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Horse Boarding Questions

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  • Horse Boarding Questions

    I am moving my horses this weekend due to the fact the facility I am at has decide to no longer board.

    The new place is nice, nice turnout, indoor and outdoor arena, excellent hay etc, however I was wondering if someone could give me some insite into a few things I am concerned with.

    First of all my horses are use to stalls that have bars in between them so they can see the horse next to them, the new place has solid boards, will they adapt to that? How many of you that board have stalls like that?

    The barn is heated 50 degrees, they will turnout but will not put on extra blankets, what they are dressed in is what they go out in. In the past anywhere I have boarded they would throw a heavier blanket over the top of what they have on and turn them out. I am trying to figure out how to dress them so they don't get hot in the barn, yet dont get cold when they go out and its 25 degrees. Any input would be appreciated.

    I know heated barns are not ideal - but a lot of them are in this area. Most only to 40 degrees just so buckets don't freeze.

    This barn is 30 miles from my house, most of the barns I looked at are a lot further and want a lot more $$. The other barns are all full.

    Any inputfrom other people that board would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    My person preference would've stopped me from boarding there once I learned that the barn is heated. Although you don't mention where you're located...

    I want my horses au natural and that means no heated barn. I think the ventilation is better with unheated (you're not closing up the barn to keep the heat in) and they don't have to adapt to such temperature changes between in and turnout.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    • #3
      I actually prefer to have stalls that have the solid walls rather than bars. My horse will try and fight her neighbour through the bars plus it gives her a bit of "privacy" (neighbors not bugging her through the bars).

      The heated barn/blanketing situation is definitely not ideal. Maybe try bringing it up with the BO (could you pay a little extra to get a blanket thrown on top for turnout?). It would be the same as a human sitting in a heated house with a sweater, then not putting a jacket on to go outside in the winter.


      • #4
        i don't think there is a problem with the stall walls. horses know there is another horse next door- even with solid boards. I personally do not blanket my horses, i let them grow their winter coat and they can deal with whatever temps.


        • #5
          My mare is a head-case who HATES being stalled and prefers to be able to see her buddy next door. I keep my horses at home, so I have control over the situation.

          I actually had solid walls (2x6's slid into a channel between the two stalls) and I removed enough of them from the top so they can see each other over the top, and she has settled down considerably while being stalled since I have done so.

          If your horses aren't neurotic idiots like my mare, they'll be fine. My gelding could care less if he can see her, I just removed the boards for her sake.
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


          • #6
            If the barn is kept at 40- 50 and they go out and it is colder they will be fine in the blanket they are wearing. Horses that don't wear blankets do fine in changing temps ( they don't sprout hair at -40 and then shed it when it is 30 the next day).
            I would be worried about respiratory issues from the lack of fresh air and the build up of ammonia from stalls in a heated/ closed up barn..


            • #7
              Horses will adapt to just about anything if their basic needs are looked after. Some horses actually prefer to not have other horses that are right next to them in plain sight--especially if they are territorial or jealous about their food. As long as they can see other horses across the aisle, most of them are fine with solid barriers between stalls.

              I hate heated barns because they're always stuffy, but OTOH it can sure be nice for the humans during the deep of winter, comfort-wise! Hopefully the turnout is a good chunk of the day and the barn is kept fastidiously clean and dust-free. The effect of dirty stalls and dust on breathing and comfort are magnified in barns that are sealed/heated.

              I'd only have a problem with a "no blanket change" policy if the ambient temperatures during turnout hours were more than 20-30 degrees below what the barn is kept at. Where I board the temperature inside is usually within 5-10 degrees of the outside temps (no heating here!) so the fact that the horses are moving around and eating hay outside makes them perfectly comfortable going out in the same blankets they had on in the barn.
              Click here before you buy.


              • Original Poster

                I live in Wisconsin.

                The barn has a great ventilation system I am not sure where the people got the money but we looked at this barn 3 years ago and it was a dump - now they have all 4 board wooden fences in the turnouts, new footing in indoor, new outdoor, ventilation system installed, new tack rooms. etc.

                I would like a unheated barn but the couple that I know of are full and have waiting lists.


                • #9
                  I agree with the heated barn as above. Not good on the lungs to be closed up and can cause heaves and other respiratory problems. Can you pay extra for them to throw another blanket on? I don't blanket at 50 degrees only 40 and under so I wonder how comfortable they will be if you have a heavy blanket on them in 50 degrees so they can stay warm in 20 degrees.
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                  • #10
                    If my horse needed to be blanketed for turnout and I was in your position, I would ask about paying extra for the service.


                    • #11
                      Quite honestly I'd wonder why this place has no waiting list while others in the area do.


                      • Original Poster

                        I said I would pay extra - but they said they don't have time in the morning to do that before going to work - if they do my horses then more would want the same service.

                        My horses are blanketed all year. They are in a heated barn under lights right now and they wear a mid-weight stable blanket in there - 45 degrees in the barn. When they go out we add a layer - they don't go out if it is below 15 degrees.

                        Their trainer just had 3 horses go home so they happen to have the openings - they do not keep a wait list - first come first serve.

                        We are still looking at other places. Of course we will have to stay another month where we are at, but I really want to find a place that has good care for the horses.


                        • #13
                          Maybe you could find out if any of the other boarders are there in the morning, and pay one of them to add a layer to your horse?
                          Hillside Stable LLC
                          Glastonbury, CT



                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ArabX3 View Post
                            I said I would pay extra - but they said they don't have time in the morning to do that before going to work - if they do my horses then more would want the same service.

                            My horses are blanketed all year. They are in a heated barn under lights right now and they wear a mid-weight stable blanket in there - 45 degrees in the barn. When they go out we add a layer - they don't go out if it is below 15 degrees.
                            You might also look into this sort of blanket, such as Bucas Power Turnout

                            eg, the "green range" is 14F to 61F for the PT (no fill but fleece lining)
                            or -13F to 55F for the PT extra
                            I was sceptical at first but rep promised a money back guarantee ... now I just bemoan the blah silver color but horse really is more comfortable (never sweating or shivering even in the "yellow zone" ranges)

                            Comfort range description here under Rug Selection