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December 13, 2008

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funder

That's possibly the draftiess picture you've ever posted of D. That's probably not a word, but it should be! Better than "illustrative of his draft horse heritage." His legs are set so closely together!

Interesting thoughts about the long-term effects of living out in harsh weather versus living in a barn. Hopefully you can dig up some info about the issue.

funder

That's possibly the draftiess picture you've ever posted of D. That's probably not a word, but it should be! Better than "illustrative of his draft horse heritage." His legs are set so closely together!

Interesting thoughts about the long-term effects of living out in harsh weather versus living in a barn. Hopefully you can dig up some info about the issue.

funder

That's possibly the draftiess picture you've ever posted of D. That's probably not a word, but it should be! Better than "illustrative of his draft horse heritage." His legs are set so closely together!

Interesting thoughts about the long-term effects of living out in harsh weather versus living in a barn. Hopefully you can dig up some info about the issue.

jme

it sounds like the horses are appreciative of their comfy accommodations, and maybe after a life of had work it's just what they need.

i often wonder about inside vs. outside as well. my horses are all stabled at night now, mostly because it's easier for me with my frantic schedule to care for them all in one spot. but in the past i've had horses living out, i've seen really good results - and i live in upstate new york.

i had one horse who, in retrospect, probably had a severe case of chronic Lyme Disease, back before vets were willing to diagnose it in horses, and he had become very stiff in his joints and developed a condition where he would refuse to lay down (he was spobably too sore and maybe had trouble getting back up), but would fall asleep on his feet and crash to the ground. he had destroyed his knees and ankles in the process, and in his stall had almost strangled himself on his stall guard one day. we decided to try letting him live out where at least he'd be less likely to hurt himself when he fell. after a few days out, he had begun to lay down to sleep again, he stopped collapsing, his knees improved and he generally seemed happier and healthier. after that he never wanted to come back inside. so i am convinced living out prolonged his life...

also, an ex-racehorse that belonged to a student of mine had started to develop arthritis in her hocks and would be very stiff coming out of her stall to work, requiring a good 20 minutes of warm-up or the mare would go into bucking fits. so we turned her out and her condition improved, the inflammation went away and she came sound (much to the surprise of the vet who thought she'd have to be fused or retired.)

there have been others who seemed to thrive outside as well. so i've seen it do good things for some horses, and i have three in my barn right now that i literally have to drag in at the end of the day who hate staying in at night. but i have others who run up to the gate and can't wait to come in, and seem to really enjoy sleeping in their stalls with their heads resting on their banks, so maybe it's just the preference of the individual horse?

i love straw too, but finding a good supply that isn't moldy or dusty here is difficult. and i don't have draining floors, so it's really not practical for me. i use wood shavings.

if they are eating their beds, you might try the haylage nets for their hay (the ones with the very small holes.) that stopped my horse, as it took him all night to finish his hay ration (rather than the usual 1/2 hour) so he didn't have a reason to think about the straw. plus, you can hang them lower than regular nets without worrying about getting feet stuck in them :-)

jme

it sounds like the horses are appreciative of their comfy accommodations, and maybe after a life of had work it's just what they need.

i often wonder about inside vs. outside as well. my horses are all stabled at night now, mostly because it's easier for me with my frantic schedule to care for them all in one spot. but in the past i've had horses living out, i've seen really good results - and i live in upstate new york.

i had one horse who, in retrospect, probably had a severe case of chronic Lyme Disease, back before vets were willing to diagnose it in horses, and he had become very stiff in his joints and developed a condition where he would refuse to lay down (he was spobably too sore and maybe had trouble getting back up), but would fall asleep on his feet and crash to the ground. he had destroyed his knees and ankles in the process, and in his stall had almost strangled himself on his stall guard one day. we decided to try letting him live out where at least he'd be less likely to hurt himself when he fell. after a few days out, he had begun to lay down to sleep again, he stopped collapsing, his knees improved and he generally seemed happier and healthier. after that he never wanted to come back inside. so i am convinced living out prolonged his life...

also, an ex-racehorse that belonged to a student of mine had started to develop arthritis in her hocks and would be very stiff coming out of her stall to work, requiring a good 20 minutes of warm-up or the mare would go into bucking fits. so we turned her out and her condition improved, the inflammation went away and she came sound (much to the surprise of the vet who thought she'd have to be fused or retired.)

there have been others who seemed to thrive outside as well. so i've seen it do good things for some horses, and i have three in my barn right now that i literally have to drag in at the end of the day who hate staying in at night. but i have others who run up to the gate and can't wait to come in, and seem to really enjoy sleeping in their stalls with their heads resting on their banks, so maybe it's just the preference of the individual horse?

i love straw too, but finding a good supply that isn't moldy or dusty here is difficult. and i don't have draining floors, so it's really not practical for me. i use wood shavings.

if they are eating their beds, you might try the haylage nets for their hay (the ones with the very small holes.) that stopped my horse, as it took him all night to finish his hay ration (rather than the usual 1/2 hour) so he didn't have a reason to think about the straw. plus, you can hang them lower than regular nets without worrying about getting feet stuck in them :-)

White Horse Pilgrim

Funder: yes, he does look like a draught horse. Clearly, when I bought him, I had forgotten the adage to look for a wide chest and legs well apart so that there would be plenty of space for heart and lungs.

jme: these are very good points, thank you. I wouldn't hesitate to leave a horse out in England provided that he has a field shelter. However I did wonder about the freezing temperatures in Transylvania. It seemed like a difficult place to create an optimum environment for horses, unless one had a lot of space and money. Britain is easier, except that in this area land is at a premium, and I am (like most other horse owners) the odd million short of being able to buy a house with good grazing in South Oxfordshire.

My two don't hesitate to come in for food. They also like to lie in the straw to sleep, and snore away merrily. There is also a splendid Arabian stallion at the barn who really isn't interested in being out if there is no grass to eat, as now in winter. However in summer all of them like to be out all the time.

The suggestion to use a narrow mesh hay net is a good one, and I shall look out for some. It is useful that they can't get their feet into such small mesh.

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