Horses that winter out

RacheeRooRoo

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I was just wondering how many of you winter your horses out? What type of horses have you got and also what shelter do they have access to?
 

PorkChop

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Mine live out over the winter, one of them is a warmblood and one is an Arab X. I don't have field shelters, but I do have fairly decent hedges. I would only rug the WB if it is particularly wet as she is prone to rainscald, and they only have some extra forage if it's snowing.
 

Cocorules

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Mine are all tb x native and live out with access to field shelters and the fields are reasonably sheltered. One is rugged a lot over winter. The other 2 minimally. They are in the South of England.

Two have health issues and are better without restricted movement. I am much happier now I am able to keep them out 24/7 and have more time to ride. One in particular is much happier mentally for being out all the time.
 

L&M

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up a hill
After 20 yrs of having horses stabled overnight in winter, I am going to try and winter my 2 out. This will be my first winter without liveries so have extra land to play with, hence making the decision.

2 hardy Irish cobs, but will be clipped as they hunt, so will be well rugged up. They will be going onto a 3 1/2 acre hill field when the clocks change - there is no field shelter but plenty hedge and trees that will hopefully provide some. This field is being rested all summer so will be knee high and am hoping the grass will last the winter, but all a bit of an experiment this year!

I also plan to bring them in for part of the day, to give hard feed, extra forage if needed, and exercise, before turning back out overnight. This will save me lugging buckets/nets up to the field and any bickering at feed time.
 

Fides

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Mine are out 24/7 and only rugged in the worst weather. They have a field shelter but don't use it in winter, only to shelter from the sun in summer
 

Fides

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L&M don't overestimate how much grass you have - my two 14h2s were out on 5 acres over the winter and there was nothing by Feb
 

Meowy Catkin

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Two arabs and an anglo-arab (used to have a TB too) and they winter out on a Welsh hillside with hedges and a windbreak. Plus ad-lib hay and rugs as required.

Old photo.
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More recent one.
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Crugeran Celt

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For many years all mine were in at night and out during the day all year round until my very elderly arab started stiffening up so much over night that she was having difficulty walking out in the morning, the vet recommended she lived out 24/7 and she was much better and that is how all our horses have lived ever since. I have a TB/Sect D, a Sect D and three miniatures who all winter out unrugged with no problem at all. In fact I would say they are healthier now than they have ever been. They have plenty of natural shelter with hedging and trees and the minis have a small shed that they can go into but don't. If the weather is particularly bad then the gate to the stables is left open and they can come in but to be honest they rarely do and are more likely to come in in the heat of a summer day than anything the winter can throw at them. They do develop amazingly thick coats though which could be a problem if they were ridden all winter which at the moment they are not.
 

Charmin

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My IDxTB x Connemara mare lives out all winter, trace clipped. She has access to a double stable but they very rarely use it, prefering to either turn bums to the rain or go under the trees/hedge.

This winter we'll also have a weanling who will be living out, he's TB x WB and will only be rugged in a LW to keep torrential rain off his back, but will have MW on standby in case he's a wuss.

The only thing I'd say would be keep on top of legs, my mare was coated in pig oil knee-downwards as soon as it turned a little wet and we managed to hold off mud fever. I used to only wash her legs before a competition, and instead ride with muddy legs and brush them out afterwards before adding more pig oil.
 

rascal

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West Midlands
Ours live out all year. We have 3 natives (welsh) a cob x and a shire x dutch warmblood, they all get as much hay as they will eat and a small feed, what feed they get depends on the individual horse/pony. As the shelter is in the wettest part of the field (none horsey field owners) its not used in winter, so they have rugs (not the welsh a) to keep the rain and wind off.
 

Inthesticks

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I have 3 that live out, one 25yo, a 3 yo and a 8yo. All natives. They have access to 3-4 acres, near adlib haylage and a 24x12ft shelter.

2 did too well this winter as it was mild and wet.
 

samlf

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Kent
one ID and one 'irish' type. Both winter out, will have a shelter up this year but last year had some trees and areas of hedge for windbreak. ID never rugged, the other was rugged lightly as clipped, but probably wont be this year.
 
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The natives live out with lightweight rugs on some in winter to keep them dry for riding purpose. I also have a TB ex-racer who lives out 24/7. Unrugged from the end of March/early April depending on weather until about the beginning of November so he grows a good coat then he gets a big thick rug on with the option of having another added if it gets particularly vile. He has trees as shelter and ad-lib haylage all winter along with 2 bucket feeds a day. In the summer he has absolutely nowt but the grass as he is a very good doer and I like him going into winter rather on the large side as he will come out slightly on the slim side.
 

Brightbay

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Renfrewshire
Mine - ISH type, with a lot of TB, has lived out since I got him aged 4 - he's now 12. He is a good doer and hardy, so only needs to wear a no-fill rug if it rains persistently. Most of the winter he is unrugged. He isn't clipped and grows a dense coat, but I think because he's used to regulating his own temperature, he's fine to ride throughout the winter. The fields have had natural shelter but no built shelters.

His companions over the years have been mainly TBs - all of these wear rugs, although some could probably have managed without, it was just their owners' choice. He is currently living with a cob, a Section A (also unrugged) and two WBs, all of whom winter out.

They stay fitter, don't have wheezes from dusty hay, and have a nice relaxed herd life with lots of pleasant social interaction. I wouldn't have it any other way :)
 

Tnavas

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New Zealand but from UK
Mine lives out 24/7 up rugged. She hates coming in as it always meant diet time. Since moving to her current grazing I've been able to keep her out as we have got the grass down to a sensible length.

She is far happier
 

zaminda

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Somerset
Mine have lived out for years, they are arabs and are much happier out. They have hedge as shelter and are rugged. Have lived with my ex's horses so there are 7 in total, and there are 18 acres. They have haylage in the winter, from end November last year, and were fed once a day.
 

Ceriann

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Mine lived out most of last winter and only ended up coming in overnight for about 6-8 weeks as I started to worry about my older mare coping with the clay bog our land turned into. I have 2 ID crosses who were rugged (one bib clipped so in a full neck) and a coloured cob (rugged for a handful of days only when it rained really badly and the only in a rain coat). They will live out all winter this year as having hard standing sorted this summer - plan is to give them access to this and ad lib hay once weather stars to turn and potentially close them in it overnight or when weather bad. They will have 3 open bays on the hard standing and the hard standing will have access to two paddocks (one will be the main winter paddock of just over 2 acres, which will be rested from next month until winter). Whilst they were happy to be stabled when weather bad last year they prefer to be out and once weather improved my riding mare wouldn't want to come in.
 

Auslander

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Berkshire
One Shire/TB, one T/B, one Danish warmblood - all live out all year round (although the TB mare comes in if its really vile weather) - the Shire/TB and the W/B are fully clipped, and they are all rugged up well, and have ad-lib hay and haylage, plus two feeds a day. i use my old outdoor school when the clay mud gets too awful. I have field shelters, but they don't really use them
 

RacheeRooRoo

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I've got a thoroughbred and a fell pony with three fields (no field shelter). And I'm hoping to have them out as much as possible this winter due to me having a new baby. I do have stables too so if it was a really horrendous night or day I could put them in to keep warm and dry. The fell has always lived out except last winter when I had him stabled on a night and he turned into a nightmare! He's so much more chilled out being out as much as possible. It's just the thoroughbred I worry about however this winter due to probably not riding that often I won't be clipping him.
 

Dizzle

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24 September 2008
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My New Forest winters out, as far as I'm aware she has never spent a winter in and she's 11 now.
 

windand rain

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I have had thoroughbred broodies, warmbloods, natives and arabs all of whom lived out 24/7 unrugged with good stout hedges. My new field is a bit more exposed and the old girl is getting on so this year everything was rugged mostly to keep them dry for riding on a daily basis
 

LittleGinger

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9 March 2012
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Mine are out all the time - 3~ acre field with lots of ad lib hay from about November as by January there is no grass left in their paddock (field is all we have, so is split in half to save some grass for spring). There is a large, tall hedge on one side of the field but no real other shelter so I rug from early on, changing rugs twice a day initially until the weather settles and they can stay in the same ones. My Welsh D needs warmer rugs than my Spanish when we're really into winter - she stays around 250g/300g when it's freezing, but he will go to 450g with a neck. Wimp :D:eek:

I tried to stable Ginger over some of the worst weather last winter (2012), but he kicked up a real fuss and when I tried to open the stable door in driving wind and rain he took himself back up to the field! After that I decided he could just live out all the time!
 

Spring Feather

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North America
All the horses on my farm live out 24/7/365. There's approximately 50 horses and we have all sorts of different breeds here; TBs, WBs, Arabs, AQHAs, mustangs, STBs, draughts, Connemaras; they range in age from foals through to ancient oldies in their 30s; all have access to barns/shelters and almost all of them are rugged. Our temperatures are boiling hot in the summer, going up to +35c and in winter it often goes down to -35c. Horses here all do great and handle the changes in temperatures just fine.
 

Rosiejazzandpia

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I have an arab who lives out 24/7 365 days a year. There is a herd of 13 of them over a lot of land. They have a shelter which she never uses and stone walls with trees. She has gone a decade with no rug and is only rugged now as she is getting on. She has a very thin rug with a thin neck cover. We chuck hay out if the grass is sparse and when it snows. She does the odd hack in winter and I bring her back into work in march april time
 

rowan666

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12 February 2012
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cheshire
All the horses ive got/had have wintered out 24/7 inc arabs, kwpn, lusitano, welsh a,b,c, shire, shitlands, cobs and all bar the current welsh b have prefered being out. They are/were rugged (exept the shitlands) we do have lots natural shelter and a fantastic field shelter. My anglo has lived out his entire life and was never even rugged up in winter till he came to me, he was under weight when i got him but ive seen worse and this winter gone he never needed more than a medium weight on coldest nights (he is always hot! Lol) saddly next winter we are going to trial stabling at night though to try and save the field (wetter weather and more horses= boggy fields! :()
 

Ranyhyn

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Funny farm
I winter mine out, have been two section a's an ISH and now a cob x. They have natural shelter and rugs if required.
 

Rose Folly

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North East Somerset
I do 24/7 turnout livery. Currently 4 horses / ponies (1 TB ex-chaser, 1 Welsh Section D cob, 2 x mini-Shetlands). All winter out. We do have good natural shelter, and 24/ access to a bedded down open fronted barn. The Shetlands go home to their owner's house at night, but the TB and the cob are here all the time. They have very good quality rugs, plenty of good grub, and are the picture of health.
 

mandwhy

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9 July 2008
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Cambridge, UK
I have a Haflinger and a Welsh A who live out year round. The Haflinger is not your typical good doer and needs quite a lot of feed for her type plus rugging seems to keep her happier and I don't find it a problem to do so. The Welsh is a good doer and should be waterproof but isn't really so needs a lightweight in heavy rain, I don't have proper shelters just hedges and winter trees are sparse. They do absolutely fine though and I would happily have any type of horse living out like this.
 
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