From my friend:
I have a sport horse that is a prospect for the 1.50 grand prixs. He is packing me around a 1.15-1.20 course and is saving me from odd distances. My question is, can a sport horse live outside in the midwest(cold winters, hot summers)? He is active, heats up when I ride, and sometimes sweats. I would, of course, groom him and such and put a blanket on when it gets really cold(under 20F). Also can he go barefoot? The ground gets cold here in Illinois and freezes sometimes. He would have a weather shelter, but thats all. He would have a herd, don’t know if that changes anything.
I’m asking this because some people say they can, and some say they can’t.
This is kind of a strange question for someone who is looking to do the grand prixs…who theoretically should have the basic horsemanship knowledge to answer this question when competing at 1.2m and wanting to do the prixs.
The answer is that it’s entirely dependent on the situation, the horse, and the care. No one on an internet forum can tell if that particular horse can go barefoot. That’s a question for the vet/farrier team caring for the horse. It’s highly unpopular to see a barefoot grand prix horse. They oftentimes need supportive shoeing and be drilled/tapped.
Likewise with living outside…can he? Possibly! Should he? Maybe! If he’s going to live outside and be in full work, he needs to be clipped/blanketed appropriately, with the correct clip pattern and blankets selected for his personal needs. A horse in full work who only has a blanket on when it’s below 20F will have quite a coat on him, and he will get very sweaty when worked. This is a basic fact that your friend should be aware of. Your friend will need to make sure the horse is either blanketed enough to have a light coat so he doesn’t get hot and sweaty, or be clipped and then blanketed accordingly (but never a full body clip for a horse living outside in cold winters). It baffles me that a 1.2m rider doesn’t know this.
I’ve had horses that hated being outside, some that loved it, some that got along with a huge group of horses, some that needed to have one buddy or go out alone.
In short, not to be harsh, but your friend should spend some time learning some basic horsemanship which will help her make informed and correct decisions for her horse’s wellfare, rather than depending on the advice from strangers on the internet who don’t know her or her horse and what the particular needs are. Times 1000 if she’s actually going to make it to the Grand Prixs…