How well do horses cope with a big change in routine?

celia

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Hi, this might be a daft question but just wanted some opinions please! My sister is hopefully buying (subject to vetting) a welsh pony who is currently stabled most of the day. Once we have her she'll be out 24/7 as a stable for her won't be available for a month or so. I know she'll be fine out all the time but was wondering how she'll cope with the sudden change from stabled most of the time to permanantly out in the field. I'm pretty sure she'll be fine - probably won't be bothered at all - so perhaps this is a slightly pointless post but am just looking for reassurance really.
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Sooty

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She should be fine, especially as she is a native type - they are bred to live out. However, if she has been in she may not have started to grow much of a coat, so you may need to rug her if it gets very wet before she has grown one. Next year won't be a problem at all. Fingers crossed it all works out for you!
 

warmbloodcrazy

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I'm sure she'll be fine don't you worry! As long as you take into account that she'll need rugging up as she's not used to being out on cold nights but other than that she'll probably really enjoy being able to stretch her legs and munch on grass as she chooses. Shes a hardier breed so she should adapt well, good luck with her

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AmyMay

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Agree with Sooty.

However, you will need to be very careful about what grazing you put her on. You don't want colic, and you don't want laminitis.
 

celia

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Thank you! Reading it back I seem a bit silly but she's our first 'proper' horse (have had them on loan before) and want to make sure everything's fine for her!

Amymay - thank you for the advice - she'll be going into a field that's been grazed all summer and we'll be keeping a careful eye on her!
 

AmyMay

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Your post didn't seem silly at all. It was a very sensible question.

Out of interest - why was she stabled for much of the time??
 

celia

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She's been used in a riding school for the past couple of months where they don't have a lot of turn out. They have liveries there as well who get priority for what they do have so most of the school horses are only out a couple of hours a day. It's not ideal and I do feel sorry for them but they're well looked after and obviously get quite a bit of exercise in lessons and on hacks.
 

H's mum

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The only thing I would be wary about is how her system would cope with being turned out 24/7 - if she's been stabled her digestive tract won't be used to the amount of grass she's going to get 24/7 - also check that she hasn't been on restricted grazing due to being prone to laminitis or colic - it may be better to gradually increase the time spent at grass, extending it slowly so that her system gets used to it?
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celia

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Thanks - will definitely check about that. We are hoping to increase her turnout gradually but due to the arrangement with the livery yard this might not be possible. It has two stables free but these are being kept for someone (although she hasn't got back in touch yet so they could still be available) and another two - one of which will be ours - are being built within the next month or so. Hopefully the two original stables will still be empty when she arrives so we can use that until she's used to being out more. They might also be able to gradually increase her time out at her current home so either way we'll be making sure it's not a completely sudden change!
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Ginn

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She'll be fine. Tilly, my stressy little tb, has undergone lots of very big changes recently and she has managed brilliantly.
 

airedale

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watch out for laminitis - it's the autumn flush on the grass now and it's a pony - piggy and greedy - personally I wouldn't chance it
 

OWLIE185

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The people who previously owned my horse bought it out of a riding school where there was limited grazing if any and had it delivered to there farm where it was let loose (with no intention of being caught again). Luckily there where already horses kept on their farm so they could get some good advice. The biggest problem they had was that the horse had been ridden in the school about 8 hours a day 6 days per week.

If you want to be on the safe side you will want to change your new horses routine very gradually. Initially only out for the same time as she was before and then over two weeks one hour more a day. You must also remember that in a riding school this horse will have been regularly ridden several hours a day and that you are unlikely to ride the horse as much. Find out exactly what she was fed each day (Hardfood and hay) and then cut it down.

If you have any problems at all call in your vet.

You could also consider keeping the new horse in a small area by using electric fencing.
 

celia

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Thanks for the advice. She has actually been ridden very little for the past few weeks as it was decided that she wasn't suitable for the school and was put up for sale. We'll be sure to make any changes as gradual as possible!
 
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