24/ 7 turnout advice please - wet fields and no shelter yet

oxo

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Hi there,

we had to make quick secondary plans for accommodation due to some circumstances - we have found grass livery - its not a bad sized field, and with the ridiculous rain we have had recently probably any field is going to be wet - but this one does have some areas that are really really knee deep muddy. The Livery owner tends not to like people putting shelters up as they are hard to move around ( i guess if the fields are rotated? ) ... anyway - my concern is our boy has been out in the field just a day and half ( having been in at night and out on dry days at previous stables) and it seems to me his feet are really wet and I think getting soggy. I know there are barrier creams etc. and I am talking to our farrier in the morning - but my concern is for his feet if we are on turnout 24/ 7 in this wet weather. I don't know much about buying shelters or what is on the market but I am soon going to have to think about this I think. Any advice on 24/7 turnout would be very useful. This circumstance came about fairly quickly so we are thinking on our feet about all this.
There is a lot of grass on the field - its not like its a mud bath all over - but its not a well drained field so there is a lot of surface water.

What / when is it a real problem with their feet being on wet ground? What do people do who turnout 24/7 to combat foot problems. I am concerned about thrush and white line disease.. we are prepared to sort this issue out quickly if its something we need to do. Maybe We just need to insist we are allowed to put a shelter in the field.... but am curious how people cope if they don't have a dry area in the field..


any thoughts appreciated! thanks..
 

be positive

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If their feet are generally healthy being wet and muddy should not cause thrush or white line disease, my horses are out a lot, some 24/7 all winter, the only shelter is natural, and rarely have any problems with their feet, we are heading into spring and they will soon dry out.

I don't think you can insist on putting a shelter in a field that is not yours as there may well be planning issues involved, if you are not happy with what is offered then it may be you have to look elsewhere before next winter or come to an arrangement where you can put in hardstanding somewhere if not a shelter.
 

oxo

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If their feet are generally healthy being wet and muddy should not cause thrush or white line disease, my horses are out a lot, some 24/7 all winter, the only shelter is natural, and rarely have any problems with their feet, we are heading into spring and they will soon dry out.

I don't think you can insist on putting a shelter in a field that is not yours as there may well be planning issues involved, if you are not happy with what is offered then it may be you have to look elsewhere before next winter or come to an arrangement where you can put in hardstanding somewhere if not a shelter.

thanks! that is good to hear your horses do fine - and we are heading into better weather ( I guess the nasty down pour a day ago makes it feel like all we ever see is mud!) We plan to be back at our previous stables for the really hard winter weather hopefully. Maybe we are just being over anxious at this stage - we don't want to start off with foot problems with our new horse!

You are probably right about planning issues..

thanks.
 

NZJenny

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I have had winters where my paddock has been pretty much under water (never mind the mud!) for a week at a time. They have a little strip of higher ground up by the house which stays dryish. So far so good (have been there nearly 20 years) and they seem to cope ok. I don't have any field shelters at all - just trees and hedges. I found mud fever was my biggest problem and it seems to strike if they have something else going on as well.

I think at the end of the day, the mud worried me more than it worried them. They get quite stoic about it and it's just the way the world is.
 

Getoutmypockets

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I can't imagine it'll do much harm, it's spring and will dry out. My fields was 1/3 bog, 1/3 surface water and 1/3 dry and they still chose to munch in the bog most of the time over winter! No leg or feet issues other than the odd lost shoe a few days before farrier was due! I'd see how they cope. But yes you can't just push for a field shelter on land you don't own, and that may well turn to bog inside unless you put something down which will also require owner permission.
 

poiuytrewq

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Mine wintered out for the first time since I'd had him this winter.
I worried about his feet but although the farrier commented they were a bit soft we had no problem. I also had no.mud fever. He is retired so was out constantly.
When the field flooded just after Christmas I had to move him but if it hadn't been deep water I think he'd have been fine out.
Does your field have any natural shelter?
 

paddi22

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mine have spent the last few winters out 24/7 in boggy wet fields and they never have hoof issues apart from the odd abcess. Mine are unshop but i'd imagine they would drop shoes easier, but otherwise i never had issues. When they went in first i was paranoid about the hooves turning to sponge and would lather keratex stuff on them - but they all coped fine for years.

Is there a good treeline around the field? Mine have never had shelters, but they have trees each side they can huddle under and they all cope fine (even wimpy tb) once rugged appropriately.
 

ironhorse

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I wouldn't worry too much for now - everywhere is wet and it is relatively mild so with a good rug on shelter is not really an issue. If there are particularly bad areas you might want to think about fencing them off with stakes and electric fencing tape to avoid them getting even more poached and thus rutty when drier. If your horses hang around the gateway you could fence this off too.
My concern would be to find somewhere dryer/with more shelter for next winter if it looks like the land is prone to water logging. A friend of mine had horses that had previously wintered out quite happily on land that was very exposed in that last cold, wet winter we had - one nearly died because they were so busy trying to stay in the most sheltered area they weren't eating their hay.
 

PollyP99

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As mine had very soft feet when first out at all after 10 weeks box rest I have applied keratex gel for the now 24/7 turnout she gets in wet fields, she's coping fine, it seems to work for us.
 

EQUIDAE

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What do people do who turnout 24/7 to combat foot problems.

Nothing - mine are out 24/7 and always have been and have never had any issues with their feet. All barefoot and hack on the roughest terrain without issue.
 

oxo

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its good to know your horses did fine! I think I was just panicking as it was our first week on 24/7 turnout and was a really wet week and just worried his feet would fall off! thankfullly we are getting dryer days. Winter stabling we are hoping to be back at a different stables where he can be in if its a bad day/ night.
 

GeorgiaR95

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Hi there,

we had to make quick secondary plans for accommodation due to some circumstances - we have found grass livery - its not a bad sized field, and with the ridiculous rain we have had recently probably any field is going to be wet - but this one does have some areas that are really really knee deep muddy. The Livery owner tends not to like people putting shelters up as they are hard to move around ( i guess if the fields are rotated? ) ... anyway - my concern is our boy has been out in the field just a day and half ( having been in at night and out on dry days at previous stables) and it seems to me his feet are really wet and I think getting soggy. I know there are barrier creams etc. and I am talking to our farrier in the morning - but my concern is for his feet if we are on turnout 24/ 7 in this wet weather. I don't know much about buying shelters or what is on the market but I am soon going to have to think about this I think. Any advice on 24/7 turnout would be very useful. This circumstance came about fairly quickly so we are thinking on our feet about all this.
There is a lot of grass on the field - its not like its a mud bath all over - but its not a well drained field so there is a lot of surface water.

What / when is it a real problem with their feet being on wet ground? What do people do who turnout 24/7 to combat foot problems. I am concerned about thrush and white line disease.. we are prepared to sort this issue out quickly if its something we need to do. Maybe We just need to insist we are allowed to put a shelter in the field.... but am curious how people cope if they don't have a dry area in the field..


any thoughts appreciated! thanks..

I have two haflingers who live out all year with no field shelter. We have had a lot of wet mud in the fields this year, most horses at my yard had suffered with thrush through the winter but luckily mine got away with it. As long as there is some dry areas in the field he should be fine. A lot of the problems with horses getting thrush is when their hooves and frogs arent cut properly. If they are cut back too short then they will grow back quickly which means excess skin will grow, the mud gets caught under this and that is what causes a lot of horses to get thrush. So if his feet are healthy and he can get out of the wet then he will be fine. If you are concerned they why not put some hay in the field near the dry areas? That way he is out of the wet for a period of time.. Other than that just use creams and sprays on his feet. Hope this helps! :D
 
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