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Pasture Keeping the Show/ Training horse

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  • #21
    Our critters are out 7x24, some are furballs and some are blanketed, but this year I finally broke down and took my competition horse to a place with an indoor for the winter. It's really nice to come home from work and be able to ride on perfectly groomed footing instead of picking our way through a semi-frozen mess. He's out about 8 hours per day - I wish it could be more, but he will come home in the spring to more turnout.

    So the out full-time thing is great, but I agree with atr on the good footing "thing"!



    • #22
      Yes, it's doable, and better for the horses. But I wonder about this "it's easier, no cleaning stalls" - at least with my horses, I spend a lot of time cleaning the paddocks instead. So you can't expect to get out of cleaning.


      • #23
        Originally posted by GallopGal View Post
        In about 5 years I want to move to Colorado. I would put a small barn but no stalls (maybe one or two for lay ups). I would like to have one or two dressage horses and a few ranch horses. I have never really liked the idea of stalls. I think the more turn out the better. Let a horse be a horse as much as possible. I was thinking of fencing in a 10-15 acer pasture and hopefully keeping it irrigated. Talk to me about pasture keeping a horse you show or train.

        This would mean you wouldnt have to do turn out or clean stalls. Also I would use the grass and round bales to do most of the feeding so that would save time. I would put large heated waterers and a shed. Of course there would be pasture maintance to keep you plenty busy. So does it work for the show/ training horse?
        Come be my neighbor!! I love it here in CO. I know tons of people who have plans very similar to what you describe. Though just to warn you, in CO there is virtually no irrigating of pastures allowed unless you have a very rare type of well permit. Come August, those fields will likely be brown. And if you really have 5 horses on 10 acres, they'll have it eaten down to nothing by the end of the summer. We just don't get much rain here. But hey, this weekend we just had several gorgeous almost-60 degree days, in January, so it's a trade off!

        We recently moved to a little 5 acre farmette with my retiree and soon-to-be-show horse. Mine are out during the day and stalled at night though - I still want them to be stall-able (though my "stalls" are still open to small private runs separate from the pasture) and have mealtimes to themselves. Riding alone is a bit of an adjustment for me but not too terrible. My two are almost completely potty-trained - they rarely do their business in the stalls, so poop pickin' is a quick and easy 5 minute job. I clean the runs once a week, weather permitting.
        where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


        • #24
          I think it is nice for them to live out - but - you may need/want more land that you are anticipating. You need *at least* 2 acres per horse to ensure that the horses have good grazing year round. I know people do it on a lot less, but let's face it, they are often on dry lots for much of the year that way. So, since you aren't going to spend a ton of money building a barn anyway, if I were you, I would put more into the property itself.

          The other thing is shoeing. If you are going to have a lot of snow every year, you may need to consider whether or not your horses can go without shoes and still remain in work. It is so awful for them to teeter around on snowballed feet, and a bit less likely if they are bare foot.

          Personally, I would have to have an indoor to ride in but I am a total wimp when it comes to bad weather!
          Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon


          • #25
            Originally posted by Speedy View Post
            I think it is nice for them to live out - but - you may need/want more land that you are anticipating. You need *at least* 2 acres per horse to ensure that the horses have good grazing year round.
            In fact, my vet has stated that in Colorado, it is recommended for there to be 35 acres PER HORSE if you want good grazing (and don't supplement with hay). I don't know anyone who has that luxury, so we do the best we can!
            where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


            • #26
              Originally posted by rhymeswithfizz View Post
              In fact, my vet has stated that in Colorado, it is recommended for there to be 35 acres PER HORSE if you want good grazing (and don't supplement with hay). I don't know anyone who has that luxury, so we do the best we can!
              Wow! Thank god I live in Virginia!
              Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon


              • #27
                Pasture Kept and Winning

                This is my first year having my horses out 24/7 and I will NEVER stable them again. My pasture-kept, barefoot, unclipped gelding has been very successful in the dressage ring. I live in AZ, so I don't have severe cold to deal with, but when it rains I put a sheet on him and he stays nice and dry. My DQ friends think its a huge inconvenience to spend a little more time grooming, or heaven forbid have to walk a little further to get my horse out of the pasture....to me it is extra time I am happy to spend to keep my horse happy.