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Stall vs Turnout

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  • #21
    Not only the underlings that get chased around and not let into shelter suffer.

    The boss also is stressed, needing to pay attention to keep everyone in line.

    All of them can use a time out alone to chill and relax for part of the day.

    We had one young mare that never had any health problems.
    When bred and kept with the broodmares, she took it on herself to be everyone's guardian, watched always when others took naps, cared that foals were ok.
    Nothing escaped her, the wind wiggling a weed got her hyper alert attention, she never relaxed her self appointed watch pot task.
    She was not the boss, just the alerter to any and all.

    Then she started having allergies, would scratch herself raw, her mane and tail practically gone from itching and scratching, no matter what we did.
    Then she hurt her foot and needed to be kept in the barn and what do you know, her allergies went away.

    Same place, same bugs, same pollens, same food, all the same.
    Her stress level in the herd seemed to be the trigger for her allergies.

    Each horse is an individual and should be managed as the individual it is.

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      The way our property is set up is there's a two stall barn with dutch doors that leads into one pasture. There are two other pastures that do not have man-built shelters, but there are several trees that offer some cover. I already plan to bring the horses in twice a day to feed/check/ride, but I figured after that I'd just put them back out. My biggest question is, should I keep my horses in the "barn" pasture in the coldest of winter or the heat of summer? That's the only pasture with an actual shelter (two open stalls and a 12ft overhang). I understand horses do better in the cold than in the heat, and we are installing fans in both the stalls for the summer time, so I'm thinking to keep them in that field in the summer so they can escape the heat. We can't afford to put run-ins in the other two pastures, so would this be a good plan?

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      • #23
        We have a small property. Our horses stay up at night because they seem to be more comfortable that way. During the summer, they stay in under fans during the hot part of the day, and go out during the early morning and evenings. When it rains, they are up...this saves our small pasture from becoming a mud pit. We try to let the pasture dry out some before turning back out, again to save what we have. This is what our horses are comfortable with and seem to prefer. They come knocking at the barn door and/or are screaming towards the house at 5-5:30pm if someone isn't heading out to put them up. They are also all on very different feeding requirements that would not be conducive to a field fielding scenario. The only thing that is left in the field as free choice is hay.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Lexibrooke1 View Post
          The way our property is set up is there's a two stall barn with dutch doors that leads into one pasture. There are two other pastures that do not have man-built shelters, but there are several trees that offer some cover. I already plan to bring the horses in twice a day to feed/check/ride, but I figured after that I'd just put them back out. My biggest question is, should I keep my horses in the "barn" pasture in the coldest of winter or the heat of summer? That's the only pasture with an actual shelter (two open stalls and a 12ft overhang). I understand horses do better in the cold than in the heat, and we are installing fans in both the stalls for the summer time, so I'm thinking to keep them in that field in the summer so they can escape the heat. We can't afford to put run-ins in the other two pastures, so would this be a good plan?
          Depending on the size and ventilation of the barn, and how hot it gets where you are, it may be cooler to have them in a pasture with nice shade trees, rather than in a low stuffy barn that doesn't let the heat escape. We only put ours up because it's oppressively hot and we don't have nice shade trees, so the 'breeze' is really just like someone standing in the sun blowing a hair dryer on your face....gross. Up north, I feel like shade does what it's actually suppose to do..lol...instead of making the 115* Heat index only feel like 110*...

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by Mulligan314 View Post

            Depending on the size and ventilation of the barn, and how hot it gets where you are, it may be cooler to have them in a pasture with nice shade trees, rather than in a low stuffy barn that doesn't let the heat escape. We only put ours up because it's oppressively hot and we don't have nice shade trees, so the 'breeze' is really just like someone standing in the sun blowing a hair dryer on your face....gross. Up north, I feel like shade does what it's actually suppose to do..lol...instead of making the 115* Heat index only feel like 110*...
            I didn't even think of it that way, that's a good point. I also thought it would be better to have them in the "barn" pasture in the worst of winter since they would be easily accessible versus trudging out to the other fields to catch them in the cold and snow. With the stall doors and large sliding barn door open the barn would have pretty good ventilation but I hate the idea of ever locking a horse up unless I absolutely had to.

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            • #26
              What direction do the doors open to? I have always pondered the thought process of the people down the road from us that made their shed row open to the north. But, yes, your winter thought process sounds like it would work. We deal more with wind and rain down here..no snow, or not typically any snow. Giving them the choice for protection is key in my book. Some will take it, and some will not and would rather be outside. We have another neighbor that gives her horses nothing. No blankets. No shelter. No north wind protection. No shade. Call me a pansy raiser, but I like knowing that mine are somewhere dry when it's nasty. haha.

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              • #27
                It makes sense to have access to the stalls in winter weather. Trees are fine for summer.

                But it's hard to say how it will all work without knowing your climate region and your actual piece of land.

                Where I live in the PNW some properties (or parts of properties) are underwater in the winter, others are fine

                You won't really know until you go through a whole year with horses on the property. Horses will eat the grass down to bare earth and then churn it up into mud with their hooves. I hope you have the budget to do a bit of remediation as needed, for instance dumping gravel at muddy gates or around the stalls if it turns into a swamp.

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                • #28
                  I have 3 horses; 2 at home at one boarded at my trainer's. They only come in for the following reasons
                  1. While at horse shows
                  2. Blizzards
                  3. Hail

                  Even when they're injured I keep them in a small dry not. I've found with mine it's the best set up for their health and sanity
                  Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                  My equine soulmate
                  Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

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                  • #29
                    Really depends on your climate and pasture amenities, like ground, terrain and shade. Overall, turnout is best but if you live in Tucson where it’s 115f actual and the ground hot sand and hot rocks and the metal parts of fencing and gate hardware burn your hands? Might want to stall them with a fan in daylight. Conversely a steeply sloped pasture covered with ice is no picnic for horses or humans trying to navigate the terrain to tend to them and stalling during the worst of it is often the best choice to keep horses and humans safe. And it’s good to have a stall, even if mostly unused, for emergencies and unexpected challenges.

                    So I vote combination of both as the best choice in most cases. How many hours and when depends on those individual circumstances that are not the same from barn to barn or owner to owner or horse to horse.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                    • #30
                      I tried to put my horse in a 24/7 turnout situation because I was convinced that was the best thing for him. It was horrible. He was completely unaccustomed to that much turnout and was extremely distressed. I suppose with time and gradual introduction he may have gotten used to it, but why put him through the stress? Now he comes in at night and is very content. So, as others have pointed out, it depends so much on the individual horse.

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