The first night I had Freedom was the last night he spent in a stall. When I came to check on him the next morning, I found that he had weaved so much with his head over the Dutch door that he’d rubbed a bloody spot on his neck. That was it. I turned him out 24/7 and he has been happy as a clam. The only time he stands inside is during the summer, when he wants to avoid the heat and the bugs. But then it’s on his terms: no closed doors.
But that’s not the case for all horses. My friend Suzanne writes in her blog that her mare is unhappy with the turnout situation at her new (temporary) barn:
Poor Sug, she hates turnout (yes, she really does) and here she is out from 8am to 3 in a nice big paddock in a place where she can see everything. Every car, every person that walks the property in her range of vision is a potential staff worker… “Hey you…. yes you, can you not see that it’s time for me to come in… The sun is too bright/dark! The wind is too brisk/quiet. The air too warm/cold. Take me in please! Take me in now!”
And another friend mentioned that her horse used to jump out of his paddock so he could go back to his stall!
The four horses at our barn are out in all weather, all the time. They have the option to go inside, but they rarely take advantage of it.
What about your horses? Do they prefer the comfort of a cozy stall or are they happy to be out in the elements?
Before I moved to this barn my horses were turned out maybe 6 hours a day and if the weather was bad, maybe not at all. What is your horse’s turnout schedule like?