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Stabled vs 24/7 Turnout for arthritic mare

Joined
8 April 2020
Messages
3
As above really...

My 20yo Welsh D mare has arthritis in her spine. It’s not that advanced yet, and is under constant review and management by the vet.
She is currently on a yard where she is in during the day and turned out overnight from April - October. In the winter months, she is out in the day and in over night.

I’m not really happy at the current yard (but that’s another story!!) and I have the opportunity to move her to a field to share with a friends gelding. But, this field has no shelter (other than natural from trees etc), no option to stable. I’m worried that the winter might be too harsh for her to be out 24/7, but then I also know that many arthritic horses do better on 24/7 turnout!

Opinions/experiences/advice gratefully recieved!!!
 

Auslander

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I have 5 that live out 24/7, all of which have some degree of arthritis, and all of whom are sports horse types, rather than hardy natives. They are all a million times better out. The two senior boys have a shelter, but the only use it for shade in summer, and to wee in!
 

Bellaboo18

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I'd much rather an arthritic horse was out 24/7.

A couple of things I'd want to know.

Does your friends gelding leave the field (would your mare be left alone at all?)

Is the field susceptible to flooding? Just thinking of winter.
 

milliepops

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My arthritic one has got a lot sounder since moving to 24/7 turnout. She doesn't get a look in at the actual shelter, but there is plenty of natural shelter in our field plus she has rugs if they are needed. I think it's the best way for oldies.
 

splashgirl45

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suffolk
a stable or shelter would be nice but as long as there is good shelter you can always rug her in the winter. why not try it now in the good weather and see how she gets on with the gelding and having no stable. for me it wouldnt be ideal as i like to have the option of somewhere dry to take rug off and groom and check all over but as you are not completely happy at your current yard may be good to move...
 

SEL

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Mine got a lot worse last winter when the fields got so wet he had to come in over night. Hoping to keep him and his girls out for as long as possible this year.
 

HashRouge

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Manchester
My 27 yr old has been living out since late 2012 and it has been much the best thing for her. She's surprisingly sound still considering how arthritic she is. We have done most of that with natural shelter only, though about 18 months ago I told my YO I would be looking for somewhere with stables as I felt she was starting to find the winters a little hard. Luckily my YO took on a new, small yard with stables and space for just my two, so we did have access to stables last winter. They didn't spend many nights in, but it was nice to have the option, especially considering how wet it was. However, I think this is a question of age and possibly breed (Arab). A 20 yr old Welsh I would have no concerns living out so long as there is decent natural shelter. I have a 17 yr old Welsh D living with my Arab and he doesn't wear a rug even in the worst weather, and only comes in at night to keep her company. He'd rather stay out but they won't be apart and it is the lesser of two evils to have him in from time to time rather than her out in horrendous weather.
 

tankgirl1

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My mare has just been diagnosed with arthritis. I have access to 24/7 turnout over summer, but with the grass going mad I am bringing her in either overnight or during the day. Last thing she needs is to become obese or develop lami 😕
 

meleeka

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My old mare does better in at night during the winter with her legs bandaged if it’s wet. She has very skinny legs, so that probably has a lot to do with it.
my old gelding stays out with shelter and he’s far better like that.
if it were me I’d like a shelter. You can then use it as a temporary stable if needed. You can build one yourself for a few hundred pounds so it doesn’t have to be anything special. A friend built one out of pallets so the only cost was the lining and roof.
I’d worry about no proper shelter if the weather was as wet as we had last year. Mine have a hardstanding area too so they can have hay without the earth under them turning to a bog.
 

MiniMilton

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31 March 2013
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Ireland
I was always a firm believer that the arthritic ones should be out 24/7... Until this year! My 29 year old horse found this winter tough. This spring he looked so dreadful that I decided to keep him in every night, well fed and with a big bed. He hasn't had a stiff step, he looks amazing and he appreciates being in at night now. He is out 14 hours a day though.
 
Joined
8 April 2020
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3
Thanks everyone for the advice!
I have no idea what the field is like in the winter, beither does she as she’s only been there a few months! I have seen it with 3 horses on a few winters ago and it was bery muddy - one of my major concerns.
The field she’s turned out in current yard also gets quite boggy at the bottom as is on a slope with poor drainage, but at least she comes in and gets some respite over night. @meleeka that’s my concern too, especially if it gets so cold again this year!
She looked so bad this spring :( she lost so much weight over winter that i’m worried about her being out 24/7 - but I know there’s good and bad to both situations! She’s quite happy where she is, It’s more selfish reasons for moving her I guess! Which probably isn’t fair on her!
 
Joined
8 April 2020
Messages
3
I was always a firm believer that the arthritic ones should be out 24/7... Until this year! My 29 year old horse found this winter tough. This spring he looked so dreadful that I decided to keep him in every night, well fed and with a big bed. He hasn't had a stiff step, he looks amazing and he appreciates being in at night now. He is out 14 hours a day though.
The good thing about my current yard is unrestricted turnout - so even in winter she gets a decent time out. It’s an ideal place for her really, it’s my personal issues that make me want to move!
 

MagicMelon

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6 November 2004
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Definately I would go for the field, I think all horses should be out 24/7 but especially anything older. Can you lay some hardcore down, pop a movable shelter on top and put enough hardcore around it / out the front to be able to put a ring feeder for hay? Then the horse can stand out of the mud to eat and has dry shelter?
 
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