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Turnout - A Rant of Sorts

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  • Turnout - A Rant of Sorts

    So, long story short. Horse has ulcers. Haven't medicated him yet because I'm still researching that. But, he's been on 24/7 turnout the past week. And guess what? His attitude is completely changed, no more acting as if he's in pain, no more sensitivity when brushing, etc. Just like summer when (duh!) he was outside 24/7. Here I was thinking it was skin sensitivity due to cold weather or longer hair. Don't you just love it when the obvious is RIGHT THERE but you just don't see it?

    Anyway, I've come to find out that he needs 24/7 turnout, stalling is not good for him even though he's only been stalled from about 7pm to 7am. Right now, he has a small pasture (1/4 acre) with a tiny bit of grass (he has a pile of hay fit for a herd) and not a lot of mud (just by the gate). There is no shelter and the barn won't allow shelters in the pastures. This is working for now, but come January when it is cool and starts to pour off and on and we have some wind storms and a few freezing rain storms, he'll need to be able to get out of the weather on his own.

    I'm trying to work something out at my barn, but it doesn't look promising. It means moving some horses around, out of a larger field with a small barn/shelter but they want the owners' blessing, even though we all pay the same, etc. Which I understand. I'd want to keep the bigger pasture, too. There are some other options that require work and a bit of money for fencing. I'm hoping they will meet me part-way here.

    So, while I'm trying to work with my current barn managers, I'm looking for a facility that can accomodate my horse. All of the barns with amenities, like arenas and tack rooms, have stalled horses with limited turn-out, some even have no turn-out except the indoor arena during rainy season. All of the barns that have fields with shelters do not have amenities. I also really want to purchase and feed my own hay. I have yet to board at a full care facililty that can keep my horse in good weight or who will free-fed him hay (or alfalfa for that matter).

    Anyway, so this is frustrating and I just don't understand the no turn-out thing. It's sad and depressing.

  • #2
    Grass is magic
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • #3
      Could be the hay and turnout are more magic, 1/4 isn't going to keep grass for long.
      Camden...don't be afraid to ask at the barns that have the ammenities that you'd like if they'll allow for you to fence in an area and bring your own run in shed and you'll pay board for that. There are a few barns I know here in CT that have done that very thing...didn't have a stall available or had a boarder coming iin who didn't want limited turnout but the barns had outdoor space. They'd allow for the boarder to pay to make the changes (fencing and run in) and then charge them a monthly rate based on what worked for them.
      The worst they can say is "No." But possibly if you explain that it's not that you're trying to get cheapo board but that you really need 24/7 turnout with a small shelter then someone may be willing to work with you on it?
      You jump in the saddle,
      Hold onto the bridle!
      Jump in the line!


      • Original Poster

        Yeah, it's not the grass, it's the turn out. Though he kinda grazes, don't know if he's getting much. But it's isn't a mud or dirt of sand turnout.

        The free-fed hay, he has that in a stall, too. So, it's the turnout.

        I'm trying really hard to make the facilities see that I'm not looking for rough board or cheap board. I know they probably get a lot of people, especially w/ the economy, trying to get everything for nothing.

        Well, wish me luck!


        • #5
          Is there any shelter at all in his pasture? Trees? Hills? Anything?

          I have a 23 yr old arthritic TB who lives out 24/7. His only shelter is the tree line on one side of his field. The horses will stand in the trees in the summer to shade themselves from the bugs but in the winter I rarely see them there. Even when it's windy, raining/sleeting, and miserably cold

          In the winter my guy wears a blanket. Right now he's in a sheet and even though it's been cold, I want him to get as furry as he can to help protect him in the elements. In the next couple weeks, when we start getting consistent cold weather and some snow I'll switch him over to the medium weight turnout. Everyone else he's turned out with, 4 our of the 6 other horses he's out with are kept nekkid even in the coldest weather. Last year an old QH who isn't aging well started wearing a blanket and a younger TB started wearing one because he doesn't winter well (loses weight). They are all fine. We make the choice to stall them when it gets to be about 15* or colder at night (or if we are getting a wicked ice storm) but honestly they would rather be outside.

          If there is any break for the wind and the option of wearing a blanket I'm willing to bet your horse would be fine where he is.

          Good luck with whatever you choose. I had my now retired horse at 6 different barns before I found this one-the only one he's been truly happy at. Thank goodness my other horse, who has ulcers, is easy going enough to be happy anywhere they feed him
          Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
          *** I LOVE PUIKA FAN CLUB***


          • #6
            Would the BO allow you to put up a temporary run-in that is easy to take out after the winter season or to take with you if you leave? There are run-ins that you can buy that are for this purpose. Otherwise I would put a blanket on him. I used to feel bad that my horses were outside without a run-in after we moved to a new farm. They had more tree coverage at the old place but no run-in shelters. I put up a run-in at the new place and they don't use it. And it has been properly positioned to break the northern winds and rain, etc. I had plans to put run-ins in all the pastures but I'm not really motivated to do so anymore because they don't use them. I have one horse that doesn't grow a winter coat worth a flip. She hates being in the barn so when it is cold she wears a blanket. That's it. She's happy.
            Altamont Sport Horses
            Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
            Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
            Birmingham, AL


            • #7
              I pay for a stall and they keep my horse out almost 24/7 (bring her in for food 2x a day). They put her up in the worst weather for me (cold, rain). Can you simply go bring him in during nasty weather or call if the weather is bad and say "bring Mr. horse in today- ice storm - thanks!". It seems like not a huge request and when I was barn shopping, 3 barns offered to do that for me as long as I paid full stall board.


              • #8
                My horses are also on pasture board 24/7 with no real shelter, so I buckled and bought them light/midweight blankets (they had never been blanketed before in Iowa, but then they also had run-ins that they used). The horses grow nice, furry coats; the blankets are to protect them when it rains (not that it rains in Georgia anymore!) so they don't get soaked through and chilled. I use light/midweight blankets instead of sheets to make up for the bit that their hair is flattened by having clothes on. Works for everyone.
                If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                • #9
                  It might be cheaper in the long run to buy 2 or 3 really good rainsheets and just rotate and layer them (midweights would work, too). We get a few freezing rain storms in the spring and fall and our rough board horses don't have shelters. Two rainsheets layered, or a rainsheet over a midweight, keeps them mostly dry and we have enough spares to rotate. It's not ideal but it's a lot cheaper than buying a shed!


                  • #10
                    Get him some excellent rain gear and clothing and be happy where you are He doesn't need a special run in, the advances in horse clothing make them sorta obsolete in my eyes...particularly when you board and can't choose to build your own where you want to, you know? I wouldn't move my boarded horse to accommodate yours..and the BO is not going to poll ___ number of other boarders to accommodate yours, too much work, I bet. We're all selfish in the end ...so I'd be clothes shopping for your newly happy, muddy, OUTSIDE horse


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                      Grass is magic
                      "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by 2 tbs View Post
                        Is there any shelter at all in his pasture? Trees? Hills? Anything?


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Altamont Sport Horses View Post
                          Would the BO allow you to put up a temporary run-in that is easy to take out after the winter season or to take with you if you leave?
                          No. I asked already this summer. I wanted a way for him to get out of the sun during the day. I worried, but he survived. His hair didn't even bleach out. So, I guess it wasn't too bad.


                          • #14
                            Do you get really bad weather up in Portland? My NZ horsey was born and raised in pasture and does not do well in stalls. He was in a paddock with a run in, and I have never even seen him under the cover, always out in the rain. He is in a pasture now, as happy as he could possibly be. I do put turnout light weight blanket on him (Rambo California) and he does great in it. Have been checking throughout last winter and even when it got to lower 30s, he was nice and warm underneath that blanket. Of course we do not have ice storms in Bay Area but thats a horse who only been here for a year and still adapting to a climate change.