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Heat & Lights on All Night in New Barn

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  • #21
    Plenty of breed show horses are kept under lights year round to keep the coat short and they do fine. However, a poorly ventilated barn would be a no-go for me.

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    • #22
      Ventilation and possible fire risk would be big concerns for me. Plus the feelings others have expressed that if these folks have that little horse knowledge, other things will be lacking.

      We have relatively "cheap" hydropower up here, so the electric bill may not be the shocker in Oregon that it would be in other parts of the country.

      Making blanket changes a necessity then charging to do it...reminds me of a previous barn that did an awful job cleaning stalls, but provided blanket washing (for a fee, of course)!

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      • #23
        Originally posted by 4cornersfarm View Post
        Why don't you just clip them? Instead of forcing them to not grow winter coats? Sorry if I sound stupid, this is a legitimate question. I am not a "show" person. If we do serious winter riding we clip, either a trace clip or if needed a body clip.
        I ride my horses year around - our first show is in March - we still have snow on the ground and it is still cold - if we started our show season in June that would be a different story. I am not clipping in Feb for a March show - they still go outside and would need a lot of blankets to make up for the loss of hair. With three horses I would have to wait most of the night for them to dry if they had winter coats.

        They are arabs not quarter horses. They are in a heated barn - but only heated to 40 degrees no more, they wear a medium weight sheet and then when they go out a heavy weight goes over that. They don't go out if it is below 20 degrees. The barn is insulated but it has a nice ventilation system that kicks on a couple times a day. The barn is heated by a furnace. No way would I board anywhere that uses a space heater - way to dangerous. Plus how can you let your horses be in a warm barn all night and then kick them out in the cold - that isn't good for their respiratory system.

        As for lights all night - we don't even leave the lights on all night at the horse shows we go to, we always make sure lights are out at least for 4-5 hours.

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        • #24
          As the world's foremost expert on the effects of light on sleep, I can tell you that part of any successful human torture regime is to lock the prisoner up in a cell and leave the lights on 24/7. Particularly when the spectrum is similar to daylight, incessant exposure can cause sleep disruption, insomnia, depression, and eventually psychosis in humans.

          Perhaps this is what has happened to the OP's barn owner.
          Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

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          • #25
            Originally posted by clanter View Post
            Yes, years ago horses nearly became extinct because there were not any lights on at night


            Honestly, I swear I hear horsy chuckling when I stumble into my barn late at night and fumble for the light switch...
            I put in a teeny plug-in nightlight for my convenience.
            Horses see perfectly well in dim light - better than humans.

            Total nonsense with the heat & 24h lights.
            I agree with BeeHoney - wait until BO gets that first utility bill

            Anything over 40F is not good for the respiratory health of horses' stabled there if outside temps are lower.
            A closed-up-tight barn has got to be a stanky place unless the Stall Police are extra vigilant. Ammonia fumes are also less than healthy for stalled horses to be forced to breathe.

            IIWM, I'd worry less about the lights and pay the charge to have blankets put back on rather than leave a horse uncomfortably warm overnight.

            Did you get the sense this was a horse-managing newbie when you first checked out this place?
            *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
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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            • #26
              Educate the BO, explain heated barns are supposed to be around 40F only and she can use a thermostat to control temperature in there.

              When I have a new horse I want to watch overnight, they are in a barn with run out pens.
              There is an outside overhead light, but I leave the inside light on all night for a few nights.
              Horses come and go and lay down to sleep just as if the light was not on, by the same routine.
              I am not sure they care either way.

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              • #27
                The 'Horses scared of the dark?' sentiment screams a BO who is very ignorant of horse care. It would be a red flag for me to examine everything else they do. What other kooky things are they doing that you don't know about?

                The heated barn screams fire hazard to me. Is there really a need for it? I am envisioning residential-quality space heaters or something. I'd want to look at the set up carefully and consider any ignition sources (electric heater, extension cords, wiring, etc). If this was a heated hot water system pumped in from an exterior or house furnace, then there isn't the fire hazard. But I doubt Suzy Backyard Horseowner would have such a thing installed.

                But the bottom line is you have to deal with it or move. You can't make her change her ways. The only suggestion I'd have: can you ask your horse be left turned out? Then when the barn catches fire, he'll be safe.
                Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

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                • #28
                  My friend did self-care board at a barn that heated to 55-60 degrees years ago and she wound up with more issues of colic in horses that had never coliced before. The emergency calls were staggering financially and one episode was too much for the old gelding and he wound up being put down. She moved after that. She didn't put two and two together until she moved to another self care barn that didn't heat and had zero problems. Hay, grain and the routine were the same. The only thing that was different is that the barn wasn't warm.

                  Your situation would be a dealbreaker for me.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Having lights on 24/7 does not really seem like an issue to me. I am guessing the horses do not care one bit.

                    To be concerned about the heat I would have to know how much heat it is. On a morning when it is really cold out walking into my garage that is kept at 40 after doing my barn chores I would describe that as toasty warm. So saying it is heated and it is described as toasty warm really means nothing.

                    I do not know any barns that even when all closed up are actually even close to air tight.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      If you otherwise like the barn, is it possible to move the horse to an outside paddock?

                      I don't know if lights and heat on all night would make me run for the hills, but it would certainly get me LOOKING...mostly because of concerns for the owner's generally horsemanship, but also due to worries about respiratory problems and potential sleep disruption.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        For light to effect the horses it has to be bright enough in their stalls for you to easily read newsprint sized type. Lights left on in the aisle are not bright enough, in general, to effect the horses.

                        You do not mention wether the barn has a ventilation system. Heat is fine if there is a proper ventilation system. I have worked in several heated barns, all with proper ventilation systems, and have never seen a single one of the problems that people on here like to constantly warn about (people who I think are mostly from warmer parts of the U.S./world and who keep their horses at home or do not work their horses through the winter). On the other hand I have been in unheated barns that have no planned ventilation system where you have to leave doors/windows open for cross ventilation so the barn doesn't wreak of urine in the morning.

                        And at the end of the day how they run their barn is their business and if you don't like it you can move.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                          I would be more worried about the barn being closed up. Lack of ventilation will be a health problem.
                          Article; http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/ub039.pdf
                          ditto that!Horses do pretty darn well in a cold draft free barn.

                          warmth is a people comfort!
                          Originally posted by BigMama1
                          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                          GNU Terry Prachett

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                          • #33
                            I sure wouldn't leave the lights on all night - I think they enjoy their night time darkness and sleep time. All of ours lay down at night - but not normally during the day if they happen to be in during bad weather.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              The space heater would be a deal breaker for me. Too many horses die in fires, I could never forgive myself if one of mine died because of something so stupid.

                              I would absolutely show up in the morning to see what air quality is like in the barn. If you can smell the urine its bad - period.

                              As for the lights being on so the horses can see? Really? It would annoy me, but I would live with it if everything else about the care is good. But I would be careful about what other type of ideas this BO has.

                              I did work in a very fancy barn with a heated arena. It cost them over $900 a month in hydro. Stupid stupid stupid waste of money. The dressage divas were never satisfied no matter what and the horses couldn't have cared less.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                If you aren't paying a surcharge for the electric, and can afford to buy a lighter blanket than go for it...there is alot worse to worry about, and unless there is condensation in the air moisture dripping off walls and windows and barn smell very strongly of ammonia your ventilation fear maybe unwarranted...

                                Your mare won't get screwed up and may keep a tighter shorter coat.

                                Also unless the horses are subjected to blasting Punk Rock a radio does pretty much zip and the right kind of music i.e elevator or soft mood actually helps..A study showed Dairy Cows increased milk production while listening to Classical Music...

                                Serious Western AQHA show horse are NEVER EVER clipped or Body shaved, they live under lights in rugs and full face/neck covers usually a heated barn.. that's the discipline standard...

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Keeping lights on at night is a known risk factor for Potomac Horse Fever, but my biggest concern would be the heater. Is this an installed heater or a plug in model? I too wonder about your BO's horse keeping knowledge if she thinks the horses need a light on at night.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    The Potomac Horse Fever correlation is because infected insects get accidentally ingested from water or pasture sources. Since insects are active in light and are drawn to it, clearly there are more bugs around if there are lights on. The OP is talking about WINTER. I don't think there are a lot of insects flying around when it's 30 degrees outside.
                                    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Guin View Post
                                      The Potomac Horse Fever correlation is because infected insects get accidentally ingested from water or pasture sources. Since insects are active in light and are drawn to it, clearly there are more bugs around if there are lights on. The OP is talking about WINTER. I don't think there are a lot of insects flying around when it's 30 degrees outside.
                                      Yes, I know, however I assumed if she's keeping the lights on in the winter, that things aren't going to change much just because it's spring or summer.

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