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Occassional stalling of the 24/7 turnout horse?

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  • Occassional stalling of the 24/7 turnout horse?

    Do you do it and why?

    My guy has been in a 24/7 turnout situation for almost two years and last night was the first time I had to lock him in. He became frantic two nights ago due to something scary in the woods and would. not. stop. pacing. So, I bit the bullet and stalled him last night with his buddy in the ajoining stall. I of course was a wreck all night, imagining him climbing the walls and eating the barn down. This morning I found a slightly less stressed gelding who still willl not drink (a whole seperate issue). But it was a certainly an improvement.

    Does anyone else stall these guys for various reasons? I just couldn't justify letting him pace again all night and figured if I could give him a quiet place to rest I could break the pattern.
    Gone gaited....

  • #2

    Very rarely but sometimes the weather is such that the wind blows the snow and ice directly into the stalls so the horses have no ability to get out of the weather. On those nights I close them in. I toss some extra hay and the only problem the next morning is I have two very dirty stalls to clean.

    On the not drinking thing have you tried making your horse some 'soup'. I fill a bucket about half full with water add some hay stretcher pellets and apple chunks cut pretty darn small. Applesauce might work too. It gets slurped up quickly.


    • #3
      Have you plugged in your water tank heater already this fall? If he stopped drinking and the frantic-ness happened around the same time, he could've gotten shocked. Just a thought.


      • #4
        I bring my 2 in when the weather is bad. Mostly if it's raining alot, or windy and raining. I don't have any shelter and both of mine get tired of being in the rain and we have been getting alot of rain here lately. I have had them in more in the last 2 months than I have in the last 2 years.

        I give them lots of hay and they seem to enjoy being in for a while. But yes, their stalls are a complete mess by the time I put them back out.


        • #5
          my horse has a run in shelter and does not like being out in the rain and also sleeps in there at night. However I do bring her in to a stall every now and then. I do it for a few reasons, one to separate her from her pasture buddy because she used to get really frantic w/o him. Another reason is I do want to start showing her more and she will be stuck in a stall at the show so she needs to get comfortable with it.


          • #6
            Since losing my old girl last December, I've been leaving the other on 24/7 turnout. She has 3 goats for company. She rarely comes in. There is a 10' overhang in front of the stalls and I put hay there if weather is bad. In heavy snow/ice I will lock her in with the goats in the next stall. Plenty of hay and fresh water keeps her happy. If she has ro stay in during the day due to stormy weather I keep throwing her hay and topping off water for everyone and they all seem content. I don't usually blanket, but she has a rain sheet and haevy turnouts for winter stormy days. I do get her out , even in snow storms, if only to clean her stall and then back she goes. But, basically I leave it up to her- and she will usually choose the overhang to keep dry.


            • #7
              I do think it's an important "life skill" for a horse to have.

              Bonnie lived outside basically from birth until weaning, then lived in a stall with lots of turnout as a weaner--she did a little stall walking then. Eventually she did just fine being stalled, and all her life she's gone back and forth between 24/7 turnout and living in a stall, sometimes in bad weather at boarding places she's even gone a day or two with no trunout. She deals. Definitely she likes her "out" time and if she's been cooped up and you don't take her out first in the morning you will find a young mare standing on her hind legs every now and then But she's lived with all possible arrangements so she has the ability to cope.

              Depending on their temperament, it can be a big adjustment or a minor one. I know if Bonnie sees something "out there" on our property (like a hunter's truck 1/4 mile away) she MUST stare at it until it slinks away--that's her "boss mare" temperament. If she couldn't keep staring I think she'd go nuts. But my stalls are very open and she can see almost everywhere from them, so even if she were confined and could SEE I think she'd be OK.
              Click here before you buy.


              • #8
                Occasionally if the weather is very severe or bitter cold AND wet. However, "in" is not quite as "in" as most folks normally think of, since all our stalls are open-air.



                So while they'll stay relatively dry, no "warmth" is provided....just protected/covered shelter. Fortunately both my mares turn into veritable Yaks, so no blankets needed.

                I'll fill small-hole mesh hay nets and hang them over the manger to keep them munching all night. Next morning, out they go!
                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                  I do think it's an important "life skill" for a horse to have.
                  I agree. My boarder's horse had lived out 24/7 his entire life. It took quite a while for him to be comfortable in a stall, even just to come in and eat. We have a small overhang outside the stalls (which can be used as run-ins) and he would stand outside my mare's stall for months before choosing to use his own.

                  I don't stall mine often but have had to bring them in for overnights or a couple of days in the past for various reasons (fencing being installed, ice storms, etc.) They don't love it but they tolerate it well enough.


                  • #10
                    Ours live out 24/7, but on our recent trip to NE spent a lot of time in stalls (and a trailer). The only difference I noted was that when we finally go to ride after they'd been confined for five days they were full of "piss and vinegar" for the first few minutes. We let them "blow off some steam" by getting into a clear area and doing some circles at different gaits and doing other routine things to give them the idea that it was work time. They settled nicely and we had no more problems.

                    A horse with a naturally quiet temperment seems to have no real issues. Horses with a tendency to get "hot" have more issues.

                    I think the Moral of the Story is address this issue when you buy the horse.

                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                      I do think it's an important "life skill" for a horse to have.

                      Totally agree too!
                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                        I do think it's an important "life skill" for a horse to have.
                        Well said. Totally agree!!!!


                        • Original Poster

                          Glad I started this thread... its nice to see different perspectives!

                          He does eat beet pulp daily, so I have been making them extra soupy, plus giving him "snacks" in the form of soup to get water into him. I have been supplying 15 Qt of water that way. He is good for an additional 10 or so on a regular day. I did see him take a drink this morning after I let him out. I am hoping the worst has passed. I have been providing electrolytes too. We'll see when I get home from work at 2pm. Something really got to him in the woods. He was wide eyed looking into the woods all day yesterday.

                          Haven't used the heated bucket yet, but good point!

                          He used to live inside for most of his life, going out only for 3-4 hrs. a day on NICE days. We then moved to a barn that did 24/7 and I continued it when I brought him home. He can go in his stall for shelter and wears a rain sheet fall-spring when appropriate. I agree it is a great life skill to have, but honestly I was nervous. He hasn't actually spent a night locked in this stall since he came home 10 months ago. And he coped!
                          Gone gaited....


                          • #14
                            I have to agree with Guilherme; it's something some horses manage better than horses, so I try to buy horses that have an awful lot of mental-bend in them so they can handle change. I won't have a hot house flower that must be managed in x way or they won't settle. Bite me. My horses live out 24/7 unless I decide it's so nasty I bring them in, and they are fine. When I had more horses than stalls and it was cold+wet+raining+windy and I didn't have enough waterproof jackets to go around, they got highlined in my shedrow hall for the night, each with a big fat hay bag. They were fine. We horse camp and they spend the night highlined. Even my then 3 YO was fine, she laid down and napped on the line, good girl.

                            I have horses largely for my fun and enjoyment. To a large extent, their lives have to wrap around mine within reason. That includes sleep where I put ya


                            • #15
                              Mine are out 24/7, but I feed them their grain in their stalls and toss their hay in the yard in separate piles. I've always been big on a dry place for them to sleep and eat, so if the weather doesn't cooperate they do stay in for the occasional day/night and to have a dry place to eat their hay. None of them seem to care one way or the other, but this has been their routine since they were babies.


                              • #16
                                Mine is out 24/7 with a run-in. I only stall her if it's the day before a show/event and want to keep her squeaky clean.

                                Sometimes, I'll put her in in the event of a strong thunderstorm, but 99% of the time, the shed door stays open.

                                She's very flexible though. I boarded her at my former trainer's barn for 3 months over the winter three years ago. She was stalled with only 3 hours of turnout a day. No problem.

                                I honestly think she's happier out than in, but if she's put in, she doesn't stress.

                                In fact, almost nothing stresses this horse.

                                ...with the exception of low-flying hot air ballons....that really gets her going.

                                I agree with whoever posted regarding a mentally flexible horse. It is a must-have!


                                • #17
                                  My youngsters live out, but I bring them in for a few days if I have an available stall. They LOVE getting to come in with the "special" horses (boarders) that have stalls. My one mare pouts a bit when she is kicked back out. She lines up at the gate with a pleading look in her eyes. Truly will rip your heart out to put her back in the run-in. She thinks she should be garage kept!


                                  • #18
                                    There are 3 in our paddock with 3 stalls attached and they come and go as they please. My gelding lived indoors for the last 4 1/2 years of his life and has only been turned out for the last 6 months. He loves it but I do still keep him up when it's excessively wet, cold raining, snowy, icy, or just generally yucky and I fear that he'll commit suicide. Sometimes he needs a few cc's of Ace to calm his general yahoos but after a few hours he always chills out and remembers what life used to be like.
                                    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                      I do think it's an important "life skill" for a horse to have.
                                      Ditto. Even if you never plan to show or leave your property, these are horses. Shit Absolutely WILL happen sooner or later. Visits to vet hospitals, mandatory stall time, it's bound to happen eventually. Not having add'l stress just because they're in a stall seems to be our responsibility as their caretakers.

                                      That said, some horses just won't deal well no matter what. But they truly are the exception.
                                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                      • #20
                                        Mine live out as well - but I do bring them in probably once a week - during a bad rain storm, or winter weather. They seem to appreciate it! But if they are in two nights in a row (I have an indoor for turnout) one in particular likes to make a mess of his stall.