.

Hauwse
Mar. 16, 2012, 05:15 AM
I think horses are inherently at risk of serious injury with or without turn-out, horses are simply hard on themselves.

Most recently my daughters pony was without turn-out for a good 6 months. He was hand grazed daily, and worked probably every other day. He was full of himself some days, and grazing sometimes turned into some serious aerial displays in one spot, but he was none the worse for it physically.

I have had a zillion horse come off the track, lacked the appropriate sized paddock to reintroduce them to turn-out properly and they could easily go a year or more without turn-out, no side-effects. Granted they were used to being in a stall pretty much 24/7. The alternative to this was turning them out in a paddock large enough that they could gallop endlessly, and I have seen too many injuries resulting from that particular scenario.

I have a may I used to run, and she learned how to release her energy in a stall. she would buck so hard in that 12x12 that often you could see all four of her feet above the front of the stall. I ran her for almost a year. The trainer had her for a couple years, that is what she did. She never was injured in her stall. Still does it today with turn-out, without turn-out, in work or off work, at home, at shows, never gets a hair out of place.

Guess it depends on the horse.

supershorty628
Mar. 16, 2012, 07:48 AM
My horse doesn't get turned out. She hates it (and always has, even since she was a baby). I'll let her out in a field where she immediately finds the perfect spot to roll, after which she gets hand grazed for ~ an hour. It doesn't matter if she's turned out with a friend or alone, if it's a beautiful day or disgusting... she wants no part of being turned out. She's just a little prissy princess.

Don't think she's worse for wear because of it. ;)

I think most horses should be turned out, but I am not in the camp that every horse should be turned out every day for hours at a time. Tentatively zipping up my flame suit.

Ponyclubrocks
Mar. 16, 2012, 11:20 AM
My horses get out of their stalls every day period. If turnout is not feasible due to weather conditions then they get indoor turn out, ridden, lunged or hand walked. Obviously turnout is preferred, but if it is not available, then I make certain that either I or someone else gets them out to do something.

leilatigress
Mar. 16, 2012, 11:35 AM
We've done it both ways. Our working horses were out as much as possible. Halter horses were of course never ever turned out without huge supervision. We never had any colic, popped anything, abscesses or lameness. Oddest one we had was a fantastic little arab mare (halter bred to the 9s) that despised being stalled. Fanatically clean little mare too, turn her out in 5 inches of mud and she would be perfectly clean. She had a run in stall that suited her tastes and when we hauled her to the show we would pay extra for a permanent stall with a run in. If that wasn't available we did LOTS of hand walking, wrapped her in shipping boots, show sheet and a head bumper when we had to put her in the stall. That was after we wrapped her stall with carpet and put her mattress down. She was a fantastic little ride after her halter gig was up and was a great momma later on.

Most of the halter horses including the stallions were worked EVERY DAY and rule of thumb was every horse got at least 3 hours of out of stall time though many of ours had run in stalls.

FineAlready
Mar. 16, 2012, 11:43 AM
I have a may I used to run, and she learned how to release her energy in a stall. she would buck so hard in that 12x12 that often you could see all four of her feet above the front of the stall. I ran her for almost a year. The trainer had her for a couple years, that is what she did. She never was injured in her stall. Still does it today with turn-out, without turn-out, in work or off work, at home, at shows, never gets a hair out of place.

Guess it depends on the horse.

See, this is what my horse does when he does not have turnout. He did it for nine months while he was on no turnout for a suspensory injury. It scared me the whole time, but we didn't have a lot of alternatives. He needed the stall rest for the suspensory injury. And he spent a lot of time sedated.

The other night, though, he did fall as a result of his antics (he's not on stall rest - the barn he is at just rarely turns out). The fall was pretty serious. So, the thing that I always suspected could happen while he was engaging in that stuff did finally happen.

I think you are right - it does just depend on the horse.

FineAlready
Mar. 16, 2012, 11:49 AM
My horse doesn't get turned out. She hates it (and always has, even since she was a baby). I'll let her out in a field where she immediately finds the perfect spot to roll, after which she gets hand grazed for ~ an hour. It doesn't matter if she's turned out with a friend or alone, if it's a beautiful day or disgusting... she wants no part of being turned out. She's just a little prissy princess.

Don't think she's worse for wear because of it. ;)

I think most horses should be turned out, but I am not in the camp that every horse should be turned out every day for hours at a time. Tentatively zipping up my flame suit.

Would never flame you for managing your particular horse the way she has told you she needs to be managed. :) That's just good horsemanship.

I just need to do the right thing to manage my particular horse, the way he needs to be managed. I was a little on the fence about that until the other night when he fell in his stall. My believes were reconfirmed this morning after seeing him calmly grazing in a paddock after 12 straight days of no turnout (preceded by five straight days of no turnout before that...preceded by similarly spotty turnout before THAT).

No amount of working him or getting him out of his stall is sufficient to keep this horse happy without outdoor time on his own. Period.

Trevelyan96
Mar. 16, 2012, 03:02 PM
I will keep in for ice or thunderstorms. Longest I think was 36 hours and I had no issues.

salymandar
Mar. 16, 2012, 03:38 PM
Long ago we were in a location where a good boarding facility was hard to find. We happened upon a very nice new facility with an indoor but no outdoor and no turnout. The fencing was coming next month to make what would have been very nice turnout. Yeah, that didn't happen. Four months later, it was still not in. Mare was just fine with hand grazing, time out in the indoor with a friend and daily riding. She did enjoy her turnout, but it was not an absolute necessity.

None of ours have seemed to mind not going out, especially in bad weather. The current one doesn't mind being out in most conditions, but is just as happy in his stall, especially if the conditions are subpar. He lets you know if they are really subpar. If, due to poor conditions or horse shows, we know they are not going to be able to go out, we make sure they have play time in the indoor, get handwalked, or ridden.

HappyHorselover
Mar. 16, 2012, 04:16 PM
Mine are out 24/7/365 unless it's solid ice outside or hailing. Longest stretch in was probably 48 hours and I was more worried about them hurting themselves after being in "that long" (super long for them - an eternity!) than I even have been because of weather or footing conditions. Normally, if it's slippery or icy, they just hang out, amble around. If they have been in, they do stupid things.

CarrieN
Mar. 16, 2012, 06:29 PM
I am also from So Cal (San Diego). I have never seen a boarding facility around here that offers turn out (at least how you are describing). They may exist, but I am guessing they are extremely expensive. At my barn horses either live in 12x12 stalls with connected 12x18 outdoor runs, or 24x24 pipe corrals that are half covered. The horses do fine. Most of them have never lived any other way.

When I go on vacation, if I can't find a barn rat who wants to ride my horse while I am gone, I will pay the barn owner $5 a day to turn my horse out in the arena when it is not in use. We also have a hot walker, but that is mostly used for cooling down at my barn, not exercise.

theinstigator
Mar. 16, 2012, 09:46 PM
I'm in an area void of any H/J barns for about a 100 mile radius, but where I currently ride, they haven't been out in the pastures since October. This is the mildest, most snow-free winter we've had in Northern NY since I moved here five years ago :eek:

They get rotated in the indoor for about 10 minutes a day while their stall is being cleaned, if the BO feels like it/depending on who is working that day. Most of these horses don't get worked on a regular basis and have absent owners. Some are stuck in their stalls for days and days on end.

The BO said to me the other day that they probably wouldn't go out until May, and at that point most are turned out 24/7 with no shelter. :eek: :eek: :eek: This is the Highest quality barn in the area, too. Ugh.

People ask me why I won't purchase a horse again until I can have them at home. Well...there's your answer!

Some horses don't do well in turnout. Some thrive in it. Most are somewhere in between. With proper management and horsemanship, turnout can be limited or increased as the weather/footing deems necessary without too much trouble. IMHO of course ;)

RugBug
Mar. 16, 2012, 10:29 PM
With regard to my earlier post, I meant no turn out. When rocks and rattlesnakes are what constitutes "landscape" or you just don't have any space? You work with what you have. But they were also properly managed meaning they were walked and ridden daily. Most places did not allow stalled 23 hours a day horses turnout in an arena-that's stupid and asking for trouble. They were hand walked or put on the hotwalker daily and ridden 5 or 6 days a week. They did fine.

A couple of places were basically backyards and we rode over to the arenas. They did fine there too, I just had to get over there 5 or 6 days a week. It just takes some thought and planning.

Trust me, I like turnout better. But people deal with what they have available and have been for centuries. May not be your choice but you have the option and they don't.

Yep...my one horse didn't get turnout for 5 years. Then he start living out 24/7. I'm sure it was a shock to his pampered system. Unfortunately, he was the type that if he couldn't get a few hours every day, he'd be running like an idiot within 10 minutes...and not happy, I'm having fun, running, but breakneck, OMG, I'm going to die running. He transitioned to pasture life pretty well...and was a much nicer horse for it. Should've had him living out years prior, but there wasn't space available. I believe his new owner is struggling a bit with the same issues and I'm hoping she can get him into pasture soon.

Other horse goes out for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours every day (this is a lot for CA) and gets ridden 5 times a week. He doesn't "need" turnout, he doesn't behave differently with no turnout, but I think he enjoys it...except for those days when he's standing at the gate after 15 minutes (we call that Turnout TV. He just stands and watches everyone else, instead of enjoying his time).

Rel6
Mar. 16, 2012, 10:48 PM
My old jumper had very minimum turn out, my when she was out it was in a paddock too small for her 17h self to do much more than trot a little. They couldn't turn her out in the ring because she jumped out and there wasn't anymore space available. She was never "hot" or anxious for it, and in turn out she just stood at the gate and neighed until you brought her in.

My new guy is pretty versatile. Before I got him he lived in a stall only at night, now he lives outside 24/7. He recently got a cut on his leg that got infected so he was on a week of stall rest and antibiotics. I rode him today, lunged him first, and other than a little happy buck at the canter he was pretty quiet. I even walked him up to our track; he's never been before and not even the babies galloping around got him riled up.

FineAlready
Mar. 17, 2012, 08:32 AM
Well, I moved my horse yesterday to a place where he will go out every day in a small paddock for a few hours. He seemed pretty pleased with it yesterday. Will see how he feels about it today!

Addison
Mar. 17, 2012, 08:45 AM
FINEALREADY…I'm glad you were able to find a new place to board your horse. To me, adequate turn out is second only to good fresh water in importance.

My horse goes out for eight to twelve hours a day unless the weather has made the conditions icy or there are thunder storms in the area.

When we go to horse shows I spend a lot of time hand grazing her and walking her around the grounds.

The longest she was inside was when we had a lot of ice a few years ago and that lasted for about a week.

enjoytheride
Mar. 17, 2012, 08:59 AM
2 weeks during an ice storm and they got daily arena turnout until then. It snows a lot here, and it gets really muddy here too. Since we turn out every day the horses know when the footing is too bad to act like morons so they do not run.

It also helps that they go in and out through the arena so when you turn them out they go tearing into the arena and run laps bucking and farting, then they slide to a stop and daintily walk outside. Same thing when we bring them in.

Slewdledo
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:20 AM
We have racehorses. They go into training in the winter, coming in for their work and then back out, and then they ship in to the track. The goal is the horse stays sound & competitive the entire season, so the ideal is they're there from early February - end of September. Our local track has no turnout, not even outdoor pens, available, so the horses are stalled.

They adjust to it. They get out on the walker & for morning exercise. They're out for ~90 minutes - 2 hours when they race. But they don't have liberty to move out without a human attached.

When they come home, they're stalled for a day or two and then sedated and turned out. Some come in at night, most don't. We have two breeding stallions, one is stalled at night and one is not.

My filly who is not a racehorse and has never been to the track lives outside 24/7 and she and I would not have it any other way. She had neurological problems as a baby, spent quite a bit of time on stall rest before 24/7 turnout was required, and it keeps her from stiffening up.

Track wisdom is that the weavers - stallwalkers - are the fittest horses in the barn and least apt to get hurt while training because they keep themselves fitter.

AnEnglishRider
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:31 AM
3 days... And then he bucked me off when I tried to ride him and he hadn't been turned out.

After that I always figured out a way to get him out, and always boarded somewhere with turnout. He does best when he's out 24/7. Locked inside he goes absolutely crazy and goes from one of the best mannered easiest to handle horses to a fire breathing dragon.

ElisLove
Mar. 18, 2012, 01:28 AM
My horse's have gone maybe a week or 2 with no turnout (non injury related) due to weather. Horses definitely go out in light snow, rain, wind. But during extreme cold (-25 and the like) or bad snow or rain storms they stay in.
My horse just moved to a new barn. During the winter they go out to paddocks till 4:30-5:30. And during the summer they will be out till 6 or 7! My boy will love that so much!
A trainer in my area only turns out for about 2 hours everyday. When asked why they said it was to have the horses used to stalls at horse shows. BS! There MAY be a few random horses that really can't handle a bit of change in stalling when at shows but I have never had a horse that was stressed out at shows due to going out for 8 hours a day at home, then having no real turnout at shows.

Electrikk
Mar. 18, 2012, 12:11 PM
Fortunately my horse is on field board, so I never have to worry about her getting hyped up over no turn-out. There's a good run-in shed, and she's smart about not just wading around in the muddy corner and she doesn't gallop around like a maniac. The only problem is for finals when she's in a stall for about a week. She doesn't mind the stall so much, but she gets worked up with the commotion of being in a barn filled with energetic kids, so we just take her for lots of long walks so she can have some peace and quiet.

Jumper6252
Mar. 21, 2012, 01:56 PM
My horse will go out for a solid 7 hours if the weather is nice and it's not too buggy. But if it's buggy she's done after about 2 hours. I don't turn her out in snow or ice.