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Turnout for young foals

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  • Turnout for young foals

    While it seems widely believed that the more turnout the better for horses in general, I'm just curious of your protocol for turning out mom and baby say through the first month of age.

    We have always kept ours in small paddocks attached to the barn for the first 2-3 weeks so they can come and go into and out of the stall freely, then they go out 24/7 in huge fields with large shelters, but have been told that young foals in particular, due to their large surface area, can dehydrate quickly if sleeping in the sun (even on a cool 60 degree day), and wondering if anyone has had issues with this due to daytime turnout?

    We do clip ours if they have thick foal coats as it starts to become hot. Of course we live in NC where it gets hot and humid early in the year, yuck!

    Just curious of your experiences and do you religiously keep your foals inside during the day until a certain age, or always, or only on hot days, etc?
    Signature Sporthorses

  • #2
    They can't regulate body tempt *at all* very well for the first 4 weeks or so.

    Mine go out 'as much as possible', but not in falling weather of any kind, not if the bugs are making them too crazy so they can't rest, and not if MAMA is too crazy so they can't rest. (i.e. too protective, too worried, etc.)

    My broodie barns are pretty big for my smallish horses, so the foals do have some room to romp and play if they must be incarcerated.

    In very hot, cool, etc. weather (all but falling) I will put them out for an hour or two supervised to blow off steam and stretch/run... but then put them in to rest, cool off, warm up. They might go out two or three times in a 24 hr period this way.

    I'm a 24/7 turnout nazi... but not with itty bitty foals.

    If we had milder weather, instead of more extremes here, I might feel differently... or if I had shelter in every paddock that I knew Mum would USE. (and again, even, some Mums just don't let baby rest enough!)

    What's funny, is I also will bring in young stock occasionally, just to let them rest for half a day... they zonk right out. To the point that my escape-artist-fence-tester 2yo would put HIMSELF away after a night of frolic. He'd go in the stall and sleep... "His" barn is in pieces/parts, just a crooked frame at the moment, and he escaped for the first time t'other day... I left him, as the back lawn needed mowing... looked out 2 hrs later, and he was in 'his stall' even though there wasn't a stall!
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


    • #3
      Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
      What's funny, is I also will bring in young stock occasionally, just to let them rest for half a day... they zonk right out. To the point that my escape-artist-fence-tester 2yo would put HIMSELF away after a night of frolic. He'd go in the stall and sleep... "His" barn is in pieces/parts, just a crooked frame at the moment, and he escaped for the first time t'other day... I left him, as the back lawn needed mowing... looked out 2 hrs later, and he was in 'his stall' even though there wasn't a stall!
      That is ridiculously cute!