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How many hours of turnout do your horses get a day?

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    Mine are out 24/7 unless I need them in for some reason (Vet, farrier, etc) or they’re being ridden. They’re both Curly Horses, so winters aren’t a problem at all...especially since here in KY our winters are typically mild, but wet. One is 4 (maybe 5?) and the other is 8. They’re recreational horses that get ridden at minimum twice a week for a couple hours. The 8 year old is my daughter’s horse, so some days she gets ridden much longer. Our ‘pasture’ is probably about an acre & a half of gently rolling terrain with some of that being wooded. The ‘dry lot’ is of similar size, but all wooded and with a little more rugged terrain, so no real grass. When in the dry lot they get about 1/2 a bale of hay a day. We rotate them between the ‘pasture’ and ‘dry lot’ depending on our needs. The ‘dry lot’ is closer to the house, so it is more convenient when we know we’re going to be riding. Being easy keepers, my main priority is keeping them from being bored.


      mine are on overnight turnout as much as possible i migrate south to Florida Nov-end of april so usually there are 2 total months when they are not out overnight. then i'm usually acclimating them to grass.
      so sundown to sun up unless it feels cool enough. approx 10-12 hours.
      they are hunters and jumpers. i ride most 6 days a week with varying levels of intensity each day.
      i call them vampires. they HATE day time turnout. when i am forced to do it, i hide from their view so they don't start running.


        9 year old gelding, lives out 24/7. I foxhunt and do a little showing in the hunters.


          Three of mine live out 24/7 (lesson horse, greenie jumper prospect and Shetland pony), one (dressage mare, imported from somewhere warmer..) comes in for 5 hours an evening, and is out for 19. if it is very cold, she will stay in over night, and go out in the morning (so out for 9 hours), but that is very rare.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


            24/7 on grass and hay nets if they want. Almost 31 year old ottb and 26 year old aqha who is ridden 4 or 5 days a week on trails and dressage work. They have the indoor if they want to come in, grain twice a day. I think the TB is only still thriving because he's out at will. Not sure if he'll make it through the winter though.


              4 YO warmblood, just started, and 7 YO Appendix working first/second level dressage 5 days a week. They are both in 16x16' box stalls with similar sized outdoor runs where they can see around the farm and neighboring property. They get about 3-4 hours of turnout per day on about an acre of flat closely grazed pasture with three other mares. I wish they could be out all day, every day, but this seems to be working for them. Here it's usually a choice between no turnout, very limited turnout, or full pasture board without any individualized feeding, etc. so there is always compromise.


                I own 2 horses (14yo and 2yo) who live on ~80 acres in a 16 horse herd. They're out 24/7/365 with shelter available. The youngster, obviously, is doing almost nothing, but the 14yo is being ridden roughly 4 times a week - either active hacking over rough terrain, either dressage schooling or some jumping. We make a lot of wet saddle pads. Both of them eat only adlib grass (natural, unfertilized pastures) or hay (from the same type of pastures) and get a handful of soaked hay cubes with some vit/min supplements and a joint supplement for the 14yo.


                  I'm down to 3 at home, in the midwest. Turned out 24/7 1,000X cheaper easier care. Have LG paddock with 2 shelters (and a barn w stalls) gates open into 3 fields that rotate.

                  2 retired (horse/pony) and one 14 yr old event horse that is fit, keen and always sound. As well as the 29 yr old OTTB mare she looks fat and sassy.

                  48 yrs in horses and I've never had a colic. I keep them very naturally. Good hay, grass, whole day turnout exercise, no sweet feed use ration balancer. They have all had exceptional hoof quality also (and this saves $) - it comes from diet and daily movement.
                  The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton


                    Our cutting horses get about 15 hours a day. They are both from Texas, so winter in Michigan was a bit of a shock. One of them is kind of “delicate” but the other one loves being out in any kind of weather.
                    My dressage horse gets 24 hours but she has a stall if the weather turns bad.
                    The dressage horse has a wardrobe of blankets as I ride all winter. The cutters typically stop work from December til March, so they have blankets but they don’t live in them.
                    Last edited by sunkistbey; Sep. 17, 2020, 05:49 PM. Reason: ETA more info


                      Brought my boys home last October.
                      11 year old OTTB schooling 2nd level dressage and the occasional tail. He gets ridden about 5 days a week. Unless it's winter, then it's more like 2-3 because weather and no indoor.
                      16 year old Rocky Mountain Horse who is just hacking and trails. He gets ridden 1-2 times a week. A little more in the summer if I'm legging him up for a long trail outing.

                      I've got a 1/3 acre lot that's attached to the barn and has a run-in with a fan. That leads out to a 1.75 acre pasture, then another 1.75 acre pasture, then a 3.25 acre pasture.

                      Early spring and later fall they're basically on 24/7 turnout with all gates open. When the bugs and heat become an issue for my very sensitive OTTB, they go in the lot during the day and he basically refuses to leave his fan. This is ok for Rocky Mountain as well because he gets fat. They get about a half a bale of hay. They're out on one of the pastures (rotating about every 3 weeks) from about 5pm to 6am.

                      Winter is as much 24/7 as the ground will allow. I use the lot if it's really wet and muddy as it's about 1/3 gravel. If the ground is frozen or not soup, they're allowed in the first pasture as well. I'd say this is maybe 60-70% of the winter?

                      I think they were stalled about 5 nights last winter when it was a nasty rain/ice issue. Otherwise I blanket accordingly and they have access to the run-in.


                        I board. One 18y.o. mare. We dabble in dressage. We usually work every-other-day due to my health and family issues. No grass but she has a large (by boarding barn standards) dry lot pen and is able to move 24/7. Pen is about 50 x 90. She has a run in shed off the main pen in the back so that adds another 20 x 30 chunk (in an L shape). There are grass turnouts available for short-term day time turnout. My mare doesn’t get a lot of that as she tends to IR. Heck this year, I have had trouble (weight gain in the wrong places) with the hay she gets. I seem to have that under control and do have a muzzle for her.



                          3 horses on 4.5 acres. The 2 older mares are out 11 hours a day , then on a dry lot with shelter overnight and some hay . They are pleasure/trail ridden 5 days a week. I have a coming 2 year old gelding who is out 24/7. Right now he gets nothing but grass and his morning and evening feed.


                            My 19yo eventer has 24/7 access to barn and paddock year round, I leave the back doors open which open up directly into the paddock. My mini donkey is out during the day and stalled at night to limit her hay/grass consumption (She's an airfern). The only time they both get locked in is in very bad weather (blizzard/tropical storm), maybe about a dozen days/nights per year.

                            It was a transition to get to this point, I used to stall every night, then started leaving them out at night half the year Apr through Oct, and starting a couple years ago started giving them the option year round. It's working out well, can't see going back to stalling every night. They are healthy and happy, and it's much less work for me.


                              All of mine are retired and dry lot kept 24/7. They get 8 hours of grass pasture every other day (weather permitting). Divided run in shed and grass hay available 24/7. Grain 2x daily. We can have HUGE fluctuations in grass around here and Founder can almost be a certainty if you are not careful. So far it has worked. In the dead of winter we can get freezing rain/snow and everyone has a good turnout with neck cover. They barely use the run in except for torrential rain. I have the stalls in pole barn for them. We bought the prefab panels about 5 years ago, so we could just put them up or down and use the building for overflow cars, tools, mowers, etc. I did put up a stall for one of my guys that needed stall rest after surgery but he hated it and once recovered we turned him out and took it back down. the rest of the panels are unused. If I had a horse in competition I might keep them in during the day to prevent bleaching but I would still keep them out every moment possible.


                                4 horses, 3+ acres total.

                                All on night turnout from roughly 6pm til 7am. All in during the day to attempt to save grass.

                                My 2 wb's are a 1.35m+ jumper and a 6 yr old green horse. (Discipline not wholly sorted yet)

                                2 are companions, a Tb companion and a healing up from injury qhxPaint companion. (hopefully will heal, but it's doubtful)

                                "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


                                  25-year-old semi-retired old equitation horse/jumper. Out at least 12 hours a day, overnight, as he has been for at least 15 years; more often closer to 16 hours. If our climate and his health permitted it he might enjoy living out full time, but he's got Cushings, we have good grass; he doesn't sweat, we have mid-Atlantic humidity; he's getting to an age where he feels the cold more, we have mid-Atlantic damp cold, too.

                                  I really think the best living situation for most horses in most climates is an in/out scenario of some sort where at their own discretion they can come in to a stall with fan, shade, shelter from wind and precipitation, etc. or go outside. I was not able to win the lottery, build my perfect farmette, and arrange this for him while he was young enough to cope well with moving away from his turnout buddies of 8 years. Now I have to win enough in the lotto to do all that and buy his buddies so they can all come home with him.
                                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden


                                    I have four geldings at home. 2 TB, Hanoverian, Haflinger/Welsh. All do dressage, hunter paces and trails. Each gets medium work for 45 minutes, or out on the trails for an hour or three, 4-5 days/week.
                                    My barn has four stalls, two of which open into a dry lot. The other two stalls open to the dry lot (at the rear) and the approx. 8 acres of pasture (at the front).
                                    All four horses can always come/go from their stalls. I restrict grazing for the Haflinger/Welsh by keeping him locked in the dry lot (60x100') when pasture is stressed.
                                    During the hot/humid/buggy summer, they all stay in voluntarily from just after dawn until full dark, munching hay. The rest of the year - they come and go from their stalls throughout the day and night. They spend the least amount of time in their stalls from September - December, and from April - May.
                                    I don't have a track system, but they do have to leave their stalls and travel for water, so even if they're choosing to stay in they do have to move throughout the day.
                                    Patience pays.


                                      Originally posted by Renn/aissance View Post
                                      25-year-old semi-retired old equitation horse/jumper. Out at least 12 hours a day, overnight, as he has been for at least 15 years; more often closer to 16 hours. If our climate and his health permitted it he might enjoy living out full time, but he's got Cushings, we have good grass; he doesn't sweat, we have mid-Atlantic humidity; he's getting to an age where he feels the cold more, we have mid-Atlantic damp cold, too.
                                      OMG is Tipp really 25 now???? GEEZ. Where does the time go??


                                      "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


                                        Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post

                                        OMG is Tipp really 25 now???? GEEZ. Where does the time go??

                                        Going on 4. Some things never change.

                                        My re-rider mom shows him in the 2' pleasure horse and he takes it very seriously.
                                        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden


                                          Originally posted by Renn/aissance View Post

                                          Going on 4. Some things never change.

                                          My re-rider mom shows him in the 2' pleasure horse and he takes it very seriously.
                                          This literally made my day.

                                          Thank you.

                                          "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries