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~Lisa~

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I am not one who believes stalling horses is bad or evil nor do I believe it makes you end up with miserable animals.

I paid good money for my barn and you can bet I am going to use it.

My horses are turned out for most of the day depending on weather if it is raining lightly they can go out for a few hours and back in - in the afternoon otherwise they are out 6 am to 5 pm in the winter - that said in wind- freezing rain, extreme cold or heat- lightning storms or when things are sloppy and muddy they come in earlier.

I do have run ins available to be honest though unless you have only 1 or 2 horses per run in there is no way the horses lower in the pecking order are getting in when they need to they are getting in when they can and for me that is not ok for my horses.

I have 8 minis and ponies turned out together and they have a 8x16 run in- a 10x10 run in and a 16x10 run in available to them and trust me there are those who are not allowed in at times by the other horses.

I think stalling is a perfectly healthy way for horses to live - granted mine do get out more then some but I have seen horses stalled more with work and turn out time who were perfectly happy healthy animals.

Mine are fed together in the morning and all come in to their own stalls to eat at night - it allows me to do a few things much quicker then I personally could if they were turned out 24/7

A- see who is drinking and how much

B- see if someone is off feed

c- if they passed what is normal to them amounts of manure

It also gives every horse a place to eat and rest without having to worry about any herd dynamics issues

I realize many mini owners do not belive in stalling and think turn out 24/7 is the best way to go. If it works for you and your horses then by all means it is best for you :)

I do not want others to think that stalling horses is unhealthy and cruel or horses hate it. I can assure you mine expect and in fact demand to come in out of bad weather

Horses can surely survive turned out 24/7 our neighbor has a 30+ yr old horse who has never seen a dry place in the winter or spring..he is healthy but I firmly believe every horse deserves to have a dry place to lay when they so wish. Every horse and situation is different but stalling your horses is not a bad thing
 

normajeanbaker

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I do things pretty much the same as Taylor. My horses are out by 7:30/8AM and are brought in about 4ish. If it's heavy snow or rain or bitter cold temps with wind, they are in. They get a few months off after show season where they are just turned out. But, when they are showing and getting ready to show, not only are they still turned out for the day, but they also get worked daily. So, they get plenty of outside time! My horses HATE being out in bad weather. Spoiled? Yes. But, they are all happy with their routine. Happy horses make better show horses
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And I couldn't agree with SampleMM more on it guaranteeing it keeping your numbers down. We have 6 Mini's right now. 5 of them show. The mare who is retired is still treated like the show horses. By doing this, I have no desire to up my numbers!

Everyone has their own way of doing things. There is no right or wrong answer. What I do, works for the 6 horses I have here. It may not work for other horses. But, I also know my 6 horses are not ones who would be happy in a 24/7 turnout situation.

~Jen~
 

Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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When it starts to get cold enough at night for the buckets to freeze outside I start stalling mine at night. I will stall during rain/mud season in the fall also, but only overnight about 6:30am to around 5:30-6:30pm. Mine go out every day, unless we get a snow storm that drops a lot of snow or it's windy/rain/sleet mix. I stall more for my own peace of mind (don't have to haul water so far twice a day, can check how everyone is drinking/eating/pooping during the cold weather). I do have a run in shed outside and they all will use it, so I could leave them out, but it's more work for me over winter, so they come in. They do handle the weather well and mine prefer to be out, they do not do well being stalled more than over night. We all enjoy the late spring and summer when they can be out 24/7, I guess I don't spoil mine the right way. ;)

If they can get shelter they will do fine out, it's really a personal choice. Horses can be happy and healthy inside or out, it depends on the individual horse too. I guess my horses learned my preference to have them outside as much as possible, and that's what they want!
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RhineStone

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I always laugh when I read articles about horse keeping in the winter, especially ones about blankets. I read an article recently that said you should blanket your horse (not even necessarily just your show horse) as soon as it gets below freezing. That would be the entire winter (sometimes Nov. - Mar.) here!
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Our horses are turned out basically 24/7 with a lean to shed attached to our barn. Under the awning is the automatic waterer, so they don't even have to leave the shed to get a drink. Each horse has a cozy stall with a heated water bucket for lousy weather when they can't get out of it even in the shelter, like when the wind blows the precip around. But in as much as people worry about their horses being outside at night, I worry about barn fire every time I stall them! Our barn is beautiful and fairly new, but I have known others that have lost horses in barn fires, so if they can get out of the barn I feel much better. I try to stall as little as possible because of it. They were out last night and it was -9F with no wind when we got up this a.m. No horse was shivering.

I locked them in Sunday night, because we had a -25F wind chill and blowing snow. They could hear the wind outside, and seemed perfectly content to stay in. I do think it is good for them to be stalled once in a while, so they are OK with it while at a show (but I still worry about fire....
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I do separate a couple of the "low horses" [in the pecking order] and put them in the other pen with the run out stall during wet weather, though. I like all the minis to stay dry so they are less likely to get rain rot or the like. Those thick mini coats are the perfect place for harboring such. And the horses seem to appreciate being dry.

I would not consider stalling to be "spoiling" horses, though, or turning them out to be "mean". You just need to have a logical reason for doing either, and YOUR comfort isn't a logical reason. If you think they are cold, but they aren't shivering, that is a human trait being pushed on a horse. If they look completely miserable standing out in the rain and snow, bring them in! If they are stir crazy in the stall, turn them out! If they would be more healthy with room to move around to keep their blood pumping through their legs, or your barn is a dusty, humid environment, turn them out! So as long as your horses can stay dry and out of the wind with fresh water and feed, they will be just fine outside.
 
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midnight star stables

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I do the same as Taylor. My two girls are turned out from about 7am to about 4pm. At 4 they come in to nice clean, fluffy stalls with fresh water and hay and grain. They stay in if there is a thunderstorm or it's below -5 celsius and really windy, snowy, blowy, icy etc. If it's calm (no matter what the temp.) they're out. Their paddock has no shelter, so I take that into account. We have a separate run out back that is sheltered, but they only go out there once there is a lot of snow on the ground (like right now
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) as it is cement. My one girl needs a blanket, usually, once the temps dip below -5, but so far she hasn't shivered once...so I'm hoping she can tough it out this winter because once it goes on it doesn't come off (only to groom etc., of course).
Basically same here as Taylor, Matt and Lisa. I like my horses to be horses, but they do get spoiled and want to come in.
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RhineStone... That IS my Mother with the blankets. She has over 35 blankets for our 4 pet horses!
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It's insane but you just can't talk sense to people like that. My horses only get blankets as needed, normally on cool spring/summer days once clipped. To each their own though.
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Genie

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I always laugh when I read articles about horse keeping in the winter, especially ones about blankets. I read an article recently that said you should blanket your horse (not even necessarily just your show horse) as soon as it gets below freezing. That would be the entire winter (sometimes Nov. - Mar.) here!
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Our horses are turned out basically 24/7 with a lean to shed attached to our barn. Under the awning is the automatic waterer, so they don't even have to leave the shed to get a drink. Each horse has a cozy stall with a heated water bucket for lousy weather when they can't get out of it even in the shelter, like when the wind blows the precip around. But in as much as people worry about their horses being outside at night, I worry about barn fire every time I stall them! Our barn is beautiful and fairly new, but I have known others that have lost horses in barn fires, so if they can get out of the barn I feel much better. I try to stall as little as possible because of it. They were out last night and it was -9F with no wind when we got up this a.m. No horse was shivering.

I locked them in Sunday night, because we had a -25F wind chill and blowing snow. They could hear the wind outside, and seemed perfectly content to stay in. I do think it is good for them to be stalled once in a while, so they are OK with it while at a show (but I still worry about fire....
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II do separate a couple of the "low horses" [in the pecking order] and put them in the other pen with the run out stall during wet weather, though. I like all the minis to stay dry so they are less likely to get rain rot or the like. Those thick mini coats are the perfect place for harboring such. And the horses seem to appreciate being dry.

I would not consider stalling to be "spoiling" horses, though, or turning them out to be "mean". You just need to have a logical reason for doing either, and YOUR comfort isn't a logical reason. If you think they are cold, but they aren't shivering, that is a human trait being pushed on a horse. If they look completely miserable standing out in the rain and snow, bring them in! If they are stir crazy in the stall, turn them out! If they would be more healthy with room to move around to keep their blood pumping through their legs, or your barn is a dusty, humid environment, turn them out! So as long as your horses can stay dry and out of the wind with fresh water and feed, they will be just fine outside.

I like your post. I agree wholeheartedly!
 

GrullaBlue

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Rhinestone~

Fellow Wisconsinite here....and I feel the exact same way you do! I'm just paranoid!
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Every extra thing I plug in is something else, in my crazy thinking, that could start a barn fire....and I just don't sleep all that well having them locked up. So, I do when the weather is insanely nasty.... but it has to be really bad. And actually, I'm thankful that I don't have that many, and my stalls have dutch doors that open up to the lean to outside (my set up is very similar to the way yours sounds, lean to off the barn, waterer underneath...etc), so sometimes I'll just hook those doors open and let them come in the stalls, but come and go as they please. At least they have a dry place to lay down...but the open door does allow the wind to come in....

Angie
 

CCC

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I'm in NB Canada, and it gets pretty freezing here! mine go in every night anyway, I just worry about bears and such since they are so tiny.

The big horses stay out unless it's storming, high winds/rain or freezing rain.. The nights that it gets -28 and colder it's pretty dang cold even in the barn, I blanket them for the night to keep them cozy.

Although this is my first year with minis so they haven't got blankets yet, but I've been busy getting the stuff to sew them some
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speaking of bad weather...

We had major flooding in my province (my mother was evacuated from our family home in the night Monday night, they had to walk down the road in waist deep water 1/4 of a mile to get to the bus waiting to evac. them to a church! :S )

With such heavy rains, my dang barn flooded!! (we live on a ridge so there wasn't any major flooding) just wash outs pretty much..but our lot is really wet and lots of springs already, so our barn flooded in the big horse stalls!
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luckily there was already drain tile put in under the mini stalls..but my husband had to work all evening putting in drain tile in the big horse stalls so they wouldn't be swimming in the barn
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it was pretty bad
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Nicole
 

Minimor

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I'm with Myrna. If our horses are never shut in the barn, they cannot ever die in a barn fire. There have been winters (the first winter we moved here--there were no shelters, only the barn, so the horses had to come in for the night & any time there was really bad weather...and one year when we got several Minis in the fall & didn't have a shed for them yet--they were in every night) when we did keep horses in the barn, but I don't sleep well when there are horses shut in the barn. If we shut horses in the breaker to the barn is always pulled to 'off' so there cannot be an electrical fire--no way I would leave the power on and anythng electrical plugged in/turned on if there are hores shut in. Arson is a concern these days. It hasn't been too bad out here, but there have been a couple instances of arson in this area....and in the city it is bad, We are only 15 minutes out of the city. We do have predators....timber wolves (not often, but they are in the area) and big cats, and bear, though the bear generally don't come this far out of the marsh (mile & a half away). Fire is my biggest concern.

So, our horses stay out 24/7, every day of the year, regardless of weather. They have sheds they can all get into when they want, so they can get out of the rain & snow. This time of year the sheds are well bedded with straw and cleaned daily, so they always have a soft, clean place to sleep, All have good, thick coats so don't need blanketing, even if it gets down to 40 below.

In any case, horses like what they are used to. If they are brought into the barn every night, they will stand at the gate waiting to come in. If they are used to being outside 24/7 they sure don't stand around the gate waiting/hoping to be let into the barn. They are simply happy with whatever they are accustomed to. They learn a routine & they go with that.
 

MiLo Minis

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I have 2 large winter paddocks - one for the girls and one for the boys. They each have a huge run-in shed in them where everyone can get out of the wind if needed but they rarely use them. There are a couple that will go in out of the rain or heavy wind but mostly they find a spot near the fence or trees and stand there. Each paddock has a large heated water trough and I feed all the hay they can eat, and then some, in the winter. That keeps them fat and happy and well hydrated - the 2 things they need to be healthy and warm. I have 6 horses right at the moment that are stalled at night and get daily turnout except in the worst weather as the turnout paddocks don't have shelter (all except one) These are the horses that are being worked, in training or don't get along well in a herd situation for one reason or another, such as being picked on or a weight issue, so the number varies. I don't blanket unless it is necessary for one reason or another.
 
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RhineStone

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My stalls have dutch doors that open up to the lean to outside so sometimes I'll just hook those doors open and let them come in the stalls, but come and go as they please. At least they have a dry place to lay down...but the open door does allow the wind to come in....
My mother's barn has Dutch doors, too, but we built them so that she can shut the top only, or even a quarter of the bottom door. The bottom door is split in half vertically. If all the horses get along, they can all come in the 10' x 10' stall out of the wind, but still get out of a quarter of the door.

The disadvantage of this is that they are in the habit of messing in the stall. Even on good days, they will come up to the barn to mess!
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She doesn't mind because she cleans up every last particle even in the paddock and then it is less distance for her to carry it, but we clean the paddocks with a tractor so we don't want them messing in the barn if they can go outside! Our barn cleaning takes no time at all compared to the hours it takes her.

Myrna (in Wisconsin, where it was -16F this morning, and we have frosty ponies, even their eye lashes, but nobody was shivering!
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Little Wolf Ranch

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All our horses are in paddocks 24/7 and have optional run-ins. I do have a brand new barn, thanks to my father and husband, that is four stalls with two 8x10's and two 10x10's and I am using those for pregnant mares in their last 3 months of gestation along with sick/new horses needing to be quarantined (not around the preggo mares, of course!)

This works best for us, although we are in SC and we never have below zero weather either. Just depends on your area and weather and the condition of your horses.
 

georgiegirl

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I neglected to mention in my earlier post, that although my horses are always inside at night, they are not really stalled in a small stall.

I am fortunate to have a big barn, that was originally an inside round pen. I found it more advantageous to use it for something other than a round pen. I made pens inside for my minis, so they really do have a pen inside a barn. The circulation is better so they dont inhale ammonia fumes and they still have plenty of room to move around, play, or do whatever.

They do have good clean bedding, heated water buckets, and clean feed.

None of my horses - big or little have ever been out in weather. They are happy, healthy little campers.
 

drk

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Finally someone like me! I felt I was the only one who kept mine in every night. Yup mine go out from 7am-4pm too! Mine have like 3in of sawdust and heated water buckets hay and grain. I spoil my babies
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Me Too... I stall all my horses in individual stalls every night of the year. Yes, I'm crazy.. I work full time and then come home and clean stalls w/fresh bedding, clean heated buckets w/fresh water, for 23 minis. They are waiting at the gait to come in when I'm cleaning stalls. They hate being out in the dark or in a storm. I guess that's what happens when they are pampered. They are all spoiled rotten... I just feel better knowing they are safe at night in their stalls. Plus I prefer feeding them in their stalls so I know they get their share and no one is stealing it from them.
 

Suzie

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We have 25 minis here. For years we left our horses outside with run in sheds---until this year that is.

Last year we had a shed collapse with the weight of the wet snow (we had a record snowfall here in the mountains of NC last year). If my husband had not checked on them earlier than usual that day, we would have lost some. Luckily we didn't.

So this year we spent a lot of time and money tearing down old sheds and building a very nice and bigger barn to put every horse inside. Last year the snow was so deep the smaller minis drug their bellies in the snow. This winter (which seems to have come way too early!) we are keeping them in the barn. We built big inside stalls so they had plenty of room to lay down, walk around and socialize with the other horses around them. I think in the long run, we will be much better off economically. We can give hay and feed to each horse as it needs it. No more wasted hay on the ground as they stomp on it. No longer are the older and bigger horses hogging all the food.

My theory is as long as they are dry, they are warmer and therefore will use less calories and lose less body fat that has to be replaced every day. We have coyotes, red wolves and bears here and it makes me feel more secure that the horses are safely behind doors at night. Plus, I don't have to risk life and limb searching around in a frozen pasture for feed pans.

We built a series of channels around the barn so every horse can be turned out in nice weather by one person with ease and brought back in at dark the same way. We don't have heated buckets in the barn as we find that even in 11 degree weather, the heat the horses produce just by being in the barn together keeps the temp at least up to freezing. And my horses can lie down at night in their shavings and sleep and rest, which they did not do out in the snow and ice covered pastures.

For the first time in many years, I can sleep well at night knowing my horses are safe and sound. It did not come cheap but I think it will pay for itself in the years to come in many ways.
 

RhineStone

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Last year we had a shed collapse with the weight of the wet snow (we had a record snowfall here in the mountains of NC last year). If my husband had not checked on them earlier than usual that day, we would have lost some. Luckily we didn't.

So this year we spent a lot of time and money tearing down old sheds and building a very nice and bigger barn to put every horse inside. For the first time in many years, I can sleep well at night knowing my horses are safe and sound.
Two years ago, we had over 100 in. of snow that winter. A neighbor's indoor arena roof collapsed over her horses. She had a number of stalls in the indoor. They had to cut one mare out of the back of her stall amongst the steel and wood that had fallen in her stall, because they couldn't get her out the stall door. The neighbor managed to get her tack out of a tack room before the rest of the roof collapsed.

Granted, that steel building was about 30 years old and well cared for, but it can happen regardless of what your intentions are.
 

~Lisa~

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I always find these threads interesting for some reason there seems to be some sort of stigma for those that stall horses and it seems most of the time it almost seems as there is a need to defend that decision not sure why that is
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Horses can be happy either way or horses can tolerate either way as really they do not have much choice they go where their owners put them be it left outside or in a barn
 

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