I want your answers, my dear readers! What do you do for turnout?
Recently, I have been perplexed with people's choice of turnout for their horses and judged quite harshly for mine. I'm simply wondering what everyone in the blogging community does and why they do so, because I am curious to hear the answers!
I have seen every type of turnout there is, and the effect of each. What drives me crazy is the people who think there is one formula that works for every horse, no matter the situation, which is totally not true!
For example: My horses-past and present
In the fall/winter, he goes out during the day, and stays in at night. During the summer/spring, I flip it. Several reasons why he is only on half days, but still goes outside for at least 12 hours. I tried the 24/7 turnout but because he lived almost 4 years of his life 100% of the time in a stall, he found being outside too hard of a transition. Even now, if he is out all day, he paces the gate halfway through, wanting to come in. He needs to be outside, but doesn't like it all the time-which is what works for him.
In the summer, I keep him in during the day because he is a big baby and hates the sun as much as I do. Also, for cosmetic reasons, sunburn. He is quite happy hanging in his stall in front of 2 fans all day, and going out when it is cooler. In winter, I flip it, because again, he is a baby and hates being out at night when the temperature drops.
I feel extremely guilty keeping him in for more than 10 hours, so even if he is injured or he can;t go ot at night because of storms, I open his door so he can stretch his legs in a paddock. This system works for us!
This guy was always outside, but always had the option of an open stall to come in if he wanted. He was literally terrified of black mats, so stalls weren't his favorite thing, even with deep bedding. Even in summer, he was quite happy hanging out outside. I wish I had photos of when miss Dolly would be in her shaded stall with a fan, while Spirit hung out right out by her door, in the sun, happy as could be. Sometimes in winter I stalled him if it was really cold or icy because he would fall in ice and had a hard time maintaining weight when it was cold, but otehrwise he was blanketed and outside in winter.
What I don't understand is people who leave horses out 24/7 even in 110 degree heat when they obviously are miserable from heat and flies. Bring the poor horses in! When they are at the gate, begging, tormented by flies and dripping in sweat! Blows my mind that some people think horses are ALWAYS happier when they are out. Yes, horses are meant to be outside, but sometimes they need to come in. I vowed I would never keep Yankee inside more than 12 hours because horses weere meant to roam about. But when the elements are too extreme and they are suffering, obviously something needs to be done. Am I crazy or do you guys agree?
Also, I will NEVER get those crazy owners who trap their horses indoors 24/7. Not once have I seen a horse be happy in this situation. It is pointless and cruel to keep a GRAZER indoors in a box stall, only to come out for maybe 1 hour a day to be worked. Just beacuase you are "afraid" they will get hurt doesn't mean they need to be stalled all the time. There are tons of ways to mitigate risk of injury in turnout. I get it when people need to keep horses in because of injury, but that is temporary-usually. Keeping a horses stalled because you are afraid they will lose shoes is ridiculous! GAH. WHy does this drive me so crazy? Because perfectly healthy horses go sour being stalled that much and I hate seeing that.
So, what do you guys do?
POll here If you guys don't want to comment. I forgot to add an inbetween option, oops :/