Can someone please explain to me why horses are better kept in as much as possible, because I just don't get it!

paddy555

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Whilst this may seem ideal to you, to me having a horse that is so stressed by being in that it cannot be stabled would not suit at all. I have one that is stressed by being out, but with a bit of time and patience he now allows himself to be out for most of the day if the weather is fine/there are no flies/the omens are good.
I think all youngsters should be taught to be stabled as part of their training. You never know where they are going to end up or if they are going to have to in during an emergency or have to be stabled in horse hospital. My 4 yo had never been shut in a stable when he came. It was a nightmare dealing with him. It took several years before he was happy being shut in all night. If I had come off him at 4, someone had found him and stabled him it would have been a disaster.
 

EKW

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My lads prefer being out but they come in from 6.30pm to 6.30am for my convenience to save the field. They are quite happy in but if they can undo their doors - which they take great delight in doing for their own amusement! They will wander. They are totally safe and can't get out on the road or the likes. Given the choice I would have them out 24/7 with a big field shelter and a bale of haylage. But sadly that doesn't work with the set up I have.

The natives are out like it or lump it all winter!
 

scats

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It is convenient for me to stable my horses for part of the time as they are in work. In winter they are in overnight and out everyday, in horrendous weather (storm, beast from the east situation etc) they go out for half a day. But they always go out.
In summer they are out overnight and have some stable time during the day to get them away from the flies.
 
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nikkimariet

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Some people prefer being inside. So do some horses? (and dogs and cats etc). Everything we do with them is not natural and they respond to our modern requests accordingly.

Nova would happily live out. Fig would happily live in. As it is, they both go out all day every day unless it's truly vile (cold/wet or heat) because that's what suits me and what my facilities will allow.

I do think all horses should have some turnout but if it was rubbish muddy leg and shoe pulling no grass land versus keeping them in and extra exercise I know which I would choose.
 

splashgirl45

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in an ideal world they should be out 24/7 with some sort of shelter to get out of the worst of the weather but most of us dont live in an ideal world so mine were always out 24/7 in the summer and out most of the day in the winter but sometimes a little less if it had been very wet and the field was being churned up too much. the trouble with this is i had a mud monkey and even with a full neck cover on she got plastered every day so grooming was more like gardening!!!!and i sometimes rode out and found bits of mud i had missed....
 

HiPo'sHuman

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Mine are currently out 8am - 5pm ish, stabled overnight as per yard rules. I love having them out as much as possible - better for them physically and mentally as well as cutting down on mucking out and hay consumption ;) I can understand keep top competition animals in, mine are quality ponies but not quite hoys standard...maybe I'd rethink it if we were showing at that level!
 

spotty_pony

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I run a small livery yard and most are still out 24/7. I have three in overnight and out during the day at the moment - one because she is recovering from an injury and the other two are coming in to keep her company overnight - I can't just bring the one in else the other one will be on her own so needs must although I would much rather have them all out as it's so mild still and we have quite a bit of grass. As others have said, maybe talk to some of the other owners as it might be they are worried about their horse being left out alone and maybe sort out some sort of bringing in/turning out rota with them so this won't happen? If things don't change though I'd be looking at other yard options. It does seem to be becoming the 'norm' to have horses in more and more and it's wrong - I find they are most relaxed and happy when they are allowed to live as naturally as possible.
 

windand rain

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Mine live out 24/7 we only have emergency stabling but they are very happy doing either. They are much healthier out and are much less likely to injure themselves. They live in a small herd athough they are in pairs just now as we have been given some grazing for a few weeks that can be adequately fenced for the little ones but not for the fence jumper. I may take her to keep the little one company while we are at a show next week but will take some taller posts. Mind you I dont think she will jump out of knee deep grass
 
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JulesRules

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My YO and I are on constant battle because I prefer my horses out and she likes any excuse (rain, wind, flies, storm etc.) to get them in.

Today she mentioned "Rory hasn't got enough grass, he's been whinnying at me all day to come in", my reply " ignore him he's got loads of grass. I've just poo picked and he has plenty." I always say you teach horses to want to come in by rewarding them with a haynets.

Despite this we are happy at our yard and my horses generally get a good amount of turnout.
 

honetpot

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Why does everyone worry about what everyone else is doing? If you want to put your house out then do it, if you don't want to then don't. I have 3, they go out around 7.30am each day & come in around 2.30pm & they are waiting at the gate to come in. They come into hay & are fed around 4.00pm & ridden/schooled/jumped etc about 5.15pm. Some liveries come in earlier & some come in later. When it's lashing down with rain we keep in as we know the horses will charge about & trash the paddocks, but they go out most days.
I wouldn't mind this attitude if people did not resort, to calmers, gut balancers and all sorts of gadgets for problems which are coping behaviours for horses that need more socialisation, free exercise and more to eat.
Work now seems to consists of half an hour trotting round in circles in a school not the hour to hours and a half hack of yester year when a horse was exercised when permanently stabled so it could work hard at least one day a week hunting or competeing.

I have had a couch potato, happy to be stabled when wet for days, hated the rain but after a period of 24/7 over the summer with his mates he literally voted with his feet. He left holes in the stable wall in protest the first time he came in for the winter and he realised he was not going back out. He was happier sloping around fetlock deep in mud fighting for his grub than stood in with half a bale of hay.
I have also had to stable 24/7 7 days a week because there was no turnout at all, but the horse was worked for and hour and a half five days a week a different hack every day and always had hay in his hay net.
 

chaps89

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Mine has been on grass livery the last 3 or 4 years. I have to coral her in summer to get her off the grass but in winter she gets to be out 24/7.
I'm due to move yards shortly and she's going to have to go somewhere she will be stabled overnight in winter.
I was stunned by how many yards offering 'grass livery' seemed to think it was acceptable to put as many horses as possible into small fields. And of course those that have the amazing big fields and herds of horses simply have to put big bale hay out when it's time to hay as it wouldn't be practical to hay daily. But fatty would explode if she had an all you can eat buffet 24 hours a day so I had to find a compromise.
I know the yard I'm going to gets wet, but I also know the YO is adamant they go out no matter what, the fields recover with some tlc come spring and wet horses dry off.
I turned down a couple of other yards where she would be stabled as they bring in at 2 - I ride in the mornings so she would effectively be stood in from 2pm-7am the next day and I wasn't ok with that.
That would work fine for plenty of people though and those who ride after work it would at least break the time up that the horse is in for.

For OP in your situation I'd chat to other liveries, they may just be going with the status quo or it might be they struggle to bring in so maybe if you didn't mind bringing in for them (maybe they turn out for you?) That could work perhaps? Or either see about a companion, training yours to be alright on his own or looking at moving.
For me turnout with company is one of my highest priorities I have to say.
 

paddi22

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i have one in because the autumn grass and the frost bring on lami, so she's in on box rest after a burst. a freinds horse is in as shes an older mare and as soon as the weather switches she drops weight and condition and prefers to be in.
 

Downton Dame

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they are kept in for a variety of reasons most of which have nothing to do with the welfare of the horse. one reason is not enough land to facilitate winter turnout. another reason is conveniece of owners who want a clean clipped horse to ride most , if not all, are best kept out with a large field shelter and plenty of forage, allowed to roll and just enjoy being a horse.
 

JillA

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I suspect it is a trend set by some livery yards who care more about the condition of their (often overstocked) land than the well being of the horses - and also if only one horse opts to stay out there can be major stress with being on its own. I have three to care for so it has to be one in all in, and one is a very nesh TB. I have a viewing window now in one stable so hopefully he can stay in on his own while thumbing his nose at the hardy souls out in the field
 

Cortez

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I suspect it is a trend set by some livery yards who care more about the condition of their (often overstocked) land than the well being of the horses - and also if only one horse opts to stay out there can be major stress with being on its own. I have three to care for so it has to be one in all in, and one is a very nesh TB. I have a viewing window now in one stable so hopefully he can stay in on his own while thumbing his nose at the hardy souls out in the field
You MUST care for your land if you are going to keep livestock. It's not about having pretty lawns, it's about maintaining the fertility, grass cover, soil integrity and variety of the sward. If you don't you will end up with the usual weed-infested, tired, sour fields that characterise most horse keeping establishments (apologies to everyone who DOES farm their land rather than just stick ponies on it). Harrowing, rolling, seeding, aerating, liming, fertilizing, drilling, weeding, draining - all these things must be done according to the character of the soil and allowing a bunch of horses to poach and tear up the pastures is NOT looking after either them or it.
 

milliepops

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You MUST care for your land if you are going to keep livestock. It's not about having pretty lawns, it's about maintaining the fertility, grass cover, soil integrity and variety of the sward. If you don't you will end up with the usual weed-infested, tired, sour fields that characterise most horse keeping establishments (apologies to everyone who DOES farm their land rather than just stick ponies on it). Harrowing, rolling, seeding, aerating, liming, fertilizing, drilling, weeding, draining - all these things must be done according to the character of the soil and allowing a bunch of horses to poach and tear up the pastures is NOT looking after either them or it.
Good post. the problem is finding a yard that does all those things!
My retirees live the life of riley in 8 acres of hayfield, they trashed it in places good and proper last winter but it was fertilised, rolled, harrowed etc, grew a good crop of hay which will feed the others and now they have the run of it again as foggage. I wish I had the same to offer the ridden ones... they have half an acre of completely overgrazed mossy weed ridden mud now the growing season is over and tbh I will be back to half day turnout before long just to stop the sensitive one getting ulcers again (not allowed to hay in my mud patch either, which was built with gateways too narrow to get any tractors or equipment into the fields, even if YO was minded to roll/harrow etc). this is the best of a poor offering locally. *sigh* waiting on the planning dept to get the ridden ones into our own place :rolleyes:
 

Sukistokes2

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If you want your horse out OP put him out. I would not worry what others are up to, I would just keep on doing want i want to do. you could give him the chance to go out on his own, he will soon get used to it and just get on with it. He might call at first but he would soon settle. I think we worry too much as owners.
 
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I like a mix of both, especially when they are doing a bit of work. In winter it pays to get them in to dry out their feet I find, plus it makes playing with them much nicer when they are sopping wet and covered in mud. atm they are in a fabulous field but it has only natural shelter and no hard standing. Its fabulous in dry weather and in the light, now its dark I cant move them during the week (because the damn mechanic and my damn lorry-long story) and the ground is gradually getting bad. it gets to the point when even getting him tacked up and out the gate is a chore but probably cant move them until December. Mine are never in what you would call much work, so they're out as much as possible. for a horse in hard work, as long as they get time to be a horse then its less of a problem provided the care is good.
 
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You MUST care for your land if you are going to keep livestock. It's not about having pretty lawns, it's about maintaining the fertility, grass cover, soil integrity and variety of the sward. If you don't you will end up with the usual weed-infested, tired, sour fields that characterise most horse keeping establishments (apologies to everyone who DOES farm their land rather than just stick ponies on it). Harrowing, rolling, seeding, aerating, liming, fertilizing, drilling, weeding, draining - all these things must be done according to the character of the soil and allowing a bunch of horses to poach and tear up the pastures is NOT looking after either them or it.

yep, when I look at nearby livery yards I am shocked-way too overstocked, choked with daisies/buttercup and docks. some of them are building all weather turnout pens though-biggish ones.
 

honetpot

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I have water logged clay in winter, so I have two areas of thrash paddock, not for grazing, they are fed hay in boxes. It looks awful in winter, I can remember one winter when on particular pony would coming in with mud running off him, they tear round and play tag and are generally act like teens on skateboards.
One would eat his own weight in hay or straw a day if he could if left to stand in, I bought him with EMS and I have managed to keep to a good weight with a track system so its out in slop for him this year again.
 

Muddywellies

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I totally understand and respect that there ARE reasons to keep in sometimes. I've had horses on box rest myself and sometimes keep in if we are having a hurricane and the field is under water. What I don't understand is when horses are in 24 hrs a day other than exercise and on the walker, clipped, rugged up to the eyeballs, and those owners sometimes believe they are superior to those who's horses are woolly, unrugged, unclipped and turned out. I've heard many an owner say 'we don't do mud'. Really ?? Mine is a happy medium, a light clip, lightly rugged, and in at night. She's a dressage horse so you can imagine how we look in the arena compared to those who 'don't do mud' but hey, we do ok. Turnout and mud certainly doesn't affect our ability in the arena.
I should just add that I used to live in the North and I know due to the ground and soil, no winter turnout is the norm. So I'm not criticising when it's beyond the owners control. Just baffles me when people do have a choice.
 

Pinkvboots

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I used to be at a big livery yard and no one turned out there horses at all after September, my 2 were the only ones out all winter until a new livery moved in and she wanted hers out as well, my horses had 2 big fields to themselves for months, I could not give a fig what everyone else does as long as I can do what I wish with mine and there happy.
 

9tails

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It is convenient for me to stable my horses for part of the time as they are in work.
What difference does this make to whether a horse can work or not? Mine is able to live out 24/7 in summer, I ride plenty straight from the field with no detrimental effects to the horse. If it was raining, she wore a rainsheet. My livery yard rules we keep in overnight for winter.
 
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I got my first set of contacts when I was 15 and they were a revelation - except for jumping. I'd never jumped with glasses on so just aimed in the general direction of the blurry fence and let the horse get on with it. When those fences were in focus they looked huge!!
The graduate stabbed me in the eye during my test and told me I was being difficult, I am more than a little put off as I am also told that my eyes are very sensitive. It's not a stress that I want to go through at the moment as I felt like the smallest person in the world coming out of that appointment (despite complaining discreetly and then having a check up from the head optician as my stabbed eye was very sore).

However...the fences thing I completely relate to having ridden without glasses for years and then coming back to jumping later on. I think I prefer the blurry ones in hindsight!!!
 

hopscotch bandit

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I was on a yard once and was told that the Y.O didn't want horses out too much because they cut up the paddocks. Especially if it rained - they were all kept in, even a bit of drizzle. I would ask her if my horse had been turned out and she would look at my feet (she never looked at a persons face) and would say yes. then I would ask the groom.And he would say "no its been raining". Felt like hitting my head against a brick wall. I loved the facilities and the hacking but hated the regime. Coming from a DIY yard where my first horse was kept out 24/7 in the summer, and probably 14 hours a day over the winter it came as a huge shock. Now my horse is out for as much as six or seven hours a day in the winter and out for as much as 14 hours a day in the summer and its great. The next yard I was at they had to only have limited turnout in the winter for 2 hours a day as the fields were peat based and just bogged down dreadful if they had been allowed out any longer in the winter.

Horses need to go out as much as possible, quite honestly it leaves me a little annoyed and a bit queasy when people think otherwise although I wouldn't say anything to them.
 

annunziata

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I dont get it either mine are out as much as possible. i struggle as we are are on clay in the winter but I turn them out on my yard. I am lucky enough to have a large yard where they can all get a bit of movement and socialise. I do understand that some people keep theirs in due to the cost of the horse, by in my opinion if they do not have regular turnout they are far more likely to do an injury
 

Summit

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Ours are still out 24/7 and will remain so until it turns really cold then they’ll come in at night. I don’t keep mine in coz it’s raining though....he’s suitably rugged
 
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