Normalizing restricted turnnout ?

Gingerwitch

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No idea why I have just wasted 5 mins if my life reading what I hope is supposed to be a light hearted article and is has riled me. You look at the weather and it's a black cloud so you know your horse will be in again. Your horse has been in fir 2 days and now you live schooling as he does passage when all you want is working trot.
Articles like this in well respected magazines make it sound normal for many. Why do you fo this horse and hound just why ?
 

poiuytrewq

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Because I guess sadly it is normal.
I was chatting to a lady the other day who told me her horse hadn’t been able to be turned out in weeks but it was ok because the y/o told her it was the norm and he’d hate to stand in the cold. She was perfectly accepting and looked at me like I was a head case when I said mine preferred going out everyday.... yes even in the rain!
 

humblepie

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Likewise back in the late 80s, I moved my horse to a yard and they thought I was very odd as I wanted him out daytimes in the winter. He did go out hasten to add. Most of the others were fully clipped, ridden probably 5 days a week and stood in the other days on their days off. It was basically to keep them clean. I think in some ways it has become more normal as more and more land disappears and yards have less and less turn out - or a yard has ample turn out then builds more stables and doesn't so wants to protect their grazing over the winter. Current yard, horses/owners with multiple horses have their own fields and your choice as to what you do.
 

Goldenstar

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When I was young it was normal on many yards for hunters to be in from August to the end of the hunting season .
The village had several houses with stables behind them in fact quite a lot of the houses where like that .
The horses went away to farms at the end of March and came back in August and most did go out .
The first Hunter yard I worked on did turn out hunters twice a week the day after they hunted it was considered very progressive that was in 1977.
 

QuantockHills

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in my teens, I had a pony on loan in the mid 80's at a big yard just outside London.... nothing was turned out between November - March.... it explains now why my mare was so wild when i rode her at the weekends... she used to buck me off most Saturdays before I'd got anywhere near Epping Forest... ! they were all stabled 24/7 during those months and there was no arena....
 

Gingerwitch

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When I was young it was normal on many yards for hunters to be in from August to the end of the hunting season .
The village had several houses with stables behind them in fact quite a lot of the houses where like that .
The horses went away to farms at the end of March and came back in August and most did go out .
The first Hunter yard I worked on did turn out hunters twice a week the day after they hunted it was considered very progressive that was in 1977.
I think for me the issue is that back in the 70's and 80's horses were worked not tickled in the school for 20 mins by someone to scared to canter lol. We used to wear our horses shoes out and 2 hour hacks were a quick ride lol.
 

L&M

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Pasture land is disappearing quickly - the powers that be seem to forget you can't 'make' more land when they accept yet another planning application, and sadly farmers realise their land is worth more for housing than agriculture......

The countryside is disappearing but more and more people want horses, so the only way they can be accommodated is with restricted turnout.

I am so grateful to have our own land - it may only be a few acres but no-one can take it away from us and we can manage it as we like. And we too have too restrict turnout at this time of year - to ensure that the minute the ground dries up in spring our horses then have the luxury of 24/7 turnout, with enough grass to sustain them from mar-oct.

Atm they average 4-7 hrs turnout a day.......we could allow them out more but only to detriment of the land.
 

oldie48

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Probably because they like to write about what people are currently experiencing and many people are having to deal with fresh horses whether or not they are happy to canter in the school Most people who work would struggle to fit in a 2 hour + hack during the week. Actually hacking round here would be pretty dangerous ATM as the lanes have been icy and/or we have a lot of traffic because our flood gates are closed. Rose came back into work following four days of hand walking and I was very glad that S was aboard and not me so anyone dealing with a fresh horse has my sympathy.
 

Goldenstar

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I think for me the issue is that back in the 70's and 80's horses were worked not tickled in the school for 20 mins by someone to scared to canter lol. We used to wear our horses shoes out and 2 hour hacks were a quick ride lol.
You are correct those horses worked and they where cared for in a very traditional way they where ridden every day and would get walked out in the sea the day after hunting .
You would often meet people leading them out in hand round the village in the early evening .
I could work a horse at night in the dark if the tide was right .
 

Lindylouanne

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None of the horses at the riding school I helped at as a teenager in the 70’s turned anything out and when I moved to Germany they thought I was odd because I wanted turnout. It was so limited I rode 6 days a week for hours in the forest and surrounding countryside and thought nothing of hacking 6 miles to a lesson and then hacking home again. Now my two get turned out daily but if they have to stay in because the field is so wet they get hacked out for a couple of hours to compensate for standing in.
 

Lipglosspukka

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Very sad though isn't it. The riding school I started in (only some 18 years ago) had horses who were never turned out. Never. They never saw a field. Very rarely they got to run loose in the school. They also never hacked. They just went from stable to school and back.

I wouldn't personally keep a horse if I could not at least offer him half of his day at grass.
 

TheMule

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I understand pressure on land, but then we have to find better solutions than shutting a naturally very active herd animal in a small box for 23hours a day. Stables with an outdoor pen, group housing in barns, increased provision of all weather turnout pens etc should all be prioritized as better solutions.
Mine have the set up below overnight at the moment as the land has been so wet. It cost less than stables to put in and doesn’t take up that much more space. Yes it's not a spotless, beautifully swept concrete Instagramable stable block, but it does contain very content horses!
29D025C2-1FBA-498F-BAB2-934A80B7B82D.jpeg
 

ycbm

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I think for me the issue is that back in the 70's and 80's horses were worked not tickled in the school for 20 mins by someone to scared to canter lol. We used to wear our horses shoes out and 2 hour hacks were a quick ride lol.

This isn't true of everywhere GW. In the mid 80s where I talked about, many horses were exercised during the week by the yard who did only 30 minutes around a block of roads on them. From November to hay crop.
 

Leandy

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Because it is a perfectly normal way of keeping horses. In yonder years horses in full work would be kept in (fully), with a rest at grass (fully) at the end of the season. In recent years the views that even a working stabled horse needs some turnout every day, and that horses can live fully out and still be in full work and that many horses would ideally live somewhere in between has become more prevalent. Most leisure horses no longer get enough exercise to permit them to be fully stabled without becoming unrideable so need turn out. And of course there are those who promote turnout as essential every single day with religious fervour. I would like my horses to have some balance in their lives over the year, so I'm not going to promote living in 24/7 as a good permanent way of life, it is however normal and perfectly acceptable for a period of time for whatever reason, including that the fields will otherwise turn into the Somme. Personally I would rather keep good grazing and restrict time out, so that they have decent grass to browse on and behave naturally when they do go out and not just stand bored in a bare dusty or muddy paddock which to my mind is as virtually as bad as standing in 24/7.
 

Gingerwitch

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My current yard has the balance right. We have plenty of grass, the fields are rotated, yes we have mud at the gateways, but we are so lucky many of our fields are on gentle hills. The yard changes the routine to suit the horses and fields, so when we had the awful ice the horses went out for a couple of hours whilst chores were done, then came in and were hayed etc. Yard text the owners to say what was happening so we could opt to ride or have them on the walker later in the day.
Summer they go out apart from the hottest part of the day, usually they come in at 11 and are back out for 3pm. They even put sun cream on the noses for you.
Soon as the September mists start and the horses start standing to come in we look to change over back to winter turn out but they go out between 7 and 8am and come in between 4 and 5pm, as the weather gets worse they come in 3pm til 4pm, and in the worst of the weather come in at 2ish. But they do go out every single day - unless its to dangerous for horse or handler to turn out.
 

oldie48

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My current yard has the balance right. We have plenty of grass, the fields are rotated, yes we have mud at the gateways, but we are so lucky many of our fields are on gentle hills. The yard changes the routine to suit the horses and fields, so when we had the awful ice the horses went out for a couple of hours whilst chores were done, then came in and were hayed etc. Yard text the owners to say what was happening so we could opt to ride or have them on the walker later in the day.
Summer they go out apart from the hottest part of the day, usually they come in at 11 and are back out for 3pm. They even put sun cream on the noses for you.
Soon as the September mists start and the horses start standing to come in we look to change over back to winter turn out but they go out between 7 and 8am and come in between 4 and 5pm, as the weather gets worse they come in 3pm til 4pm, and in the worst of the weather come in at 2ish. But they do go out every single day - unless its to dangerous for horse or handler to turn out.
Gosh you are so fortunate, most people are not so lucky. Your first sentence says it all, "We have plenty of grass" sadly in most areas that is a very expensive commodity. Don't move you've struck gold but equally have some sympathy for many people on livery who's YO is struggling to make a living. I know several and it's a very tough life balancing the amount of grass they have with the amount of money they can charge and therefore the number of horses they need to have to make a profit. Many do not even make the minimum wage but they still run good yards where the horses are looked after well and clients are well supported but they are not able to offer guaranteed winter turnout (but they do their best).
 

HorseMaid

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I'm really, really very lucky to share a place with my friend which is essentially space in an elderly farmer's barn (which we have made a post and rail stable set up in but never actually used) and two fields of about 3.5 acres each. We pay a pittance for it and I'm dreading what will happen if anything ever happens to the farmer.

As a child growing up in the Midlands in the 90's, almost all of the horses at the riding schools I frequented lived out, with only the "posh" horses spending any length of time stabled. To me at least it has always been the norm for a horse to spend the majority of its life living out, it suits our horses who are hacked for a couple of hours several times a week.

Where I live it seems most of the bigger livery yards restrict turnout at the very least as the norm. I know my horse wouldn't cope but also that places like where we are are incredibly thin on the ground.
 

SEL

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When I was a kid in the 70s / early 80s all the ponies lived out. We then got posted to Germany where turnout was non existent in winter and i spent most of my time hanging on grimly to avoid getting splatted by hot mini warmbloods.

As an adult there was always lots of turnout until I moved to the south east where land is earmarked for housing and horses are getting squeezed out sadly. Horses in for months on end wasn't something I grew up with and i really dislike it.
 

Winters100

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I think for me the issue is that back in the 70's and 80's horses were worked not tickled in the school for 20 mins by someone to scared to canter lol. We used to wear our horses shoes out and 2 hour hacks were a quick ride lol.
Exactly. Mine are out every day, but still they need work, and I don't mean half an hour in the arena in walk, trot and slow canter. They need to be tried after work. I often hear 'oh you do work them hard' (real meaning 'you work them too hard'), but they need to be fit to feel good, and while they are in hard work I can feed ad-lib hay even to the good-doer, which I feel is much the healthiest solution for them.
 

Odyssey

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I'm doing a certificate in Equine Science at the moment and the module is on horse behaviour and one of the instructors just posted this https://thehorse.com/197128/a-grumpy-horse-in-the-stall-is-probably-grumpy-when-ridden/
What sprang to mind for me is that apart from the horses being understandably depressed and stressed from being kept in all the time, their behaviour when ridden sounds like they could have ulcers, which are obviously partly caused by stress. I hate how full time stabling is considered acceptable/the norm in some countries. Poor horses. 😢
 

Sussexbythesea

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Exactly. Mine are out every day, but still they need work, and I don't mean half an hour in the arena in walk, trot and slow canter. They need to be tried after work. I often hear 'oh you do work them hard' (real meaning 'you work them too hard'), but they need to be fit to feel good, and while they are in hard work I can feed ad-lib hay even to the good-doer, which I feel is much the healthiest solution for them.
Surely you only need to ride a horse as hard as it needs to keep it fit enough for what you want it to do? You don’t work it hard just for the sake of it? Why do they ‘need’ to be tired? I ride for my own pleasure.
As long as it’s not really awful weather my younger one is hacked 5 days a week and maybe lunged once and my oldie hacked 4 days a week. They don’t need to be eventing or hunting fit to do that.
 

splashgirl45

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in my youth, in the 60's and 70's i worked part time at a riding school which had no turnout the school horses did 2 or 3 hours a day tues to fri and 4 hours on sat and sunday. they all had mondays off and stayed in their stables unless they were being mucked out. when i got my first horse i rode for just over an hour in the winter evenings and 2 hours in the summer evenings and he was ridden for 2 or 3 hours on sat and i took 3 of the rides on sunday with him so i also gave him mondays off. he did get turned out for a month in the summer while i went on holiday for 2 weeks and i used to graze him in hand as much as i could as there was a grassy area at the bottom of the road, after a while i moved him to a friends place and he was out every day... i didnt know any better at the beginning and the horses all seemed content ..i would hate to keep any horse like that now ..
 

ycbm

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Surely you only need to ride a horse as hard as it needs to keep it fit enough for what you want it to do? You don’t work it hard just for the sake of it? Why do they ‘need’ to be tired? I ride for my own pleasure.
As long as it’s not really awful weather my younger one is hacked 5 days a week and maybe lunged once and my oldie hacked 4 days a week. They don’t need to be eventing or hunting fit to do that.
I completely agree, and mine are not "fit" these days.

On the other hand, I have quite a problem watching horses suddenly taken out on a pleasure ride four times as long as they usually do, drag hunted after doing almost nothing during the week, clinics where they are ridden two or three times over two or three days when they normally get ridden for no more than an hour three times a week.

We seem to have lost sight of the guideline that in order to avoid injury, an athlete should have done a minimum of 67% in training of what they do in an event, which I personally think applies to horses as much as humans.
 
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