Retirement turnout WWYD?

splash30

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 September 2009
Messages
540
I need some perspective, and some non emotionally linked opinions. Which you guys are great with.
Scenario- my amazing fabulous horse is broken, wont stand up to work any more, but is sound, very happy, fluffy and enjoying retirement but is on livery. This is no problem financially or any issue with him.
The one draw back is it is a competition yard and they only go out for half a day, whilst he was working hard & competing no issues.
Still no issues with routine as we have been there for years but he is in more than out, which now is concerning me (not him, he is happy as a pig in sh...) and coming into winter will reduce in length of time.
Friend tonight announced she is looking for a companion for her horse which is retired and out in the field.
My dilemma- do I consider it? It would be a huge change.
The main worry - my boy has never been out out and is the biggest pansy going. He is roughed off & not rugged currently, but is in a very set routine which he loves and is king of the yard.
Am I mad at this time of year to think about it (there is a shelter and natural trees etc). Its on sand so minimal grass which is perfect as can be a fatty.
I'm actually quite emotional thinking about it but I'm not sure if its because I wouldn't see him every day as I do now (he would be checked/fed etc daily)
Someone give me a reality check and what you would do.
 

paddi22

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 December 2010
Messages
4,974
yeah def give it a go! If it doesn't work you can always try something different. But having seen tons of friends retire horses to grass livery, every single one has absolutely loved it and coped fine once rugged, sheltered and fed properly. As he ages it won't be great for his health or body to be kept in so much with no work. He will be much better moving around 24/7
 

splash30

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 September 2009
Messages
540
I would only see him at weekends. I have my other one at the yard and keeping a space wouldn't be an issue.
He is very high maintenance, but this could be boredom with current set up, and being out and with others would solve it, as he wouldn't be reliant on me for entertainment.
 

Bambelina

Active Member
Joined
17 February 2020
Messages
43
to be honest I would give it a go! I obviously don’t know him at all but I bet there’s a chance he would adapt really well! And as it’s with a friend I assume you will still have the peace of mind that he is being well cared for when he is being checked over, fed etc! I know from the experience of turning my mare out for a year for my own pregnancy it’s not easy, but it’s been much harder for me (going from seeing her every day usually twice without fail to maybe 4/5 times a week) than it is for her (I honestly get the impression she isn’t bothered in the slightest haha)
 

Cob Life

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 December 2019
Messages
416
I would only see him at weekends. I have my other one at the yard and keeping a space wouldn't be an issue.
He is very high maintenance, but this could be boredom with current set up, and being out and with others would solve it, as he wouldn't be reliant on me for entertainment.
Then I’d give it a go! If he doesn’t like it then you can move him back to his old routine but you may also find he loves living out with some friends
 

Red-1

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 February 2013
Messages
10,577
Location
Yorkshire
Sounds like a good idea, but will he be on his own when the other horse is worked? Is he OK with that scenario? Also, is the other friend likely to want him long term (as in, is the place as secure as a livery yard)?

If all that is OK, I wold give it a try, but retain the stable for a week or so until you are happy it is working.
 

little_critter

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 June 2009
Messages
3,186
Sounds like a good idea, but will he be on his own when the other horse is worked? Is he OK with that scenario? Also, is the other friend likely to want him long term (as in, is the place as secure as a livery yard)?

If all that is OK, I wold give it a try, but retain the stable for a week or so until you are happy it is working.
I read it that friends horse is also retired. But I may have misunderstood.
if you have no problem keeping a place at your current yard I’d try it. Your horse may love it, or the two horses may not get along (but at least then you’ll know that he’s ok to be out out, it’s just the company he didn’t like) but a trial would be the way to find out.
 

Starzaan

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 January 2010
Messages
3,277
I would give it a go, but keep your space just in case. I speak from experience - I turned one of mine away for the winter and it turns out he’s a total princess. He ended up lasting three months of the winter before he needed to come back in and we had to give up 😂
 

Goldenstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 March 2011
Messages
37,067
In recent years I have had one that comes out ( a TB ) although he needs to be rugged he lives away from me with a friend and still hacks but loves the life .
The other ,Fatty completely hated it became miserable and lost his spark I started to stable again with turnout and he was back to his normal self .
You will have to try ideally I would not have started now i would keep your space or have another plan for a stable if it does not work out .
 

Trouper

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 May 2015
Messages
877
Winter may not be the best time to start this although I, too, think out is better than in. Can you leave where he is for the winter (and accept that you lose the friend's grazing) and research other retirement livery over the winter where he may have more company to "entertain" him and a gentler introduction to the total outdoor life thro' next Spring and Summer?
 

fusspot

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 September 2011
Messages
344
I totally think that for your horse it would be a good idea especially as not much turnout at current yard but, I think I would wait until the spring.If your horse is happy then I would not be assured that he would be happy suddenly being put out full time when everything is getting cold and wet.
I have a big mare that had to be retired at 8 yers old...she loved being out and was a pain if not out by 9am but always came in for the night.Somebody brought their horse to us for 24/7 turnout and I agreed that my mare would be best suited to it too but never had one in the past to try with.They got turned out 24/7 from mid September and by mid November she hated it and since then she is now one of the first to want in and now wants in by mid afternoon...whereas before she would happily stay out and mooch...no chance now.
If your friend doesn’t have a space in the Spring,I would look at a proper retirement home,I have 4 friends who have all sent one to a certain one and all rave about it and how well looked after etc....but again would do it in the spring to allow for nicer weather and longer days to adjust.
 
Joined
14 January 2020
Messages
275
Don't necessarily take this offer just because it has come up. It sounds as though the current set up isn't the best for a retired horse (and you don't want to start worrying about arthritis etc from standing in so much) but surely there's a a compromise? If it were me I'd start actively looking for a yard with full day winter turnout, closer to home/the other yard so you can still him as often as you want. And wait for the right one to come up- it sounds like he's happy where he is, so there's no need to rush into anything.
 

DressageCob

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 December 2011
Messages
1,243
I personally wouldn't do it. If the horse is happy where he is (and you say he is, he's "king of the yard", loves his routine etc) I wouldn't feel right changing that. Especially if he has never lived out before. It works for some, granted. But I would be very reluctant to impose such a fundamental change in lifestyle on any older horse of mine, especially one who thrives in his current routine.

one of mine lives out 24/7, so when his retirement time comes he wouldn't have to change his lifestyle, so long as he is comfortable and able to cope with the herd. And if he couldn't cope then the vet would have to come. My other one lives in and goes out for a few hours. He wouldn't take to full time turnout. He likes his warm stable, his feeds, the people saying hello as they walk past, fuss and attention. If he ever retired his routine would have to stay the same. It wouldn't be fair to him otherwise.
 

annagain

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 December 2008
Messages
11,553
I'm sort of facing the same thing - my old boy is doing his first winter as a retiree this year. He's out 24/7 (with the whole yard) at the moment but will have to come in overnight through the winter. Emotionally/ mentally he'll cope with it just fine and he's easy to manage but I'm worried about him stiffening up overnight. He wasn't too bad last year but was pretty awful the winter before. We injected the coffin joint which made a big difference but when that wore off this summer, we did it again but the second had no effect. There's a retirement livery I could send him to where he could live out but it's over an hour away in a direction I rarely go so I'd struggle to see him and I'd feel too much like I was packing him off now he's no longer useful. He's also very attached to another old boy at the yard (who is still ridden). His owner and I have a vague plan that Arch can keep going long enough so that when one has to go, they can both go together so one won't have to cope without the other.

The difference between Arch and your boy however is he will still get at least 12 hours out every day which I feel is enough to justify him staying as long as he stays as sound as he is now. Arch is also 25+. You don't mention how old your boy is but I think I'd feel differently about Arch having a 'job' - even one as a companion - if he was younger.

I wouldn't worry about now being the wrong time to do it - if it was January, it would be different but it's only the autumn and he's going to have to face his first transition to wintering out at some point, whether it's this year or next.
 

pansymouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 May 2012
Messages
2,627
Location
Amesbury, Wiltshire
The biggest diva high maintenance horse I have ever know was retired due it kissing spines. He took to being roughed off and leading a low human contact life in small group of similarly retired horses like to duck to water. In almost everyway is was happier and healthier than he'd ever been.
 

Lady Jane

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2019
Messages
163
It does depend on your horse but my pampered prince loves it. He has free access to a barn which he uses a lot in the winter as he doesn't like being wet (he is well rugged in the winter). If you've got a standard field shelter then the horses do need to get on well as they will be in close proximity. I would also want emergency access to stabling as you just never know. In the right place with the right care I think most horses are happy. As others have said, spring is a better time. Where do you live?
 

splash30

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 September 2009
Messages
540
Thank you all for you comments, its a good mix.
I'm still torn, he is only 11 at diagnosis the vet said put him down, but it's so hard when he is now sound, comfy and very happy, bouncing around. He just wont stand up to any work.
I am in Surrey, its something I said I would never do putting a horse on retirement livery.
All my past horses I have been very pragmatic but this horse has completely got to me and owes me nothing with what he has done for me and won in his career.
I spoke to my yard owner with the dilemma (she knows me well) and she said he would be allowed to have more turnout over winter (she has a massive soft spot for him) so I might keep him as is over the winter and see what spring looks like and his comfort levels.
 
Top