Monday, July 14, 2014

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Unpopular


L. Williams of Viva Carlos fame asks: What is one unpopular horsey opinion you have?

My unpopular point of view? Horses are creatures best suited to living outdoors. I firmly believe that horses are happiest and healthiest when they live as they evolved to: grazing constantly over a relatively large area. 

Obviously there are exceptions to this: a previously foundered horse does not need to be on green grass all day. Clipped horses need blankets in the winter. Horses that don't regulate their body temperatures well may need to be stalled with a fan during the summer. But I am an advocate of letting horses live as horses: outside, on a pasture, in some kind of herd, all the time.

Moe and Gina have lived their entire lives with me in this fashion. Currently, they are turned out 24/7 (except to eat, and unless they're injured) on a 20 acre pasture with 6 other horses. They do not get stalled if it's raining. They do not get stalled if it's cold. They both grow big, furry, fluffy coats and only get blanketed in very extreme cold and wind. (For example, last winter, they were blanketed when the wind chill was below zero.) 

I butted heads with my boss at the therapeutic riding center over this constantly: she wanted the horses blanketed constantly, brought it when rain was forecasted, taken off pastures when it was hot for fear they wouldn't drink any water. At my current barn, I encountered a woman who'd left her horse in all day last Thursday because it was raining. She said he didn't want to get wet. He looked to me like he wanted to be let out.

4 comments:

SheMovedtoTexas said...

Love a lot of turnout. Simon does best in a stall for some of the day, but generally I agree with you.

Stephanie said...

You definitely have to do what's best for you horse! I just can't handle the attitude some people have that's like "Oh precious ponypants is a special snowflake who has to be stalled because OMG RAINDROP ON HIS NOSE". Because it's a horse. It lives outside and sometimes rolls in its own poop.

agifthorse said...

I love the convenience of having a stall IF I need one. But my mare does so much better outside 24/7 where she can act like a horse. I understand every situation is different, but in my case the pasture is the place to be! :)

Karley said...

I wish we had more turn out... I would love Henry to have a majority of the day out. I do make a point to get him turned out or ridden every day though :)

The 'pasture' at my barn is not something id consider cause I've heard to many horror stories of situations that happen out there :(

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