Why Turn-out time is a non-negotiable for my horses
There are definitely a variety of opinions about what a horse's life should look like. Should they live in a stall? outside? in a standing stall? in a pasture with grass? or a dry lot?

I am going to tell you my opinion and the information I used to form it. There are certain situations that will require different living arrangements for some horses and circumstances. For simplicity, I will only be addressing healthy horses without special circumstances.

My approach with horses is the same way approach most things- I ask, how was it made to function? So, I study a lot of history and how horses lived before people got involved. In the wild horses are ALWAYS outside and almost always eating.
In addition, they are ALWAYS in a herd- they are very social animals. That is why I prefer 24/7 pasture turnout with at least one pasture buddy.

Remember, I know this isn't always possible for PLENTY of reasons. This is just the ideal situation for a healthy horse.

24/7 turn-out with a buddy is great for several reasons.
  1. Continuous grazing. This is so important for proper digestive function and prevention of ulcers. The act of grinding grass triggers the production of natural buffers that keep the stomach lining protected.
  2. Continuous movement. The ability for your horse to be moving freely is FANTASTIC for their circulation and can prevent stocking up (or other swelling).  This also supports proper digestive function.
  3.  Social interaction. Horses are very social creatures. They are herd animals and there can be serious emotional and behavioral (sometimes even physical) consequences for keeping them secluded. Plus, there really isn't anything cuter than 2 horses playing and loving on each other.
  4. Emotional well-being. Being confined in a stall (especially in a busy barn) can be very stressful- no matter how many "fun" toys you provide.
I know a lot of people that feel it is important to keep their show/ racehorses safe and injury-free, which usually means they extremely limit their turn-out time and do not believe in pasture buddies. While I completely understand those concerns, I would like to point out that continuous pasture time can reduce the chance of injury by keeping the horse more limber, supporting healthy circulation, and equine mental health. If you are uncomfortable with other horses for pasture buddies, you can use other animals, or at least keep other horses within eyesight.

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