Not stalling, and loving it!

Lucky enough to have access to ALL day turnout.

Not a few hours 10 am – 4 pm, but all day, until evening feed.  With the exception of coming in for grooming and riding.

An ideal world;  a safe stall at night, with attached outdoor access to a small pipe pen.  No cramped quarters with stale air, or inability to find a clean spot to lay down.  Ideal?  You may not agree.

Throughout the years I’ve seen horses kept successfully in everything from 24 Hr 12×12 ft box stalling, to 24 Hr “turnout” in meandering pastures with several horses all living in it.  They were all valued show horses, in full work at different levels.

And they all seemed to cope.  Although most of us probably feel the outdoor ones were luckier, no?

Stubben Bridle

Photo of Jaworzno, courtesy of Tamara Watson Photography.

Without stirring any pots, sharing a piece of the latest on benefits of increased turnout possibilities, from Sweden.  I’m very happy to be boarding at my current barn with so much turnout.

Assertion by Per Michanek, veterinary and researcher, at the lecture “The Happy and Healthy Horse” seminar Nyköping, Sweden in mid September this year.

“Each hour the horse may spend outdoors in a bigger pasture will help it improve in some way,”   says Per.

“Kinetics, respiratory organs, blood circulation, metabolism, heat regulation and the nervous system (coordination) will all be positively affected by movement.

The cartilage lacks blood vessels and is therefore depending on movement in order for the nutrient exchange with the synovial fluid to function.

Standing still is similar to turning off the heart of the synovial fluid. A cartilage in top condition is a deciding factor for an elite performance.”

“The circulation of the blood in the legs is also depending on movement. It is difficult for the heart to pump the blood up from the hooves back to the heart.

The hoof mechanism, where the digital cushion is pushed out each time the hoof is put down, helps pump the blood back up. The musclework also helps the circulation of the blood in the entire horse’s body,” adds Per.

“When a muscle is contracted, it will push the adjacent blood vessels together, which will make the blood push through the next flap in the blood vessel, carrying it on throughout the body.”

Yeah.  Turning out.  A good thing.  Done ranting for today.

Per, I’m sorry if I butchered your piece.  Did the best interpretation of the text to English as could.

9 thoughts on “Not stalling, and loving it!

  1. Estella is turned out 24/7. It isn’t a huge pasture, more like a 1/4 acre “paddock”. But she is out, 24/7 with a big, cozy stall. Her feet, attitude, and everything have improved since her move out there. Between constant turnout and hay, there just really isn’t anything better you can do for your horse!

    (Ps. I am a little worried about this winter. But I know that having a bigger stall and ability to move will be better than being cramped in a small stall).

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    1. Sounds nice! I’m sure Ohio is much more of a challenge than here, in Northern California. Where we are we rarely hit one degree below freezing. A couple of early winter mornings each year. Would imagine the choice of clipping the horse is harder, when there is all sorts of deep snow around 🙂 But good blankets and more hay goes a long way 🙂

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  2. The barn I rode at in Illinois had no turnout opportunities at all. The private horses were in box stalls 24/7 except when they were being ridden. As a high school girl I got to ride many horses because the owners who could not be there during the week and didn’t want to be thrown into the rafters on the weekend when they came to ride. Good deal for me, not so good a deal for the horses. They only got ridden an hour maybe then groomed, then back in the stall 😦

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