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Do you still put your horses out when the weather is bad?

29 replies

Flexiblefriend · 04/02/2014 19:21

It seems to me that the done thing these days is to keep horses in if the weather is bad, and I just don't understand why? My horse is in at night through the winter, but he seems happy enough out in the rain, and wind, as long as he has a good rug on. So what do you all do? Do you keep them in the moment they might get wet, or is that just round my way?

OP posts:
Pixel · 04/02/2014 19:51

Well the ones we have at present live out anyway, but years ago when we had three stabled they all went out every day whatever the weather. I can only remember one occasion when I left them in for the day, I was heavily pregnant and not confident of getting them across the icy yard and up the road to the field without having an accident.

We weren't unusual I don't think, it didn't used to be the done thing to leave them in all day round our way, and our yard was always empty during the day, but I see it a lot more often now. I think some people are more worried about keeping their horses clean than they are about their digestion and mental well-being. To be fair though, some owners don't have a choice as the yard limits turnout in bad weather to save their fields. Quite a lot of grazing land has been lost to housing over the years in this area so I suppose they have to take more care of what they've got.

Mirage · 04/02/2014 20:02

Mine are both out 24/7.I rug them and they are unclipped and very happy out in their field.I was a bit worried about them standing in mud all the time last week,so turned them loose in the farmyard for a while with haynets.I'd left the field gate open and within the hour they'd both turned themselves back out into the mud again.DD1's new pony loves to wallow in it and sports some lovely dreadlocks at the minute.

frostyfingers · 04/02/2014 20:20

Mine are only in because dhorse has mudfever and needs to be kept out of the swamp. Given the choice he'd be out 24/7, up until mudfever got us he was out all the time, with access to a yard and hay, but never came in. Generally I only keep them in for cosmetic purposes, ie for my benefit!

5OBalesofHay · 04/02/2014 21:18

Ours are in for the first time in 5 years. Fields are knee deep in mud. Not,about the done thing, more about not churning it up anymore, and none of us can get throygh the mud

Butkin · 04/02/2014 22:37

Yes they are out in the day from 7.30am to 3.30pm. 3 of the ponies just wear New Zealands 24/7. The Show Pony has been clipped so she has a different regime. She wears a lycra body all the time. In the day she wears one NZ with an attached lining and then another NZ, with a neck cover, on top. At night we put a stable rug, a fleece blanket and then another stable rug over the body.

CMOTDibbler · 05/02/2014 12:50

Mine lives out, and just about all the horses on our yard are out during the day - just a couple of the pointers have a very limited turnout.
But yard up the road from us the horses only get 4 hours turnout a day in winter, and I don't think they get out at all when raining heavily as their grazing is so limited.

Flexiblefriend · 05/02/2014 13:44

I can completely understand people keeping horses in due to mud fever, or limited grazing, given the hideous weather we are having.

I'm glad to see there are other people who put horses out regardless though. I was starting to feel quite cruel putting mine out whatever the weather, when half the yard seems to stay in if it is raining, and that's despite them having a massive field, on a hill, that drains well, with several large copses of trees for shelter.

OP posts:
gelati3 · 05/02/2014 13:50

My view is that horses are happier (and healthier) outside for at least part of the day, even if the weather is grotty (provided they have adequate shelter or rug and food to eat). We used to have a set up where our horses could wander in and out as they pleased and most of the time they chose to be out, despite having a comfy warm place inside!

RatherBeRiding · 05/02/2014 20:12

My baby pony lives out 24/7 unrugged! But he is fat and fluffy, lives with a small herd in a big field and they all come into the shelter at night for haynets. The two riding horses get chucked out whatever the weather, as do all the horses in the stable block, but they are all in overnight during the winter. If the weather is horrendous people starting bringing in early but there's only been one day this winter when no-one turned out by common consent because the wind was so strong it was difficult to walk upright!

smilingthroughgrittedteeth · 05/02/2014 20:28

Mine are currently in which goes against everything I believe, they usually live out 24/7 with access to a field shelter but the constant rain has meant half the winter field is flooded and the other half is knee deep mud so they are shut in the shelter with a thick straw bed, lots of hay and even when I leave the door open neither of them show much interest in going out Hmm

I would swap fields but the summer field has a broken gate caused by a tree falling on it and several other trees down.

PoshPenny · 05/02/2014 22:20

My four are all out for part of the day, The 2 adult ones are in overnight, out during day which is their standard routine, the 3 year olds who normally live out 24/7 have come in during the day for a break from the weather since New Year's Day. The youngsters are loving it. I am not so enthused, it is a right pain mucking out this much, and no end in sight at the moment. field is muddy in places but not excessively so and much better than many around here.

I think leaving them in continuously can lead to problems when/if they go crazy when finally let out...

smilingthroughgrittedteeth · 06/02/2014 11:07

Left the door open while mucking out this morning and put outside rugs on them both, little one wondered out walked round a tree, rolled then came straight back in Hmm

Big one stuck her head out then went back to eating herbreakfast Shock

Left the door open whilst I went off to buy food and just got back to discover them both in and since its pouring again ive changed them into stable rugs and shut the door, since I seem to have weird horses I might as well try and salvage the field!

Landy77 · 07/02/2014 14:05

grittedteeth, mine are the same all slightly weird, have a roll occasionally a buck then ask to be brought in!!!!! may as well do that in the ménage than trash the field. Even the Shetland looks at me as though I am mad if I try and persuade him to go out Confused think they are all spoilt brats bless them.

Manchesterhistorygirl · 07/02/2014 14:07

All my yard is in because the fields are bloody dreadful. I can't remember the last time we had a winter this bad. We're trying to get out once a week, but it's too difficult because the fields are just that bad. Confused

Roll on a dry spell.

Fennijer · 07/02/2014 15:38

My two are still going out at 6.30am and staying out till 6.30pm but they are kept on a 300 acre dairy farm so the farmer is happy for the winter fields to be trashed!

elastamum · 07/02/2014 15:49

Mine are out all day whatever the weather, but the field is trashed, so at 3pm are waiting at the gate to come in. There is nothing to eat in our fields ATM, so they are getting pretty much all their feed from haylage fed at night.

Mind you, come morning they are desperate to go out again Grin

Christmascandles · 07/02/2014 15:55

Some in and some are out. Would rather them out but when it's howling and pouring I hate to think of my old girl out in it at night I know I'm going soft in my old age
DD mare had mud fever last year so she's in, although her field not too bad at present, just poached in the gateway...
In foal mini is in, and think I'll need to bring yearling colt and his dad in later as the river is going to burst its banks v soon I think, turning their paddock into a swirling mass of grey water Blush yuk
Welshies are out.

Flexiblefriend · 07/02/2014 15:55

I feel for anyone having to keep horses in due to trashed fields. We had 3 hideous weeks last year when we weren't allowed to turn out, and it was awful. Horses and owners climbing the walls! Nothing has been said so far this year, but if the rain keeps on coming, I wouldn't be surprised. Its got to stop raining soon, hasn't it???? Hmm

OP posts:
CooEeeEldridge · 07/02/2014 16:00

Mine are out 24/7, have friends who aren't allowed to turn out due to fields being trashed though.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth · 07/02/2014 18:26

landy77 so glad its not just mine that are weird Grin

managed to get them to go out for a few hours since the weather is supposed to be awful again over the weekend, and they will be stuck in again.

im so sick of the rain

Butkin · 07/02/2014 19:09

Kept them in today for only the second time in recent memory. Our fields were just under standing water and we couldn't see the advantage for them or the field. We've floods everywhere round us (had to detour on school run this morning as usual road closed by police) and just hoping it doesn't come into the stable yard.

Manchesterhistorygirl · 07/02/2014 20:25

300 acres?! Bliss. we have 45 which I keep on strict rotation to make sure we can (usually) do all year turnout. Please god it's got to stop soon.

Fathertedfan · 09/02/2014 19:42

all horses out every day til 4. Whether they want to go out or not. They would go crazy if they stayed in 24/7.

frostyfingers · 10/02/2014 08:29

Dhorse went out on Sunday night for the first time in a while as his mud fever seems not to be getting any worse (fingers crossed) and he needs to be out. I brought him in yesterday to dry off and I couldn't believe how much mud he had plastered himself in. Up to his hips at the back and way above his shoulders at the front - in fact he's managed to apply a little sheep poo there - unbelievable! He wears a half Snuggy Hood and two rugs and yet it was almost as if he'd gone out naked.

The fields are absolutely sodden, we're on the side of a hill but there is still standing water and it's hard to walk on them - luckily it's a big field and they're too busy eating to gallop around much - but I think I'll have to do a couple of days in then a couple out so they don't get too poached.

needastrongone · 10/02/2014 13:41

Doing a bit of both, as we have a couple of pink patches on dpony's feet, just a tiny bit, but there are some on the yard that have really bad mud fever, and I really don't want it to develop. So, he goes out on good days, and stays in on bad, which gives dd a chance to brush off his legs and treat them when they are dry, and me a chance to slather him with pig oil before turnout.

That said, after him being boxed for 12 weeks, he really doesn't seem to mind at all, he's institutionalised!

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