The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Posts
    5,682

    Question Exercise requirements for young foals for best growth and development?

    Ideally (and this is assuming that there are no health or leg issues that making it advisable to restrict exercise), how much "out time" should a young foal be getting under normal circumstances?

    I moved my filly (who will be 4 weeks old next Thursday) to a mare and foal board facility when she was 2 weeks old; prior to this she had been at the Repro center, and had been getting about 20 minutes of T/O per day in the AM. I was supervising all of her turnouts, and she did a little running around (I got mom walking and trotting to stretch her legs a bit), the filly got some "foal ya yas out" and moved around in all three gaits, then was brought back in to cool off--we have been dealing with horrid, record heat and humidity in our area ever since she was born.

    At the new place, the mare and foal have a nice little grass pasture to themselves, but the BM is very cautious with the turnout in the hot weather. She has 6 other foals (all older, youngest is 6 weeks older than my filly), and they are all on overnight T/O, from 7:00 PM to around 6-7 AM. The BM has been turning my girls out for only 1-2 hours in the morning, from around 6:00--7:30 or so, then they stay in the rest of the time; stall is about 14X14. She doesn't want to turn them back out again in the evening, since having to bring them in an hour or two later would *really* extend her day (which I completely understand.)

    She is "slowly increasing the amount of T/O they get" in the AM, but basing it on the heat--she doesn't want them to be out when it's hot and buggy. (And I am on board with this, of course.)

    I am *hoping* that they will eventually get to go out all night, but the BM is not willing to give me any sort of a timetable on when she expects that to happen (obviously it's not optimal for them to go from 2 hours out to 11 hours out in one fell swoop!) She says my mare is "good" when turned out, meaning that she doesn't run around--of course not, she is 14, and she has her face buried in grass, which was previously a rare treat! OTOH, this means that the baby is not moving around much either, or getting much opportunity to stretch her legs since she doesn't venture terribly far from mom...

    Bottom line, is this going to have any negative effects on the foal at this stage of the game, or should I not worry about it?

    TIA to all the foal experts out there
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Posts
    3,044

    Default

    My mares and foals are turned out 24/7 within a day of birth, sometimes sooner, and only stalled during bad weather or bad conditions. I believe some studies have shown a connection between inadequate exercise and OCD. Recent studies have shown a connection between OCD and slippery conditions (do a search here for a discussion), so you don't want a foal out in muddy conditions.

    My horses have access to a run-in, so I'm comfortable with 24/7 turnout even in the heat and bugs, since the run-in is just as cool as the barn. I do stall them in hard rain or t-storms.

    You have to do what you're comfortable with, but I'd do overnight turnout in your circumstances rather than only 1-2 hrs/day.
    Kendra
    Runningwater Warmbloods & Mare Station

    Home of SPS Diorella (Donnerhall/ Akut), EMC What Fun (Wolkentanz I/ Lauries Crusador), and EMC Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) 'Like' us on Facebook



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Posts
    5,682

    Default

    Kendra, thanks for the input!

    Yes, I was reading about the insufficient exercise/OCD connection , hence my concerns.

    Alas, I am not in charge of how much T/O they can get at this point. I was planning to go out this afternoon and the BM and I were going to turn them out (again) for a half an hour or so--but we have had a LOT of rain over the past day and a half, so now I'm thinking that will not be a good idea if the field is slick!

    Which is the "worst-case scenario"? Oy...
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
    Location
    Mirabel, QC
    Posts
    2,656

    Default

    Don't worry about it, but I think your BO is being overly cautious.

    When I turn them out, YES, they go from a little turnout to full 24/7 turnout right away and they do just fine. Mine have a very large shelter to come in and sleep and all is well. They adapt without any issue.
    www.EquusMagnificus.ca
    Breeding & Sales - Currently: Eventing & Derby prospects
    Facebook | YouTube |Twitter | LinkedIn



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2002
    Location
    Waterford, VA USA
    Posts
    4,901

    Default

    Why don't you tell the BO that you want your mare and filly turned out for the night? I assume you're paying for board, so you should be able to tell them when you want your horses out.

    In the summer months my mares and foals all go out at night and come in during the day (I have fans in all stalls). I do usually wait until the foal is about 2 weeks old before I turn them out at night.

    Good luck with your situation.
    Siegi Belz
    www.stalleuropa.com
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Posts
    5,682

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
    Don't worry about it, but I think your BO is being overly cautious.

    When I turn them out, YES, they go from a little turnout to full 24/7 turnout right away and they do just fine. Mine have a very large shelter to come in and sleep and all is well. They adapt without any issue.
    This was my thought too...

    I am just trying to do everything right (prevent problems that might actually BE "preventable"), to the extent that this is even possible when it comes to horses in general--babies in particular

    Perhaps I'm worrying too much?
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
    Location
    Mirabel, QC
    Posts
    2,656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post
    Perhaps I'm worrying too much?
    Yup!

    Face it, you'll do mistakes. No, go and enjoy the day! (Unlike poor me stuck at my computer... bleh.)
    www.EquusMagnificus.ca
    Breeding & Sales - Currently: Eventing & Derby prospects
    Facebook | YouTube |Twitter | LinkedIn



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2006
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    1,380

    Default

    We have our youngsters outside for as long as possible as soon as possible here in Florida. However, recent temperatures have kept the babies inside with fans from 10 AM to 5 PM. Special care must be given to the ones on antibiotics who can die if exposed to high temperatures. After one of our fellow Florida breeders had fatal results last year with one of her foals, we take the precaution of taking temperatures and charting them twice a day.
    Last edited by Sakura Hill Farm; Jul. 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM.
    Sakura Hill Farm
    Now on Facebook

    Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Posts
    5,682

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by siegi b. View Post
    Why don't you tell the BO that you want your mare and filly turned out for the night? I assume you're paying for board, so you should be able to tell them when you want your horses out.

    In the summer months my mares and foals all go out at night and come in during the day (I have fans in all stalls). I do usually wait until the foal is about 2 weeks old before I turn them out at night.

    Good luck with your situation.
    Thanks, siegi; this BM is a bit (um) "set in her ways." She does this mare and foal thing a certain way, and has for a long time--she has a lot of TB babies whose owners foal them out at her farm, and then probably never see them until it's time for them to be backed! (or taken to the training track)--and she takes over all their foal care and makes the decisions. (This is NOT my particular situation )

    I have talked to her about the fact that I am very "hands-on" and want to be involved in the foal's handling, though I do trust her judgement since she is the expert here--and does this for a living. I think this will be an ongoing process, and I will have to wait it out for the time being and trust that she is doing the best thing for my baby.

    While (at the same time) periodically checking in on this board to get input from others who also have extensive experience!

    I guess everyone does things a little differently, and most of the time it all works out.
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,997

    Default

    The more turnout the better assuming the mare and foal are both healthy. You do need to keep the foal from overheating so night turnout and/or body clipping would probably be best right now.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2000
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    1,723

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura Hill Farm View Post
    Special care must be given to the ones on antibiotics who can die if exposed to high temperatures. After one of our fellow Florida breeders had fatal experiences last year with her foals, we take the precaution of taking temperatures and charting them twice a day.
    Just to clarify and not cause any panic, this is the case when administering Clarithromycin/Rifampin, which is typically used in foals who have Rhodococcus. These foals are kept inside. And when temperatures rise, they are put under fans.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Posts
    5,682

    Default

    EM:

    Guilty...

    For clarification, the foal has always been under a fan during the day (except for the brief periods of power outages at the Repro Center at the end of June), and she has been completely healthy since birth. She stays nice and cool in the stall, and when she was being turned out briefly during that hotter period (her first two weeks), she was managing to recover from the little bit of running around she did outside (around 9:30-10:00 AM), she sweated a bit afterward, her resps came down while she rested under the fan, and she drank well (pee was clear.)
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,316

    Default

    I was the breeder that Sakura referred to. Last year I had a foal on meds to prevent a full blown case of rohdococcus (Clarithromycin/Rifampin). The first day that he was turned out while still on the meds (he was turned out because his temp was normal and the vet said that it was fine to do) he died of hyperthermia (which is a well known side effect of those meds). His temp was over 110 during his autopsy which was done several hours after his death even though his body had been in the shade between death and post mortem. That same year every foal I had was treated with Clarithromycin/Rifampin at one time or another before they were 6 months of age. Hindsight being 20/20, the others were body clipped and kept in during daylight hours under fans all summer. Their turn out was only at night.

    This year my foals have been born at farms that do not have a problem with rohdococcus. They have never been sick and are out 24/7, as they would be if I could still foal out my mares at home.

    In your circumstances, I would be asking for night time turn out, or looking for a place that can do 24/7. The danger of ocd from too much confinement is very real.
    Last edited by Home Again Farm; Jul. 21, 2012 at 01:05 PM. Reason: spelling.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Posts
    5,682

    Default

    Yikes, HAF!

    I'm so sorry...

    Thanks for the input, I am taking this under advisement, and will discuss it with her today.
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,647

    Default

    I too am a fan of lots of turnout, unless a foal is recovering from an illness, or has foot/leg problems that require restricted turnout.
    For the 1st couple weeks I gradually increase rime out during the day (by 1 week, to about 10-12 hours per day).
    After about 3 weeks, they are out 22 1/2 hours per day, only coming in for a breakfast nap. I find the mares and foals appreciate the privacy of a stall once a day, and the chance to enjoy their rations in peace. Foals and the yearlings and two year olds are usually sawing logs when I come out after breakfast to toss them out for the day.
    Mine too have a run in, but astound me by spending most of their time on the grass, foals often flat out in the sun.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 1999
    Location
    Clayton, CA USA
    Posts
    4,994

    Default

    I would be very concerned about the lack of turnout. I don't think 1-2 hours a day is enough for a normal, healthy foal and if I couldn't get the BO to do more, I would move the mare and foal. One of the studies on OCD said that a cause is explosive bursts of energy after confinement, so if that is combined with continual confinement, the possible outcome would keep me awake nights. Although we don't get the humidity you do, we do get high heat. The field I use has a lot of shade, and when it is very hot, the mares and foals hang out under the trees. There is always a breeze.

    This year I had a filly who was confined quite a lot during her first six weeks due to contracted tendons. I became concerned not only about the lack of exercise/turnout, but also about her developing a serious wood chewing habit. She is now out 24/7 and has quit chewing wood.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2002
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    1,271

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clint View Post
    I would be very concerned about the lack of turnout. I don't think 1-2 hours a day is enough for a normal, healthy foal and if I couldn't get the BO to do more, I would move the mare and foal. One of the studies on OCD said that a cause is explosive bursts of energy after confinement, so if that is combined with continual confinement, the possible outcome would keep me awake nights
    This ^. I have nightly turnout and days inside with fans. I too am worried about the initial blast of energy when the foal initially is on the 2 hour turnout. It is also not good for the foal to be stalled 22 hours. My foals run around a little bit when first let out and then settle. They are very good about knowing how long to play and the rest of the time grazing or resting. In my opinion it is unhealthy for your foal to have such limited turnout. I hope you can resolve this situation and good luck.
    It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on.”
    ? Marilyn Monroe



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2007
    Posts
    1,874

    Default 24/7 WITH other horses

    Assuming good health...out 24/7...mine this year were foaled out in pasture as well...my exception to the rule is very serious bug problems. During the worst part of the summer bug season if they are at home they come into stalls beacuse I think the stomping done is damaging and I do this throughout young horse years. In the wild horses would be moving from area to area and not staying in a place with serious biting flies. I also debug the babies more often than the adults because of stomping. I have seen epiphisitis increase during this time and I think the stomping is more the cause than feeding. To me it is also vital they learn to live in social groups with other horses...I pick the adults carefully but they go out ideally with other babies. I ask about how babies were raised when I purchase horses ...I do not want any horses raised in isolation or stalls period as I believe this does not allow normal physical and psychological developement. Laying down healthy bone requires activity. PatO



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Posts
    5,682

    Default

    Agree with all the logic presented here, so thank you! I have to deal with one thing at a time with this BM, I finally got her to agree to allow me to lead my own foal into and out of the pasture tomorrow afternoon, without her help. I can get my husband to lead my mare, and the pasture is only 25 or 30 steps from the barn.

    I did almost all of the early leading after getting a thorough tutorial from Kevin Dippert. If she is able to go out twice tomorrow, maybe the BM will be more receptive to turning her out all night this upcoming week...
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,834

    Default

    I presume your BM is being cautious because your horses are not used to the grass and this is temporary.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



Similar Threads

  1. TB/Clydesdale Cross Development/Growth
    By ToN Farm in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Oct. 1, 2011, 11:42 AM
  2. Replies: 11
    Last Post: Apr. 22, 2011, 11:15 AM
  3. Turnout for young foals
    By Signature in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May. 11, 2010, 09:01 AM
  4. Very young foals and grain
    By avezan in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Apr. 24, 2008, 10:37 PM
  5. Selling Young Foals
    By dressagetraks in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Apr. 5, 2008, 04:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness