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Who does night turnout?

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    Who does night turnout?

    Bringing my three home to our new property next weekend and am really interested in trying night turnout with them. We have a large pasture with some wooded areas for shade/shelter and we put in a 100x100 drylot attached to the pasture. I'm a little leery of letting them have the pasture overnight, I know they have amazing night vision, but the wooded areas worry me a bit with downed branches and other hazards. I was thinking they could be in the drylot overnight and let back out on the pasture first thing in the morning then brought in around 10 or 11 when the heat and humidity get unbearable. Or, am I being paranoid about letting them just have pasture access all night?

    For those of you who do night turnout, what's your routine? What time do they go out or come in? For reference, our normal summer temps are 90+ with 70%+ humidity, horses are generally miserable outside by 11am and it doesn't cool off until the sun is down.

    #2
    Mine can come and go as they please. Not sure what your ”other hazards” are in addition to downed branches, but if you’re worried enough about them to be reluctant to turn your herd out in them at night, I’d probably be reluctant to turn them out in them during the day, too, until I got the areas cleaned up.

    Enjoy having your horses at home!
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

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      #3
      We're doing it this year at the barn I work at. We don't use the stalls, but have fans in the run in shelters in the dry lot for them during the day. It's hot and humid here too, and they seem to enjoy being out when it's cooler. I think most of them are fine out in the daytime, but the oldest horse has a really hard time in the heat and won't separate herself from the herd to use the fan so this is working out well. She parks herself in front of the fan when it gets hot and doesn't move til it cools off.

      Turnout times depend on work schedules. When I'm working they get fed their evening meal and go out around 7:30p, when I'm off it's usually earlier. They come in dependent on my work schedule too - when I'm working and on day shift they eat breakfast at 5am and are in the lot til I get off. The oldest is in the pasture which has its on run in with a fan.

      Comment


        #4
        Mine are out 24/7, either in paddocks or in fields. Some in paddocks go out to graze at night, as they are responsible for lawn care around the barn area in summer. No problems. The more turn out a horse has, with equine company and grass to eat, the more issues due to being stabled you manage to avoid. Both options carry risk. Choose which risks you wish to assume. Horses evolved to wander and graze and interact with each other. Not allowing them to do this can lead to mental and physical health and soundness issues. Horses are not afraid of the dark.
        www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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          #5
          I've toyed with night turnout but so far decided against it. Mine go out quite early in the AM while it's cooler and come in around noon-ish. By that time it's quite warm but they are in our "summer pastures" which have decent shade. Depending on weather I will also often turn them out in the evening for a few hours but they are stalled overnight.
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

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            #6
            I turn out overnight from mid-April to mid-October. It's very hot and humid here and the stabled horses are all in work, so they come in and are under fans during the day.

            The babies and retirees live out and have deep sheds with 4' x 4' windows for cross ventilation. I'm looking at battery or solar fans for the oldsters for the really bad days.


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              #7
              My pasture is separate from my barn/paddock area and doesn't have a shelter, so I have to do night turnout to to give them relief from the heat and bugs.

              When I work my 2 up to the "unlimited" time on grass in the early summer I switch them over to night turnout since this corresponds to when the gnats and deerflies come out and make it miserable for them to be out.

              I put them out in the evening, usually after the dusk mosquito rush dies down. They come in around 7am and are usually waiting by the gate depending on how hot it is and the amount of bugs.

              They go back to the paddock attached to the barn. There is a run-in portion that I hang screen panels to help keep the bugs out that they walk through. There's also a fan and automatic fly sprayer. They spend most of their time hanging out in there, and make frequent short trips out to the round bale and waterer.

              I agree that with seabreeze that if you're concerned about them injuring themselves at night in the wooded area I wouldn't turn them out during the day until it was cleaned up. I don't think that night vs. day would make a big difference in their likelihood of getting hurt - they'll find a way regardless of the time of day!

              Comment


                #8
                I promise you your horses can handle being in the pasture with wooded areas at night. Although I would make sure to introduce them to the pasture in the day. Turn them out in it the first time early enough in the day so they have many hours of light to explore and familiarize.

                My horses have always lived out at night, whether it be 24/7 turnout or night turnout. The benefits far exceed any slight risks in my opinion. Plus odd injuries don’t seem any more frequent at night in my experience. If I go out in the pasture at 3am for some reason, I always just find sleeping horses.

                Congrats on bringing your horses home!
                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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                  #9
                  Night turnout in the summer is common in this area. My barn turns out around 4 pm and brings in around 7 am. They are much happier being out at night and inside with shade/fans during the day.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If you are concerned with any hazards, clean them up or clear them before you turn out. Horses, being the animal they are, will probably find a way to injure themselves on that particular hazard regardless of the time of day.
                    If it cannot be cleared out, then go ahead and let them explore in the daytime, where at least you will be more awake and it will be easier to see everything, etc.
                    Once you’ve done that, I think they should be alright to be turned out at night. We start doing night turnout around late spring, or as soon as it gets super hot, but the months depend on how quickly it gets warm and how slowly it cools down. In the current summer heat, they go out at around 7 pm and come in at around 9 or 10 am. Then they spend the rest of the day in their stalls with the fans on. It’s just too hot during the day to turn them out, and they are much more comfortablebeing turned out at night when the temp goes back down to the 60s or 70s instead of the high 80s or 90s!
                    Best of luck!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Until the last year of two I'd never seen anyone do day turnout in the summer. It's just too hot in this area. I've had horses out 24/7 or night turnout with wooded areas for years and years. The only pasture injury I ever had to deal with was my late mare rearing up to eat leaves off of a tree in her grassy manicured paddock and impaling her jaw on a branch. Before then and long after she was in wooded pastures with zero incidents.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Mine go out between 6-7pm, or if it's really hot, a bit later. They have a paddock around the barn which has stalls with Dutch doors, so they can walk around at will, but when it's really hot they tend to just stand in front of their fans.

                        I bring them in between 6-7am depending on the weather. They are ready to come in and want to sleep in front of their fans.

                        I don't have any trees but have some telephone poles with guy wires - I have fenced across them so horses cannot go underneath the wire. But I would not be concerned with them in the trees/woods at night. Agree that you should introduce them to the pasture during the day - or at least turn them out an hour or more before nightfall so they learn it well enough.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The two young ( 13 and 22) geldings go out 24/7, only in to eat and wait for their turn to be ridden. The retired geldings (29 and 22 --unsound) come in at 9 AM, eat, have hay and water in stalls, two big fans on them, and stay in the barn until 4-5 in the afternoon --then turnout until the next AM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Nighttime summer turnout is standard in this hot, humid, buggy area. It’s just so much more comfortable for the horses and maximizes turnout time in general. It’s also better from a daytime productivity standpoint. The horses are in the barn during the day when they need to be worked, and stalls are cleaner when they spend (say) 12-14 hrs out overnight instead of 4-8 hours during the day before they have to come in due to bugs, heat, or work sched.

                            I agree that a safe turnout field is safe in the light or in the dark.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              From May through October, my 7 horses run-in and out of their stalls as they please. I do not see them outside in the pastures until almost dark. They all seem to wander out at about the same time (most have separate pastures). I never see them outside during the day from about June through the end of September. They have fans in their stalls.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by SugarCubes View Post
                                Bringing my three home to our new property next weekend and am really interested in trying night turnout with them. We have a large pasture with some wooded areas for shade/shelter and we put in a 100x100 drylot attached to the pasture. I'm a little leery of letting them have the pasture overnight, I know they have amazing night vision, but the wooded areas worry me a bit with downed branches and other hazards. I was thinking they could be in the drylot overnight and let back out on the pasture first thing in the morning then brought in around 10 or 11 when the heat and humidity get unbearable. Or, am I being paranoid about letting them just have pasture access all night?

                                For those of you who do night turnout, what's your routine? What time do they go out or come in? For reference, our normal summer temps are 90+ with 70%+ humidity, horses are generally miserable outside by 11am and it doesn't cool off until the sun is down.
                                That is almost exactly what my guys do. So from about 7 in the morning until I come home at lunch at 12 they are out in the pasture, pony is muzzled. Then from 12 till about 7 at night they are in their stalls, senior with a fan. From 7 at night until 7 a.m. my senior has full run of the pasture because he needs all the calories he can get and my pony gets soaked hay and the dry lot. I rotate between three Fields rinse and repeat one thing I would say definitely pick your dry lot daily!!!

                                There are random off days like today where I have been inside cleaning my house and it is not above 85 and there is a good breeze so I left them out for the day. That is the good thing about having them at home, you can do what you want and what works for you on a daily basis even if it's different every day.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I would consider the bug situation more than the dark & trees. My bug adverse horse comes in from 4pm-9pm, then I cover her in bug spray and put her fly sheet back on, and out she goes. The boarded horses go on pasture for a few hours each day, going out well after dawn, and coming to their dry lot before dusk to avoid the worst of the mosquitos. I don't really have the heat issue here though...and if horse flies were more an issue, they I would likely alter my schedule.
                                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I use to! Horse would go out from 5-7am. Would eat dinner outside and breakfast in the stall. Worked for a while, really benefitted from the extra space and he was a slob.

                                    I now have 5 horses that live outside 24/7, rain, thunder, lightning, blizzards. Two of them came directly off the track. I wish all horses were lucky enough to have big turnout spaces.
                                    https://www.instagram.com/streamlinesporthorses/

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Hej View Post
                                      I turn out overnight from mid-April to mid-October. It's very hot and humid here and the stabled horses are all in work, so they come in and are under fans during the day.

                                      The babies and retirees live out and have deep sheds with 4' x 4' windows for cross ventilation. I'm looking at battery or solar fans for the oldsters for the really bad days.

                                      Please report back or PM me if you find some you are happy with. Sound like a great idea for run-ins, and people outbuildings, too!

                                      As for the original question, mine are in during the day and out at night in summer, and the reverse in winter. Works great for us. Been doing it that way for 20 years.
                                      If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Hej View Post

                                        The babies and retirees live out and have deep sheds with 4' x 4' windows for cross ventilation. I'm looking at battery or solar fans for the oldsters for the really bad days.

                                        Geek Aire fans are amazing! I bought two 12” fans back in 2019 and they are still in perfect condition and holding charge all day!

                                        Geek Aire Fan, Battery Operated Floor Fan, Rechargeable Powered High Velocity Portable Fan with Metal Blade, Built-in Durable Battery Run for Whole Day Time, for Camping Travel Hurricane, 12 Inch https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07P3ZG4..._jBkhFbEN5EGXK

                                        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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