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Turn out time WWYD?

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  • Turn out time WWYD?

    Mini vent-

    So the barn I keep my horse at has about 11 barn horses and 11 boarders.

    Lately, well a couple of months, there has been less turn out - They have three unused fields they are apparently cutting hay on. My horse gets maybe 4 hours a day of T/O and lately its taking a toll.

    Last fall we rode all the time - he was being turn out pretty much all day and was going good. Relaxed wtc - and jumping normal not all racing around.

    He came up with pretty back hock issues - and all winter we were treating them the best we could but he wasn't getting any turn out which made it worse.

    Now we are on a bute every other day and it seems to help the pain. Lately hes been really skiddish - the BO even tried calling me asking me why my horse has been so uneasy lately mentioning that the Chiro I had out must of tramatize him (uhm no he loved the Chiro sessions!) She did try actupunture his head and he didnt like it so she didnt do it.

    Also since he's been in - hes been cribbing more often so they put up bars all around his stall so he cant do that no more either.

    Now when I ride he is all over the place and just wants to go. Not sure if its from pain from the hocks or just energy - We do a nice warm up before canter and he just is racy and hollow - and almost like bunny hops.

    I dont know how to tell the BO he needs more turn out - they are on a pretty strict rotation. I'd love to find a place where he can be out more - I think it help his hocks too. But I LOVE the facility and riding options - just dont care for the T/O situation

  • #2
    So, your horse has had progressively less t/o, and now he's cribbing as well as acting excitable. This screams ULCERs to me.

    And, if you cannot find a place to accommodate your needs in t/o, why not consider paying the BO for more t/o time, either in the way of your horse getting a 2nd shift, or them installing a temporary paddock/ round pen in an area that won't be cumbersome for the rest of the staff/ horses to navigate around. Or, you could buy your OWN round pen and place it where they say.

    But start with the ulcers....

    Comment


    • #3
      I feel your Pain!! Been at a stable that did the same thing. You have 2 choices. 1) Talk to BO and try to re-negotiate for more turnout, if she agrees make sure he indeed gets it. If she/he gives you flack or excuses, or a direct no can do then 2) you really need to find another barn that will accomodate your horse's needs. Your horse will most likely progressively get worse physically and mentally. Do whatever you can to search out another facility. Good Luck!
      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree, it sounds like your horse needs more turnout. I would start with a frank talk with the BO and see if you can come to an agreement. If not, you may have to look elsewhere. Good luck.
        www.Somermistfarm.com
        Quality Hunter Ponies

        Comment


        • #5
          You have company! And I feel very badly for you. Am currently on a quest to find a new barn myself. My BO stuck my horse in a pen for TO this winter when he was out with several horses, rather than the usual 2, and was injured twice in week. His reward now? Either no turn out at all, or 15 hours overnight. But my BO is a (put expletive here...)

          In your case, I wonder if they are also limiting turnout as better grass is coming in - to prevent him from foundering as he's reintroduced to it.

          They stuck my horse in a stall with bars also, as he's right next to the cross ties the BT uses and she didn't like any interference. I found they'd leave the top shut at night also, asked why it had to be shut at night, and they agreed no need, and now only close it when she's tacking up.

          Some of your observations would have me concerned as well, but you still have to advocate for your horse. I'm walking with our feet, even though the environs are nice. The barn care and people have been questionable.
          But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

          Comment


          • #6
            All else aside, why are you riding a horse that requires bute every other day for the pain? Perhaps that is part of the problem - he's in PAIN?

            What does your vet say about turnout - do they recommend quite a bit of it with his painful hocks? If the vet says he needs more, then you need to figure out a way to accommodate it, even if it means moving barns.
            If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
            ~ Maya Angelou

            Comment


            • #7
              Have been in pretty much exactly your position, only perhaps worse (horse went out only twice in a month one month). Speaking from experience, MOVE THE HORSE.

              He's sending clear signals that he is unhappy. My horse stopped cribbing when I moved him to a place that actually turned him out.

              Get him out of there so you can start undoing the mental damage.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                So, your horse has had progressively less t/o, and now he's cribbing as well as acting excitable. This screams ULCERs to me.

                And, if you cannot find a place to accommodate your needs in t/o, why not consider paying the BO for more t/o time, either in the way of your horse getting a 2nd shift, or them installing a temporary paddock/ round pen in an area that won't be cumbersome for the rest of the staff/ horses to navigate around. Or, you could buy your OWN round pen and place it where they say.

                But start with the ulcers....
                ^^^THIS! The decrease in turnout/increase in stall time can cause ulcers. In addition to that, horses can develop ulcers from being in chronic constant pain somewhere else on their body (in your horse's case, likely his hock issue). The fact that he has started cribbing is a HUGE red flag that points directly towards ulcers...my mare also would crib/eat wood from the trees in the pasture and her stall boards (if kept in, which is hardly ever...she hates it and so do I!) We later (much later, like years) diagnosed her with ulcers via scope.

                He needs first and foremost...turnout. Unlimited hay. And probably ulcer treatment now.
                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  His hocks are almost fused so he is in a bit of pain - and I would love 24/7 turn out so he can constantly move. I had the vet out - she suggested bute him and light riding. Now we have him on bute every other day and riding more (not jumping or anything) just canter maybe here and there and he was doing great.

                  Now they blocked of his cribbing area with bars so he can't crib no more - he's been cribbing all his life. One thing he is gaining weight since hes stopped cribbing and looks healthier. He just is full of energy.

                  Couple of us already expressed T/O situation (I didn't..yet) and they just said they are holding the three empty pastures to make hay off of. I am patiently waiting and hoping once they do that all horses can be out ALL DAY.

                  I do already have a place I can take him - for half the price too, but I don't want to leave the access to all the trails and a group of friends I have at the barn (sounds selfish )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nativehiro View Post
                    His hocks are almost fused so he is in a bit of pain - and I would love 24/7 turn out so he can constantly move. I had the vet out - she suggested bute him and light riding. Now we have him on bute every other day and riding more (not jumping or anything) just canter maybe here and there and he was doing great.

                    Now they blocked of his cribbing area with bars so he can't crib no more - he's been cribbing all his life. One thing he is gaining weight since hes stopped cribbing and looks healthier. He just is full of energy.

                    Couple of us already expressed T/O situation (I didn't..yet) and they just said they are holding the three empty pastures to make hay off of. I am patiently waiting and hoping once they do that all horses can be out ALL DAY.

                    I do already have a place I can take him - for half the price too, but I don't want to leave the access to all the trails and a group of friends I have at the barn (sounds selfish )
                    Decreased turnout/increased stall time + bute = recipe for tummy troubles. Perhaps he was a cribber due to ulcers in the first place, and stall time just made him worse. I would at the very least make sure this horse has hay in front of him at ALL TIMES. No exceptions.

                    And, your last line...it sounds selfish that you're keeping him there because it is selfish. You know what the horse needs, that should come first. This living situation for him is obviously not working for him. If you already have a place you can take him that would be better suited for this horse, its selfish of you to keep him where he is for reasons that only benefit you.
                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      he does have hay in front of him all the time even toss it in the fields thats one thing is good about this place they always have food - yet he was always still a bit on the thin side but he is a TB.

                      Where I can take him is extremely cheap and they are only in the stall if its too cold or rainy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nativehiro View Post
                        Where I can take him is extremely cheap and they are only in the stall if its too cold or rainy.
                        I don't see anything wrong with that, especially since more turnout is better to begin with. What are your concerns with that setup? It sounds much better than his current life.
                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Its a friend from the past I had troubles with - nothing big but just a couple of arguments n we stopped talking for a long time. Everyone I know isn't fond of her for some reason.

                          I ride her horses a couple times a month to help her out (she has back problems) and she keeps telling me I should bring Hero over and she would charge me only what it cost to feed him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sounds like a good deal to me, your horse needs the turnout. I turned down the sale of one of my horses because the potential buyer told me through the winter, my horse would only be turned out in the indoor arena while they cleaned her stall and then come out again to be ridden. So what? Turnout for 15 minutes a day total? This is a horse that lives outside because she's happier that way. No way was I going to subject her to living in a box for several months only coming out for an hour a day at most. Pass!
                            Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              He needs more turnout. Unless you want to buy stock in UG, inject his hocks, possibly his back & SI, increase the chiro and/or acupuncture, add Adquan/Legend/Pentosan to his regime, and cut his feed so he isn't as hyper, you will not enjoy your current situation. That's a lot of money to consider.


                              I don't buy the 'he's a TB so he's thin' stuff. Unless you are racing, foxhunting, or eventing that horse - he shouldn't be noticeably thinner than the rest. Sure, maybe a different build, but there's no reason he can't have a nice bloom.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Chiming in on the side of everyone else. It really sounds like the reduced turnout is the root of your issues, OP. If you have another place that would provide maximum t/o time, why not go there, even if just on a temporary basis until the hay fields at the current barn are available for grazing?

                                I have an older mare with some pretty significant hock arthritis and mild ringbone in one front. At 23, she is sounder than she was at 17, holds her weight better, works more happily. What do i credit with the change? Purchase of our little farmlet, where I am free to keep her out almost all of the time. Movement -- both exercise under saddle and "free play" time in t/o -- really seems to have a huge impact on the soundness of arthritic horses. I'd bet you'd need much less bute, probably none at all, if your guy were moving around more.
                                Equinox Equine Massage

                                In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                                -Albert Camus

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I board with the OP and share her frustration re: the turnout situation... our horses are only out maybe 3-4 hours/day on average.

                                  I haven't complained because oddly enough, my OTTB is doing REALLY well on the regimen-- he's actually been calmer than he was at the last barn with nearly 24/7 turnout, and he's put on weight at current place because they ARE pretty good about keeping good-quality hay in front of them at all times, whether they're in their stalls or out in the pastures.

                                  But she's right-- the turnout situation is not as advertised when I moved in late last summer. (Granted, last fall we had awful flooding, so that may have affected things.) A couple of the pastures are currently not being used, presumably because they plan to mow them for hay (probably in the next few weeks), so hopefully that will change soon.

                                  To those of you saying, "move your horse ASAP"-- not so easy around here. This is the third barn I've had Horse at over the last 5 years; there simply aren't a lot of good options in this area. There are quite a few places that are cheap, and say they offer lots of turnout, but the ones I saw were cheap for a reason-- either the BO's are bat**** crazy, the facilities are horrific (i.e., fencing that would make your hair stand on end), no riding facilities, etc. (Think "backyard"-type operation.) I know of another high-end facility in the area which is VERY picky re: their turnout and won't turn out within 2+ days of rain, so as to not damage the pasture.

                                  Just because OP maybe SHOULD move him does not mean there is a suitable place to move him TO. (Otherwise I'd probably be going with her!)
                                  *friend of bar.ka

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

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It is not really that hard to keep weight on a TB, and it has not been my experience at all that TBs are naturally thinner than other breeds. That's something people tell themselves to make themselves feel better about not figuring out how to keep weight on their horses.

                                    A lot of TBs DO lose weight when they are stressed. That's probably what is happening here.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I would definitely talk to the barn owner/manager about turnout. Are they limiting turnout in the available pastures to keep grass growing in there? Or is turnout limited because certain horses have to be out with certain horses? Maybe some electric fence to cross fence and keep horses out longer? Or, if yours is able to be out with others- ask if he can be.
                                      I can understand them wanting to make hay if they're able to. Hay is expensive, if they can grow it-it will save them money.
                                      Barns change how they do things because of varying factors. Maybe the hay they're going to make is going to be able to keep your boarding rate the same? It all comes down to if you like it, stay- if you don't- you need to make other arrangements.
                                      Kerri

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Agree with KasJordan -- they are not turning out as much for a reason. Why not talk with them and find out what that reason is, and when the situation will change.
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