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going from pasture board to stall board

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  • going from pasture board to stall board

    right now, leader is on full pasture board with a stall in case of bad weather. but he's usually out 24/7 and he loves it. i'm only paying $100 a month for this, and it's completely self service (it's on someone's property--basically their backyard). i buy my own feed, shavings (if i have to bring him in this winter), hay, etc.

    well, i'm 98% sure i'm going to move him to an actual boarding barn thats down the street. it's full service and is $200 a month. the only terrible thing is they are stall kept (stalls do have runs... but still no grass for grazing :/) they do not turn your horses out for you, though. you can turn them out yourself but you can't leave the property with them turned out. so i could go out and turn leader out once a day for maybe two hours or so.. i just feel so terrible about that.. i believe that horses should be out on pasture. but this new barn has so many advantages and only ONE disadvantage. it has trails, a dressage ring, a jumping course, an instructor, its full service, and i love the "horsey" community.

    what do you guys think? what's it like for your stall kept horses? am i just overreacting and he will be just fine? it's not like he hates his stall (he actually loves it because that's where he gets fed everyday--but he's only in his stall for about 30 mins a day). are the benefits of this place going to outweigh the bad?

  • #2
    How old is Leader? Does he have any issues like arthritis?

    I'm a fan of 24/7 turnout, but horses have thrived in many different set ups and situations.
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    • #3
      so many advantages and only ONE disadvantage. it has trails, a dressage ring, a jumping course, an instructor, its full service, and i love the "horsey" community.
      These "advantages" are for you. The ONE disadvantage is to the horse. One or two hours a day turnout may sound ok to some, but for a horse used to being out 24/7, I think this is going to be a huge adjustment. This is obviously IMHO, but I firmly believe that horses need their turnout time, as much of it as possible. One or two hours a day, to me, is just not enough. Especially if you have to do it yourself. What if you get sick and can't go to the barn for a week? I know it sounds like there are a lot of advantages, but please remember that your horse's health and well-being (physical and emotional) is the most important thing.

      Good luck in making your decision!

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      • #4
        I am surprise you can get full care, hay, feed, shavings and a stall with full time help for only $ 200.00. Are you sure they feed, hay and water, how many times? How much hay? If your guy is use to grazing 24/7, will he be happy in. How often do they pick the stall? If he is in more, will the stall, need more shavings, yes and as you know, they are not cheap. I am just surprise you can get any type of quality care for only $ 200.00. The expenses for feed, good hay and shavings would cost more than 200.00 a month.

        Can you trailer over to ride and pay a ground charge....

        Originally posted by chelsealaurenmurphy View Post
        right now, leader is on full pasture board with a stall in case of bad weather. but he's usually out 24/7 and he loves it. i'm only paying $100 a month for this, and it's completely self service (it's on someone's property--basically their backyard). i buy my own feed, shavings (if i have to bring him in this winter), hay, etc.

        well, i'm 98% sure i'm going to move him to an actual boarding barn thats down the street. it's full service and is $200 a month. the only terrible thing is they are stall kept (stalls do have runs... but still no grass for grazing :/) they do not turn your horses out for you, though. you can turn them out yourself but you can't leave the property with them turned out. so i could go out and turn leader out once a day for maybe two hours or so.. i just feel so terrible about that.. i believe that horses should be out on pasture. but this new barn has so many advantages and only ONE disadvantage. it has trails, a dressage ring, a jumping course, an instructor, its full service, and i love the "horsey" community.

        what do you guys think? what's it like for your stall kept horses? am i just overreacting and he will be just fine? it's not like he hates his stall (he actually loves it because that's where he gets fed everyday--but he's only in his stall for about 30 mins a day). are the benefits of this place going to outweigh the bad?
        Last edited by HealingHeart; Oct. 3, 2009, 11:11 PM.

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        • #5
          Even though I wouldn't consider keeping my horse up that much, I'm a huge advocate of as much turn out as possible, $200, REALLY? How is that even possible? I've been paying $350 for full care pasture!

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          • #6
            I have two horses in a similar-sounding situation, and they do just fine--happy, healthy, et cetera.
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            • #7
              I had to do something similar with my mare, who didn't mind a stall all that much. She could go out 14 hours at night, but only if it wasn't wet. So unfortunately she ended up spending about 2 or 3 months in a stall, only being turned out occasionally. She was ridden or lunged pretty much every day though.

              She was almost a nutcase by the time it would stop raining and they could turn her out. This was with daily exercise and hand-grazing. Thankfully that period didn't last too long, and I knew she hated rain enough that she would rather be in, even if she was nuts after a about a week.

              I don't think I would try it again.

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              • #8
                That's how the majority of horses live in California. They do just fine. Plan on riding more. Make sure that you warm him up with 10 - 20 minutes of walking, and cool out with the same. Plan on riding at least 5 days a week. If you can turn him out on the days that you don't ride that's great. If he's getting a lot of grain now, you might need to re-evaluate his feeding program. He'll be fine.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  i live in south carolina lol. board is VERY cheap here. the hay is coastal. the grain is by nutrena. they own their own feed store as well. i've been to the place many times because my riding instructor boards there. they also do not pick out stalls. (okay two things that they don't do--they could do them for a fee i suppose, but i'm fresh out of high school and funds are limited so i'll be cleaning his stall as well). the place is a nice place, i promise, so don't let the price fool you. it's just i really do live in the middle of nowhere lol. i would definitely lunge him any day i couldn't ride, and definitely ride more often since we will have arenas and trails to keep us busy (not just a bland pasture like what we have now--no trails anywhere near by either). i really do love the place. it's just that one thing about not being turned out often. i know horses do this all the time. and leader has even done it in his past (he is an 11 year old ottb that has done HJ). he really does have no problems being in his stall.. i just don't know if that will change if he's in there nearly all day and all night. i'm going to talk to the owners about their feeding program either today or tomorrow. their contract says basically a reasonable amount to keep the horse healthy--no one size fits all, which i like. i might buy extra hay though depending on how much they give, because i want food going through his stomach all the time.

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                  • #10
                    How big is the run area? Will he be stall bound AND solo? Will he have 24/7 access to hay?

                    I've seen situations managed with stalls/runs that I would be perfectly fine with, and others I absolutely would not.

                    Right now we just had our pastures treated and have our herd in a dry lot with a big run in shed and PLENTY of hay. It's not ideal, but they have company, food, and a place to get out of the elements - and room to stretch their legs.
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                    • #11
                      The human-oriented facilities at this place sound lovely. The turnout does not meet my standards, so I would think very, very hard about moving a horse used to 24/7 turnout into this situation. A lot depends on the horse, too. My horses are on 24/7 turnout here at home. My old lady has always loved her stall (will often choose to hang out there despite all doors being open and one or more large paddocks available for her to wander). Mentally, she would adapt just fine to a stall-with-run situation. (Physically, I prefer more movement due to her many arthritic joints ... the maximum-turnout approach is what has allowed her to remain sound and happily working past 20.)

                      Has your horse been kept in a less-turnout situation before? How has he done? This is the critical piece of information.

                      Originally posted by chelsealaurenmurphy View Post
                      i live in south carolina lol. board is VERY cheap here. ... the place is a nice place, i promise, so don't let the price fool you.
                      Chelsea, I'm in your area and $200 even for the limited full-care board you describe is low enough to raise my eyebrows. In our area, decent pasture board is $200-250. Full-care stall board is generally $100+ higher than that mark. There are tons of places offering pasture board for less, but none meet my definition of "decent," much less "good" or "nice." Now, this may very well be "a nice place;" the owners may be subsidizing the cost of the boarding operation with other activities, for instance. But as someone who is both familiar with your local market and who has run boarding operations, that price won't cover base expenses per horse. Period.

                      Originally posted by chelsealaurenmurphy View Post
                      ... their contract says basically a reasonable amount to keep the horse healthy--no one size fits all, which i like. i might buy extra hay though depending on how much they give, because i want food going through his stomach all the time.
                      Get numbers. XX pounds of grain and XX pounds of hay per day. Have those figures included in your contract, even if just written in the margins and initialed by the property owners. The owners' idea of "reasonable" may not match yours. What is "reasonable" for your horse may be more than they are accustomed to, causing them to balk when push comes to shove. If you're willing/able to purchase extra hay, that's fine and dandy. That also indicates to me that you may be able to afford a place that exactly meets both your and your horse's needs.
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                      • #12
                        i might look around, i have kept my horses in the backwoods of SC too, and 200 for board is at a loss. it costs at least 275 per horse in hay and feed alone, and that doesnt include shavings (that is costal hay, and when it cost $3 a bale...) i would be very curious to how they are getting by charging 200 for stall board....

                        how big are the runs? and can the horses socialize?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chelsealaurenmurphy View Post
                          i live in south carolina lol. board is VERY cheap here. the hay is coastal. the grain is by nutrena. they own their own feed store as well. i've been to the place many times because my riding instructor boards there. they also do not pick out stalls. (okay two things that they don't do--they could do them for a fee i suppose, but i'm fresh out of high school and funds are limited so i'll be cleaning his stall as well). the place is a nice place, i promise, so don't let the price fool you. it's just i really do live in the middle of nowhere lol. i would definitely lunge him any day i couldn't ride, and definitely ride more often since we will have arenas and trails to keep us busy (not just a bland pasture like what we have now--no trails anywhere near by either). i really do love the place. it's just that one thing about not being turned out often. i know horses do this all the time. and leader has even done it in his past (he is an 11 year old ottb that has done HJ). he really does have no problems being in his stall.. i just don't know if that will change if he's in there nearly all day and all night. i'm going to talk to the owners about their feeding program either today or tomorrow. their contract says basically a reasonable amount to keep the horse healthy--no one size fits all, which i like. i might buy extra hay though depending on how much they give, because i want food going through his stomach all the time.
                          If you can give him that much more time with you and out of the stall, then the trade off is fine, he will be ok.
                          BUT, you need to be double sure he is exercised properly and as much as possible, he will tell you what he needs to do best.
                          Have a back up plan for the times you may not be around, ask the trainer about that.

                          Many horses do fine living in a stall only, as long as the owner is around every day to take them out.

                          The concern with any stabled horse is that some don't get out enough, even if the owners meant to and to see a horse managed like that is very sad.

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                          • #14
                            Can you pay an arena use fee at the stable and keep your horse where he is, getting the best of both worlds? "just down the road" could mean a rideable distance, or not.


                            My horse went from a stall with daily turnout in a huge field with a gang of geldings to a stall with a gravelled run and turnout in a dry paddock alternating with a field when the weather permits. He does not seem to have suffered and his feet are much better (the point of the change). He gets plenty of work and he has a turnout buddy most of the time, so his social and physical needs are met. I have an indoor arena to ride in and a horse who is able to work consistently because his shoes stay on.

                            A balanced equation that works for both of you is the goal - but sounds like this would be a pendulum swing from one side to the other, and I would indeed think hard about whether the new barn would make you as happy as you think. A stall-bound horse can become very cranky and not fun to be around.
                            Last edited by monicabee; Oct. 4, 2009, 11:58 AM. Reason: speling!
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                            • #15
                              Doesn't your horse have some hind-end issues? That is the main thing I would worry about with being stalled. A lot of times, those issues get worse when the horse cannot move around much.

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                              • #16
                                Horses are individuals, and what works brilliantly for one may not work at all for another. I have one horse that NEEDS at least 8-10 hours of turnout a day, both mentally and physically. I have another that would be perfectly fine with no turnout whatsoever; an hour or two a day is all he can stand without becoming agitated (and yes, we've tried to teach him to be out longer.) That one will actually bring *himself* in if you try to leave him out longer - he calmly hops the fence, trots into the barn, and waits patiently by his stall until someone opens the door.

                                I think a stall with free access to a run is a perfectly decent arrangement and would have no concerns about it. Certainly it will be an adjustment for your horse but assuming you pay attention, manage his workload appropriately and keep an eye on things it should be fine.

                                I am always wary of people who insist their preferred way is the ONLY way to do something with horses. IME, horses are pretty adaptable animals and as long as they have food, shelter and reasonable vet/farrier attention, they tend to do pretty well.
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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  well, it is about $250 for another barn in the area (of sumter, sc), and about $225 for another barn in sumter. those are pretty much the only barns accessable. if you drive 45 min down the road to columbia, that's where you get up to the $375-$400 range. i promise, these are not unusal prices for MY area.

                                  but i've done a tremendous amount of consideration over the past 24 hours, and i revistited the barn today just to make sure, and i am going to make the move.

                                  the runs are about 20 ft long and they are all right next to eachother. he can see/talk to other horses, but he won't have actual interaction with other horses until he's turned out. a close friend and i have agreed on a turnout plan for our horses. she has two mares, so provided they get along, we will be turning all three out together everyday. i asked them about the lbs of hay and grain and they didn't give me an actual number for the grain because they can't. they said we will figure out what's best for my horse. if he starts getting overweight (which isn't likely), they will lower it, if he gets underweight they'll increase it.

                                  forgot to mention, the owner of the barn is an english teacher at the school i just graduated from--i know her personally and she's a good person.

                                  also, i'm not sure what his situation has been in the past. he has a very sketchy past, as i got him for free from a girl who basically starved him because she couldn't afford to feed him. every time i asked her where she got him from she was just like i got him for a few hundred from someone in NC. never told me how much. never answered a question with a direct answer. i know he was raced and i've matched him up with his tattoo. she also said he did HJ.. so i'm assuming he has been stalled before. he is a very calm tb and doesn't mind his stall at all right now. even when i have left him in overnight (had to do this when i first got him) he was never aggressive or anything about it. i think he will be fine now that i've talked to the owner of the barn and got more info about the whole thing. he will be moving there at the beginning of nov.

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                                  • #18
                                    I missed the part about them having runs attached to the stall. That's not anywhere near as bad as just a 12x12 stall.

                                    Good luck with the move!

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Hampton Bay View Post
                                      I missed the part about them having runs attached to the stall. That's not anywhere near as bad as just a 12x12 stall.

                                      Good luck with the move!
                                      yeah lol thank you! i'm excited... very nervous, but still very excited. i'll let you guys know how it goes.

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                                      • #20
                                        I'd confirm the hay thing....he should have it 24/7 regardless of his weight. Horses are designed to graze, in the artificial environments we create for them we need to supply it - the constant eating is really a necessity (helps them keep from getting too bored, keeps their guts healthy, etc). Even easy keepers/fatties need the constant munching - weight can be managed by getting a less nutrient dense hay if needed.
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