Outside board

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Riosdad, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Riosdad

    Riosdad Full Member

    Mar 1, 2010
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    People say it is healthier for a horse but I don't agree

    Standing in mud for months on end is not healthy. Summer and fall the fields around the shelters turn to nothing but mud and the horses stand in it causing soft feet, thrush and scratches
    When the mud freezes it is so rough they can hardly walk
    Cold winter nights, minus 35 F or C, driving snow, driving rain, lightening storms and a dominant horse monopoizes the shelter

    Certainly is cheaper, no barn, no stall, no bedding, just a bale of hay every now and then
    You don't have to provide a barn with all it entails

    Easier. No stalls to clean, no horses put out mornings, brought in nights, no graining, no night checks required, just push a bale of hay in the feeder every few days, weeks

    Exercise. People with outside horses don't have to ride them as much, coat too long, sweat, too hard to dry off and put back out so they ride less. Say the horse exercises himself???

    Bugs/heat They can not escape, sure the shelter offers some shelter and less bugs but can they really get away from the sand flies, deer flies, heat

    A good barn offers warmth in the winter, cool in the summer, no bugs, flies, dry footing, dry place to lie down and entertainment. A large barn has activity, other horses, people and a nice feeling, not stuck out in the dark and cold in a back corner

    These horses are not tougher, they just endure, what can they do??

    That said I started outside programs in 2 different barns and left because of it , left when taking them in became too much of a choir and horse stood out in the elements in bad weather because it is easy to leave them out and call it healthy??

    I will not leave my guy out even in nice weather because of the bugs, the lack of a quiet place to retreat to and because I can sleep nights knowing he is protected, safe and comfortable

    Your horse needs exercise, ride him, don't stick him outside and call it good for him

    I have seen how some of you feed horses and tramping hay into the mud, sleeping on it is not the way to operate a farm.

    We are all entitled to our opinion and this is mine on outside board year round
    I can see it summers and nice weather. Rio lived outside for 7 months but I controlled everything , including the shelter, the trees it was located under, the footing right down to rubber mats outside in the shelter and the odd night he was brought in because of storms but to leave them outside forever is not my idea of ideal horse care

    Have a good night
  2. Faster Horses

    Faster Horses Senior Member

    Aug 24, 2011
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    My horse has very bad arthritis.

    Leaving him cooped up in a stall for the majority of the day would have him crippled in pain. Being outside with a run-in shed gives him the ability to move as he needs, so that he isn't stiff.

    Different horses, different needs.
  3. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2014
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    Well, a whole lot depends on the condition of the area. I left my old barn because I did not like the way the pasture was managed. The ranch hands fed directly into the mud and near the gate so the entire gate area ended up mud up to your elbows. I agree that is no way for a horse to live.

    Also, they let too many boarders put their horses out. It was a pasture that could sustain about 8 horses maximum and they had 13 out there when I left. Some of those had back shoes and were aggressive.

    My present barn has a much better situation. The pasture is on a gentle slope and has good drainage. We certainly get mud in the rainy season but there are large areas that are not deep. There is a good shelter that the horses use when it is sunny or windy but rarely when it is raining. Horses grow coats for a reason. And management does not overload the pasture. Right now there are only 3 horses out there.

    I do not pasture so I don't have to ride. I pasture so my horse can move around freely all day and night as horses were engineered to do. Even when there is little grass, they nibble on stuff and keep their heads down. A horse with his head down is a relaxed horse. It is good for their mental well-being to be able to move, to be with other horses, to run when they want, to play, to graze.

    I ride as often with them in the pasture as I do when they are stalled. The difference is that I have to make extra time to turn them out when they are stalled because I insist my horses get time to run and roll and play and be a horse.

    Horses have lived for thousands of years outside. Studies have shown that they are less likely to get ulcers and are calmer and more relaxed on the whole when they are out with others. Herd behavior is natural to them.

    You are right, it is everyone's choice how they house their horse. I do house mine out because of my belief that it is healthier and because I can see how much happier my horses are. You are entitled to do as you please with your horse. And for what it's worth, I've seen pics of your stall and it looks very nice and well-ventilated which is good. There is certainly nothing wrong with keeping them in - I did it for years. I just prefer out.
    15 people like this.
  4. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2008
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    Different strokes for different folks.

    Unless my horses are in full time training, they're out. They've got stalls with attached runs that have an alley or to a pasture. They're almost always out in the elements by choice. They've got bedded stalls with fans. They like being horses.

    I feel it is best to keep them in a way that's conducive to their digestive, mental, and physiological health. Motion is lotion. Being able to move and graze keeps stomach acid at bay. Playing, moving, and touching each other is good for their brains.

    For me, unless I'm showing or training.... I love my setup. Yes, the horses get dirty. Yes, they get in the mud. BUT they're happy and healthy.

    Again, to each his own :)
  5. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    Hmmm. I don't find pasture board to be anything that you are describing. And I don't board anywhere fancy! Perhaps some places are cruddy, but the solution for that is simple. Just go somewhere else! I keep my mare on pasture, and I am in no hurry to change.

    She is grained am and pm. she and her buddies get hay in hay bags am and pm, and it lasts them nearly all day. High traffic areas can be muddy, but the big run in shelter has cement floor with rubber mats over top. They all share the shelter. My girl is alpha, but her favourite thing to do is hide in the back of the shelter behind a larger buddy. Lol

    They have grass pastures that they get turned out in during the day in the summer. She gets a flymask and fly spray. This year I will probably get a fly sheet. She gets blanketed during the winter, however I wish for her to be.

    Brandi could not be stalled for long periods of time. Just plain could not. Too much energy. She needs room to roam around, fresh air to breathe, and the sun on her back. She is always in good weight, super shiney, and fit. I would not trade her current health and well being for the basket case I would have on my hands if I kept her in a dark, tiny, dusty box.

    I never have to worry about a barn burning down with her inside.

    I would put her up against every single horse kept at the richy rich barn I work at. (Horses are in at night, in in bad weather, in if its cold, in if there are too many flies, etc etc) She will meet or outshine every single one of them. Most of the horses there? The owners almost never come out. They just pay board and let them live their life. I am out brushing Brandi and working with her as often as I can, which is more days a week than not these days. She is tough as nails and her feet are hard as rocks. When barn horses are going out in midweights? She is toasty warm in a light.

    But as sparkling clean as the barn is? Dusty dusty dusty. No way around it. You can clean the dust, and clean it, and clean it, but it's still there. I would not want my horse in an environment like that constantly. The stalls are large, but still way too small for her to spend hours upon hours in them. If she ever moved there, my boss and I would have to have a little Brandi is a horse, she needs to be outside and be a horse, chat.

    Nope. Can't say that I, personally, especially for my horse, see an advantage to keeping them in a tiny box for most or all of the day. But plenty of people do, I guess.
    16 people like this.
  6. Muppetgirl

    Muppetgirl Senior Member

    Nov 6, 2012
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    Bahahahaha what a laughable OP!!!

    I board my horse outside. Year round.

    Mud for months? Ummmm NOPE
    No graining? Ummmmm NOPE - my horse is grained daily
    Throw a bale of hay now and then? Ummmm NOPE again - my horse is fed his hay four times a day
    No stall cleaning? Hmmm my horses very large private paddock is cleaned regularly
    Don't have to exercise regularly? Hmmmm NOPE my horse is ridden at every opportunity - usually 5 days a week
    Bad feet? My horse is eight and has never had hoof issues, the only shoes he ever wore are sliders, farrier loves my horses feet even though said horse lives outside
    Night checks? My BO does a night check on ALL the horses every night

    You certainly missed the mark with all your assumptions about outside board. Where as atl least I know for sure about the issues with stalling horses and how it can effect their respiratory hand joint health - it can also ****** up their feet and thrush is not only something outside horses get - it's very common in stalled horses also.
  7. Donavans Fire

    Donavans Fire Senior Member+

    Mar 7, 2010
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    It's funny, I'm in nursing classes, fundamentals, and we're learning all about prioritizing care. Safety first and things like breathing matter more than, say, mild pain or complaining about the hospital food.

    So to apply that to this post: in some areas, yes mud is really difficult to avoid. I admit my horse's pen is nasty- I am boarding her and don't have a lot of control over the situation. She's had a couple minor problems here and there that I've treated. I've dealt with other horses that got thrush.

    No, it's not ideal. You know what's less ideal? Colic. Heaves. Cribbing. Weaving. Being bored and depressed due to being mostly isolated from other horses. Allergies to shavings and hay. Only getting 2-3 meals per day, leading to a higher likelihood of ulcers. Stocking up.

    I am much more worried about those things than I am thrush. At this point I would like to bring my horse inside, but that is purely for my convenience. It wouldn't be for her sake at all. It would be so I don't have to scrape the mud off of her and so she doesn't grow a winter coat so she can look pretty at shows and so I don't have to go out to get her in the cold.

    You act like people who keep their horses outside don't also ride their horses? Yeah exercise is good for them. Let's say you ride for 3 hours per day. That's a long ride by anyone's standards but your horse is still standing in a stall for the other 21 hours per day. Horses are meant to move and graze, not stand in a stall and wait for their flake of hay.

    It's like people. Who's really healthier? The person who sits all day but then works out hard for 20 minutes, or the person that is on their feet and moving most of the day? More often than not it's the latter and they're less prone to injury too.

    So anyway you mentioned your wife is a nurse maybe you should be asking her about priorities. Does she care more about the fact that her patient has a toenail fungus or that they're at risk for blood clots and are isolated?
  8. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2012
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    Each to their own indeed, but owning a horse who heaves when he is stabled, then my choice is simple, he is out 24/7 so he can breathe. Ironically he is the only horse at the barn that is currently fed on hay cubes, everyone else lives on hay that I supply, love him.

    There are only a few horses at the barn who stabled overnight, they are the guys who just don't do well in the cold here. I see no difference in ride time between those stabled and those on outside board, there is no correlation.

    If a person wants to keep their horse to provide convenience to themselves, well that's fine, but it is kind of funny to me that anyone would argue that anything else than living outside is best for most horses. It is always fun to watch my girls at home here, they use the barn maybe a couple of times during cold or wet weather, but they love the shelter during the summer months.

    I guess at the end I want what is best for them, so I do my best to keep them the way that I think they stay healthiest in body and mind.
    9 people like this.
  9. Suzanneszoo

    Suzanneszoo Senior Member

    Apr 21, 2013
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    I stall board.

    My mare has been pasture boarded in the past, and would prefer to be pasture boarded. Why is she stalled? Because she and the lead mare of the pasture board mares loathe each other.

    Our 25 year old gelding was pasture boarded last summer, and moved to stall board over the winter to keep him comfortable, and so that we could keep food in front of him 24/7. He also preferred pasture boarding and having his buddies with him all the time.

    For us, stall boarding is better.

    If that lead mare ever leaves, my mare is going back to pasture board.

    This summer, old man will possibly go back to pasture board, depending on his weight and how the gelding group is doing. Last summer it was mostly all older sedate geldings, this year they've added some rowdy youngsters. It will all depend on what's best for the horses.
    3 people like this.
  10. OldGreyMare

    OldGreyMare Senior Member

    May 30, 2010
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    I must be a horrid horse owner as my field is a dry lot in the summer with some grass and dirt and mud otherwise. Not mud all the time like some like to ASSume and embellish, have I dealt with thrush? Sure have, so have many other horse owners here in VA because it is a humid climate. Have I had a draft with scratches? Yes, Trixie came with it, a small area so I shaved her feathers off on the hind leg, vet came out and we came up with a plan and now it is gone, has been for some time now. I give my horses round bale access when I have a supplier of round bales. Now that it is the late winter we started to feed squares...they get 3 squares a day...we spread the squares around so they have to walk to get each flake. Good lord how do mine survive with such horrid care?! :rolleyez:

    When I use to board my horses were out all the time, only time they use to come in, and this still holds true now that I have my own farm and barn, is for their nightly grain and supplements then back out they go. IF it is really bad weather or torrential rain fall, they go in till the weather clears. They are allowed to be out as they have shown me time and time again they prefer.

    Really is getting tiring of the continual your a bad horse owner because you don't do it this way, or your a bad horse owner because you allow this to go on. Those who sit on those high horses are going to be shoved off sooner or late, actually they are showing what a miserable jerk they are, having to pull everyone else down to make themselves feel good. Getting really really old quick. It is okay for what you are doing with YOUR personal horse, but the nose in the air superiority complex needs to go. Don't like how many of us keep our horses? Keep your trap shut or get off the board....the snide remarks are wearing thin...especially the threads that start out that way by those who think they are better than everyone else...only reason these threads are started is to make someone's ego feel better about themselves...

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