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Turnout vs workout?

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  • Turnout vs workout?

    So I have someone interested in leasing out my 6 year old event mare (my daughters mare). We sold our acreage and moved to another town. We now own a house, no acreage, still trying to get use to boarding. There are very few options around here, and the person interested in leasing my mare wants to move her to a stable in town (the only stable with an indoor). I have a few problems with this place, the main one being turnout, or should I say lack of! They have very small turnout pens, maybe 30'x 30', but they are knee deep in mud so don't use them (and will be until next may). They have a couple fields but don't like to use them if the horses move around too much (makes mud). They will turn out horses for a short period of time in the small indoor arena. So 90% of the time the horses are in their stalls.

    That brings me to the next problem. The stalls are very closed off, can't hang their heads out or look out doors or windows. The stalls are boarded up all the way with maybe 2" gaps for them to peak through. Feels like solitary confinment! They use next to no bedding so the stalls smell and the place is kept closed up to keep warm (its more of a western pleasure barn). I'm concerned about them being bored and respitory issues from being locked up.

    The horse is use to full turn out most of the time. She has no vices and is sound and healthy except she is too fat and needs to get back to work (hard to do without an indoor). I'm also not to sure about this persons trainer, kinda the back yard type, a begginer trainer that teaches jumping.

    Ok, so after that lond winded post would you sacrifice turnout to get a horse back into work (at least 4x) a week or are thoughs living conditionds out of the question? The horse is young and active and I have a hard time seeing her being happy standing in a closed stall all day (after day), but she does need to go back into work. I'm also concerned she will start stall walking and wood chewing.

    I'm thinking of saying no, but thought I'd get a few opinions, Thanks

  • #2
    I think you know the answer already... if you wouldn't feel comfortable keeping your mare here, why let someone else?

    On a side note, why are you considering leasing? Did I miss this, or is there a benefit to leasing (getting her into shape?)?
    Final Furlong Racehorse Retirement


    • #3
      Not just no, but HELL no. Turnout and time off never hurt a horse, but being cooped up in a stall 90% of the time with iffy training sure has.Hope you find a better situation--meanwhile, this is the ideal time of year for a horse to have some down-time.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        I'd rather have an unfit, but otherwise happy horse than one that is fit and miserable (and potentially suffering from respiratory issues).
        If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
        Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


        • #5
          I would absolutely not let my horse go to such a place. Maybe the rider could lease at your current barn just during the non-winter months?


          • Original Poster

            My daughter has lost interest and she is a nice little mare, had a good season last year for her first season out (as a five year old). She is too nice to sit around and do nothing, but I don't want to sell her right now. I have my own horse to ride, so I thought if I could find someone to lease her, that might work.

            Agree, I just don't feel good about the place. I'm a huge fan of turn out. Right now they have stall with attached shelter and pen that open to their own fields so they come and go as they please. Even in the cold wind and rain they go outside,they don't want to be in. I also like horse to be able to graze a little.


            • #7
              Recently, due to my boarding barn closing, I was forced to find a new barn in a short period of time. This led to me having to make compromises and the biggest one was turnout. My horse went from 8-10 hours per day to 3-4. He also went from group turnout to individual turnout. AND, he was going from a stall with a big half-door to a stall with just a regular window. I was extremely concerned about how he would adjust to all of these changes.

              I must say that despite my misgivings, my horse is THRIVING on this arrangement. He is keeping his weight up beautifully and we've been able to drastically reduce the amount of grain/alf cubes/beet pulp he was getting with no ill effects. He's quiet and content, happy to go to work, etc. He's practically a different horse.

              The lack of bedding and locked-up barn would concern me more than anything else.


              • #8
                Coming from someone who owns her own place so I have 24/7 turnout with the option of stalls if they want to get out of the weather, I wouldn't dare put my horse in a situation like that. I am a huge beliver in turnout. It is soo important for the well being of the horse and very important for soundness of the event horse (my opinion.....)

                Plus not keeping enough bedding in a stall is just not acceptable.

                I wouldn't do it. You can always find someone else.

                ~ Jus Passed My Zipper aka Spanky, 11yo QH gelding.
                ~ Muskogee, 2yo Oldenburg Colt.


                • #9
                  I would not. I do lease horses out and am happy to have them go far away - into the right situation. I think most horses are ok on anything over 3 hours of turnout, but absolutely clean stalls with plenty of bedding and fresh air are not negotiable for me. Consider letting the mare go a bit further away to someone with great references and a solid verifiable record
                  OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                  • #10
                    I boarded at a place like that once for a couple of months and my mare (who had been given lost of TO in the past) looked like she wanted to hang herself she was so miserable. She lost the twinkle in her eye and I have almost never felt so guilty.

                    Can you do an on-site lease?
                    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


                    • #11
                      It seems like turnout and no work is better than crap living conditions and potentially not very good work. I'd rather turn my horse out for a year then have her in a program with a rider I did not know and a trainer I did not know. After a year of turnout- I get back an unfit horse. God only knows what you will get back with someone who is a backyard trainer beginner trainer.... maybe a stopper or a fence rusher or potentially a lame horse from the lack of turnout. Who knows- it could go great - your horse could flourish in a program of limited turnout and a urine filled stall with an unknown trainer. But chances are...no.


                      • #12
                        I think you know in your heart that you do not want to send your mare there. So don't! I think she deserves better than what you have described.


                        • #13
                          I am somewhat new to the forum so do not know how to send private messages. I would be interested in talking to you about your mare though.
                          Somehow other folks have sent me private messages thru this forum so if you can too, please do?


                          • #14
                            No, I wouldn't do it.
                            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MeghanDACVA View Post
                              I am somewhat new to the forum so do not know how to send private messages. I would be interested in talking to you about your mare though.
                              Somehow other folks have sent me private messages thru this forum so if you can too, please do?
                              Click on the person's user name above their post. It will drop down a menu. Choose "send a private message".

                              OP, I'd let your horse stay outside and unworked for the winter, then offer the lease again in the spring... but horse stays where she is.


                              • #16
                                From what you said, no. The bedding was the huge issue for me. If you are going to keep them in all the time clean stalls are very important for their health. The urine is not good for their lungs, and dirty stalls lead to thrush.

                                Sometimes you have to compromise on things, for some people they can not compromise on turnout, for me I can compromise on turnout if everything else is perfect. Ie they have hay available as close to free choice as the horse can handle, nice facility, with nice stalls, nice indoor, good staff etc. Also would only do that if I could make it out almost every day to get the horse out even if I don't really ride or work.

                                Personally I would not let someone else take my horse to a barn I would not board at myself. Care does not sound great at this facility.


                                • #17
                                  Having moved my horse from a situation where he had MAYBE 5 hours turnout a day on a sizeable but bare/rocky paddock, to a situation where he's out 24/7 in summer and minimum 8 hours/day in winter on a nice big grass pasture, I could NEVER move him back to a crappy turnout situation... After we moved to the new place, he started showing a personality which I never knew he had; he actually gets to PLAY like a regular horse, and he's mellow if I ride him every day or I skip a whole week. Turnout has made a HUUUUGE difference for him.

                                  I can't even imagine him being in an under-bedded stall all day/all night, 7 days a week, with only MAYBE a couple hours out per day for work (not play). Gosh, that would be like me locking myself in my office 22 hours a day... life would not be worth living. Ick.
                                  *friend of bar.ka

                                  "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                    Not just no, but HELL no. Turnout and time off never hurt a horse, but being cooped up in a stall 90% of the time with iffy training sure has.Hope you find a better situation--meanwhile, this is the ideal time of year for a horse to have some down-time.
                                    ^^EXACTLY this


                                    • #19
                                      In human terms this would be known as solitary confinement, prison style. I'm sure your horse would also consider it so!! I wouldn't do that to my horse!!
                                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                                      • #20
                                        [QUOTE=flyracing;5225381]Click on the person's user name above their post. It will drop down a menu. Choose "send a private message".


                                        That isn't an option under her name :-(

                                        On the topic at hand though, our horses are out 24/7. When they do have to be in they are not happy. One dances, circles, generally trashes the stall. Even ones that have come from previous homes where they were stall kept. Seems after they are out 24/7, they are not keen on being in again.

                                        And when they are in, they deeply bedded. I know places that bed on stall mats and then use just enough shavings to sort of soak up the urine. The "stall mats saves on bedding" bit. Personally I am not keen on that either.