What time do you turn your horses in for the night?
I have always turned in between 5 and 6 pm in the winter when they are out during the day. Partly because I think they should be outside as much as possible and partly because I work pt and I don't get home until after 5. Recently I had some new boarders express concern over my bringing the horses in after dark, citing the possible dangers of the horses getting loose and running away into the dark, never to be seen again. I'm sorry, but that almost made me . I am sure I am not the only one who does this. So I am curious to hear when your horses some in for the night and why, and if you prefer to be punctual to the extreme with feeding schedules or if you have a window of time you typically feed.
Last edited by mpsbarnmanager; Jan. 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM.
Like they can't get loose during daylight hours? Seriously, that's silly. They won't go far if they do get loose- most horses I know are pretty fond of food and don't want to miss a meal so they may go for a jaunt around the farm, but start feeding grain and they'll be right back.
In the winter I usually bring horses in before dark, but only because it gets cold after dark and I want to be done with chores earlier. Other than that I don't think twice about what time I bring them in or put them out. I've run outside in the middle of the night in the summer when an unexpected nasty storm pops up to bring in one of my "hothouse flower" types.
Mine are out 24/7.
The ones at work come in after dark (no set time, but often 7-8pm or so if the weather isn't miserable) They are often turned out while its still dark in the morning too...
and whenever one (or more) gets loose, we do the same thing as when they get out during the day: go catch 'em!
Feeding is also done within a "window" of time, and if I need to feed a few hrs early or late, no one is frantic. Just last week I had to feed my horses at around 11pm when they usually are fed by 7 or so, and when I got there, they were happily munching on their last bits of hay even though I was several hours late.
I do chores often at the barn where I board. The horses are brought in between 5 and 6 usually. I do not have an issue with bringing horses in after it is dark and the other boarders have not expressed any concerns either.
During the weather, I sometimes bring in early if the weather is bad. Generally though, I bring them in between 6pm and 7pm. They go out in the morning around 7:30am after they finish breakfast. Bringing them in the dark isn't fun as my mare is convinced something is going to eat her, but she manages. I work full time, so she doesn't have a choice. She has gotten away from me a couple of times, but she runs to the barn where the lights are on .
I sometimes fill in for chores at a barn with bad outdoor lighting. It's "interesting" managing gates and putting halters on horses in the pitch dark, especially if it's cold or snowy and they're anxious to get in. I try to start chores there before dark, or bring in the paddock horses first, for my own sake.
My horses are on the 24/7 "you eat when I feed you" program. Gotta love free choice hay.
My guys are out 24/7/365 unless there is severe weather forecasted overnight. They are not on a strict feeding schedule - that way I don't have horses running if I'm 0.25 seconds late with grain. They're generally fed within an hour window AM & PM.
My horses, in the winter, stay in the home paddock, where there is the availability of heated water and shelter. Our little stable is constructed so the horses can go in and out as they please. I put turnouts on them, and they do use the barn when it's really cold/windy/wet, but otherwise, they stay outside. They get fed about 6:30 a.m. in the mornings, and in the evenings between 5 and 6 p.m. to accomodate our work schedules, but they seem to handle it just fine if there is a delay.
They fuss a little and the mare acts like she's going to keel over if she doesn't get fed this instant but so far she's survived pretty well, hee hee
In summer they get turned out into the big pasture during the day and brought in about the same time - around 5:30 or so, mainly because that's when I get home from work and want to ride. . .if I'm not riding for whatever reason, they stay out later.
What happens when they go out in the morning and it's dark?
I operate in the same manner as DW - and even my neurotic TB is used to the 'routine.'
I guess I could understand if you didn't have a reasonably lit way. As a boarder my one gripe with not knowing when feed time was, when it always fluctuated & interfered with my riding time. A bit annoying when you are on a tight schedule. Might want to see if that's a concern anyone has.
My guys decide when to come in, and in all weather it generally coincides with hearing/seeing my car pull up so they know feeding is to happen shortly.
And their window for feeding is open wide for 4h or more depending on my schedule.
Usually feed at 6A, again at 5'ishP and a last flake of hay around 9P.
Morning schedule is setup around my need to be at work, evening depends on what I have planned.
You might tell your freaking out boarders that horses have pretty good night vision - to them bright moonlight is like dusk to us.
On nice & even not-so-nice nights I can pretty much count on my boys to be out grazing and hanging in the fields.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
the gate between the pastures and the dry lot paddock are open all day for them to wander where they want....they are brought in a 5pm for feeding, then the dry lot paddock gate is shut before they are turned out at 6pm. The dry lot paddock is attached to the stable and has a dusk to dawn light, so the paddock is lighted. Depending on the weather, they are either left out in the dry lot paddock until 9pm then brought in, or if the weather is agreeable, they are left out in the dry lot paddock all night. At 7 am the gate is once again opened and they are able to run or roam the 7 acre pasture.
As a boarder my one gripe with not knowing when feed time was, when it always fluctuated & interfered with my riding time. A bit annoying when you are on a tight schedule. Might want to see if that's a concern anyone has.
Agreed. Most boarding barns bring in around 3-4 PM because quite a few owners want their horse available to ride when they get out of work in the late afternoon. They don't want to have to slog out in winter's dark looking.
Most boarding barns bring in around 3-4 PM because quite a few owners want their horse available to ride when they get out of work in the late afternoon. They don't want to have to slog out in winter's dark looking.
I will shamefacedly admit that going out to my trainer's barn and finding my horse already inside is pretty darn nice.
I agree it's more for their convenience that they'd like them inside earlier. I like to get my chores done in the daylight if possible, but in the winter- by the time I get home it's pitch dark. My horses take their cue more off the sound of me coming home in the driveway, rather than the intensity of the light. They get a bit aggitated if I don't bring them inside ( to eat) soon after I get home... So in THEORY, yes, they might be more prone to busting loose afer dark if it were due to me procrastinating about supper....