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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2002
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Day or Night Turnout?

    I have a question about turnout. I live in VA where it can be hot in summer and I have turned my horses out at night once it gets warm. But battling the ever present thunderstorms (read lightening) is getting more difficult as our weather patterns continue to get more and more extreme.

    My 4 horses are pampered (show horses), but what do others do? I don't have run in sheds and it's not in my farm budget to build two or three sheds (the number I would need). Does it work to keep them on day turnout year round and just put them in fly sheets? And I would have to buy the fly sheets as I don't have any.

    Pros and cons? Any comments or suggestions.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,464

    Default

    I just do my best with the technology available to me. Usually, I make the right call and we don't get stormed on or locked in a stall for no reason. Occasionally, we miss the boat.

    When I managed barns, I would not go out and try to rescue everyone If I did miss and we got a storm. Too dangerous for me, trying to get everyone in with bad weather around. They usually do just fine, and most just turn tail to the storm and keep grazing (even with run ins). If they do stay in, I usually just try to get them out for a couple of hours in the AM.

    It's too buggy around here to leave them out during the day. I hate having them out, stomping at flies and trashing their feet. Much better they are out at night and live through the occasional storm.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    11,224

    Default

    I do night turn out in the summer. I would rather they had fans and shade during the buggy hot days. I simply pay attention to the weather and if we are expecting a nasty storm over night I change my plans.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    198

    Default

    We also do night turnout here in VT when possible. The bugs and humidity in Vermont summers can be brutal, and most of the horses by noon-1PM are totally miserable.

    Just watch the weather closely. I think there are apps that can alert you to any alerts from the National Weather Service or your local weather reporters.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2009
    Posts
    595

    Default

    In @ night out during the day year round.
    Between summer storms & fencing along road I feel safer.
    I have 12, start feeding Equitrol March 1, rabon blocks in field and hang bug bags, haven't needed to fly fly spray for 8 years @ home- of coarse needed for trials & shows.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,207

    Default

    Does it work? Of course

    Mine are turned out all the time. If there are severe storms imminent - and I do mean severe, not just a passing thunderstorm - then I bring them in. If severe storms are very likely overnight, I make the best decision I can whether to bring them in for the night or leave them out.

    If bleaching is a concern, the only real way to prevent that is as little daylight as possible The only fly sheets I'd consider using (and have in the past) is one that's as stiff as can be so that it tents over the horse, leaving lots of room for air flow. The Rambo Flybuster was great for that, if it's still made.

    I use fly predators, and am not surrounded by properties with large animals and poor fly management, so they work very, very well at keeping flies to a minimum. the biggest problem are the gigantic flies in late Summer.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    4,285

    Default

    I used to do day out/night in during winter and day in/night out during summer. However in this area, 4pm - 9am is prime feeding time for gnats/midges. Add to that my gelding is extremely allergic to these bugs. So now horses are on a short day turnout, in behind fans during feeding bug time during the summer.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2014
    Posts
    383

    Default

    Shelter is one of the main requirements for animal welfare, so I wouldn't choose to leave my horses outside without any available. Especially in summertime, I think it's important to have sheltered areas for the horses to get out of the heat.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,207

    Default

    You say there isn't a man-made shelter - are there trees under which they can hide from the beating sun if they choose?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2006
    Location
    Little Rhody
    Posts
    3,334

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by independentlyawesome View Post
    Shelter is one of the main requirements for animal welfare, so I wouldn't choose to leave my horses outside without any available. Especially in summertime, I think it's important to have sheltered areas for the horses to get out of the heat.
    Especially in TX! The sun down there is brutal during the day.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2002
    Posts
    2,817

    Default

    No trees either......



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    8,796

    Default

    I have trees but I'm still planning on night turnout because we have a fly burden from neighboring farm activities and the old guy just goes nuts stomping flies all day.
    They have sheltered from thunderstorms under those trees before and there is always the possibility of lightening strike, day or night.

    I looked into a fly sheet but since he goes through at least one fly mask a summer and is sensitive to overheating I dropped that idea as well.

    A friend of mine suggested the night turnout and I'm familiar with it from a barn where I took lessons. If the old guy can remain content hanging out with lots of food in a shelter I'm all for it.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    3,918

    Default

    Bit of a hijack, but this is a sore point for me. People think "pampering" means stalls, frequent baths, sheets on all the time etc etc etc, when, really, pampering to a horse means having free choice, good shelter, constant clean water (heated in winter), free choice hay, large fields, and companionable horses.

    NOT that OP is saying this, mind you -- I realize I'm ranting.

    I see "fancy" barns here, where the turnout paddocks are tiny, the horses get out only a few hours a day, and when they are out they have no respite from the beating sun, or the freezing rain. The owners may believe their horses are pampered, but they are not!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2014
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Interesting thread/very relevant for me: I'm in FL...deciding between boarding at current place that's lovely right now but already after 1st heavy rain has standing water & soppy earth so can just imagine what it's going to be like once daily thunderstorms of summer kick in. Add that to the 98% humidity...99degree temps & I'm very concerned my guy who is allergic to jsut about everything that flies & a tendency towards thrush, may be begging me to move him back to stall kept life. It's always a struggle of what's best for each individual horse. My hardy qtr mix can handle anything and prefers out all day no matter what...The other guy goes in sane w/ the itching so I think for him getting out a few hours a day in a dryer environment is best.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2003
    Location
    Virginia Hunt Country
    Posts
    490

    Default

    I live in Virginia but am originally from the Midwest. Horse are out at night during the summer, unless there is a prediction of hail. When I was in the midwest people didn't bring their livestock in because of storms and if there was a tornado predicted quite frankly they're safer outside being able to run from it than inside a barn that might get hit. Livestock deaths from lightening are relatively rare. I walked in lightening storms all the time as a kid.

    To me sunburn, heat exhaustion and sun stroke are far bigger concerns than getting wet. Horse out in the hot sun with no shade is cruel. Horse out in the rain at night is getting a fresh water rinse.
    "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor



  16. #16

    Default

    8a-12p in Summer time and all day in cool months



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2009
    Posts
    629

    Default

    I'm in FL so dealing with nasty lightning is common. My horses are out at night. Even in winter frankly, they seem to like it better, and so do I. My very high strung diva mare can't stand to be out during the day. I only keep in at night if it's below 25.

    Of course we get lots of thunderstorms here and I just keep an eye on the radar and make the best call. Have I been wrong, or surprised by a pop up nasty storm, yep, happens once in awhile. I don't bring in for just rain unless it's very heavy.

    I also love having them in during the day so if I want to ride or do anything else with one of them, they are in their stall.
    Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM
    www.everafterfarmsporthorses.com



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Longing to be where I once was.....
    Posts
    2,157

    Default

    Is there no way to let the horses have access to the stalls if they choose while in turnout? If your barn isn't connected to the pasture can you fence it so that it is? That way the horses come and go as they please. Lots easier on you if you are worried about the weather and bugs.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2011
    Location
    racetrack
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    I looooove night turnout. I hate daytime turnout as it really messes my day up and is hard to stick to when you train in the mornings, but in the winter it is pretty much what has to be done.

    "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2013
    Location
    ON, Canada
    Posts
    153

    Default

    Your horse will thank you if you choose overnight turnout during the summer months.
    Mine are out during the day in the winter and out during the night in the summer. The black flies and deer flies are unbearable during the day and the horses just end up being miserable. If I switch them over too late I've got one that will gallop the fence line (15 acre field) until he's dripping with sweat, one of the others will just stand in the shed looking depressed.
    They're much happier, coats look better, keep weight on better, etc. when they're out all night grazing and in during the day napping in front of their fans.

    I've worked at enough A barns to know and understand that it's unrealistic and too much liability to have multiple 100K+ client horses out at night while no ones around/sleeping, but that doesn't mean it's in the best interest of the horse.

    My horses spend most of their time living at my parents place but when I was in school, doing clinical placements, working in a different town I had the worst time trying to find suitable boarding facilities. I got in a few fights with BOs and BMs regarding TO. And just an FYI to any BMs out there, don't lie to owners. I was at one facility that had lazy staff and often wouldn't turn out if the weather wasn't perfect, but they wouldn't admit it unless you happened to be out during the day and could see for yourself. I'm not stupid though, I know my horses, I could tell within 30 seconds if they went out or not. My hunter would be a tiny bit stocked up and the jumpers ears would be going like he had ADHD. Anyway I was out of there pretty quick and a couple others followed suit when they found out I was leaving. I don't like to burn bridges but the horse comes first.

    Sorry, rant over.
    Horses are horses, they're meant to be outside.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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