Dani Waldman admits to never turning out horses

Wow, quite a large uproar in the comments.
Dani’s final message “Hi guys! Wow…I certainly and inadvertently sparked a controversial topic today…first off, I love my horses, often more than I love myself! Secondly, no one is going to win this battle as we simply cannot ask the horses their opinion. Thirdly, cyber-hate only encourages us to stop listening to each other—and that doesn’t do anyone any good…(and telling me to be ashamed of myself is downright heartbreaking). Lastly, this is clearly a very debated topic…whether the risk of physical injury outweighs the risk of mental health for our wonderful animals. My decision to limit their uncontrolled movement is a strategic choice, made in consultation with my entire team of vets, farriers, chiropractors, nutritionists, and my own 20+ years of personal experience in the field. I will say, unequivocally, that an injured horse’s mental health suffers far more than one that isn’t turned out, and since our sport is inherently dangerous, limiting any unnecessary movement that could result in injury is paramount in my program. I will soon post a day in the life of my horses at home so you can see an in depth look at the great detail and attention that goes into caring for my horses, including the 3-5 times per day that they are outside of their box hand grazing or moving around for hours at a time!”

Yikes, that was received horribly. I’m not sure what vets, farriers, chiropractors, etc she’s been talking to but I sure haven’t heard any of mine say turnout is a bad idea.

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I’ve seen this first hand plenty - there isn’t really any turnout in all of Wellington. Many places there do have small turnouts that are not big enough to run in, I wonder if she even uses those? It wouldn’t be hard to find vets etc that are very used to this and can create a program to deal with the consequences even if they don’t entirely agree.

While I would never do it for my horses it often does work out better than you would expect. Between hand walking, treadmill, hot walker, and rides they get out a good bit. You don’t see barns full of stall weavers like you may expect.

I do wonder if horses were able to be turned out consistently, even at shows, they would be more used to it and therefore have less injuries. If your horse is in a stall for weeks/months at a time at shows I can imagine them being extra stupid in turnout at home and wanting to avoid that.

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She has a video on her Reels of her cantering her horse right by a whole bunch of lovely little (empty) turnouts. They are small, but it’s still turnout. My heart hurts for these horses. Used for sport, and never allowed to be a horse.

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I saw this and was shocked but also wonder how common it is for professional show jumpers / hunters, even dressage people… I’m not familiar with that world at all, but I’ve definitely heard mentions here and there of people like not giving the most expensive horses any turnout because they don’t want to risk them getting hurt. I’m glad it’s starting a discussion though Bc its obviously an appalling practice!!

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I don’t know who “Dani Waldman” is (but I am sure they are very famous), or who is giving this person advice.
As always, the horses pay the price of the decisions of their owners and trainers, whatever they may be. There is risk everywhere for horses, risks in being kept in stalls with no turn out, and risks in turn out. Choose your risk, and accept the consequences.
The risks that this person has accepted are an increased risk of impaction colic, and increased risk of issues with lack of hoof circulation due to decreased motion. And an increased risk of stress issues, ulcers, and addictive stress relieving behaviours. With less constant motion of stall living, less fitness and strength than horses who do get free time to run around and play. With less fitness and strength, more chance of injury and unsoundness, joint damage from only light work. Restricting exercise in an animal that has evolved to be in constant motion in order to be healthy is a questionable one.

No wonder all those 3’ hunters need all those joint injections constantly and regularly. Vets LOVE this, it puts their kids through university.

My show horse has NEVER had a joint injection, or ANY lameness issues in her competitive life, which included 18 starts in her race career prior to packing me over some 5’ jumps. She’s 20 now. She has a couple of scars from scuffles with her herdmates over the years. She has 24 hour a day turn out, 12 months of the year. As a racehorse, she was housed in a stall with a paddock attached- trained off the farm. Oh, and she competes in her jumper divisions barefoot (not that I am a “barefoot nazi”, she just doesn’t need shoes in our dry environment). We all choose our risks.

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Thoroughbreds that are worth a ton of money get turned out in large paddocks and fields, even in groups (other than stallions), and seem to do just fine.

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Yeah I’m not saying it’s a good thing I’m just wondering how common it is like maybe it’s socially acceptable at the top levels of multiple disciplines? Hopefully not but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised

Didn’t think you were, just pointing out that some highly expensive horses get turnout!

I knew some Saddlebreds and Arabians that were never turned out. I think it’s a show horse thing across disciplines.

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It’s unfortunately not uncommon for horses to be stalled 24/7. Or to be given an hour in a tiny paddock. Or to live in a stall with a wee run 24/7. Show horses of many disciplines and pleasure horses.

People have a variety of reasons why they do this. Horse hurts himself, “nobody has turn outs in this area”, blah blah blah.

It’s widely practiced. No need to hate on this particular trainer imo.

To be clear, I’m a firm believer in turn out with buddies. I don’t think stalls are the devil or anything. But I’m not keeping my horses up 24/7 unless medically prescribed by vet

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I also don’t know who this person is nor do I have any context for this apparently newsworthy interview/discussion. Guess I am out of the loop.

That isn’t how I would keep my horses but there are parts of the world (and parts of this country) where turnout isn’t a realistic option, at least not on a long terms basis and in the way many of us think about turnout. Would I keep my horses that way? No. But I am privileged to live in the northeast with enough resources to live where horses are turned out in large grassy paddocks. But I’m aware my standard of “horse living” is not the same standard that applies everywhere in the world.

There is a jumper trainer in my area who only turns big dollar horses out in what I would consider roundpens. I have seen barns in California that only have stalls that open to small “runs” and no other turnout. Many of these horses are on treadmills/walkers or are handgrazed regularly in ways that horses on turnout are not. Again, would I choose to keep my horses this way? No. Do people do it? Yes. And not just Dani Waldman, whoever that is.

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Sadly it’s really common at upper levels of dressage. Carl and Charlotte are unusual because they turn their horses out, hack over all surfaces, etc.

However, most of the horses at that level with no turnout do get hand walked / grazed multiple times a day, put in a hot walker daily, and even a water treadmill, etc. I suspect top level jumpers like Dani’s may have a similar routine.

Can’t speak to other disciplines except the AQHA show circuit barn where I once boarded my dressage horse also didn’t turn out for fear of injuries and blemishes.

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Here is a screenshot of her comment… what’s sad to me is that she’s giving this out as advice to someone asking for help with horse management and they’re clearly taking it to heart. Like it’s one thing to practice this type of horse management, but to tell other random people that it’s the best way to care for horses is just simply wrong

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Wow. Just, wow.

I already did not like Dani because of her rant about not having enough money during the pandemic to feed her 600 horses whilst having fresh pics from getting married on a mega yacht. But I distress.

I don’t think turn out is a controversial topic. You either think of horses as partners or machines. You know where injuries are also likely to occur? In the competition ring. Especially if said horse doesn’t know how to handle itself on uneven footing.

I think it’s pretty disgraceful that she is putting this out there. Common practice or not, it’s how you view these creatures that quite literally give their lives doing something for our vanity.

I have ONE horse. One, young, healthy competition horse. I cannot afford another horse if this one gets injured. Guess what? She is turned out everyday after breakfast and brought in before dinner. Rain. Shine. Slippery, muddy pasture, doesn’t matter. She has come back with a little blood, nothing serious.
I would rather my horse get to live a pleasant life.& that is not one in a stall, eurociser, treadmill, etc.

My trainers would agree (World Cup finals level show jumpers). My old boss would agree (rode for team USA on multiple occasions). So, Dani, kindly stop trying to defend yourself in your selfish practice. Glad she continues to show her true colors (literally).

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For reference, she is Israeli-American and rides for Israel’s show jumping team. Nee Goldstein. Has been successful with her mare Lizziemary and others, now based in the Netherlands, and is otherwise known for her nontraditional style choices, especially wearing feathers in her hair.

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Nothing to do with turnout, but having raised poultry on a decent-sized scale for years, I’ve often wondered if she has to dust herself for mites. It seems impossible not to pick up critters when you’re wearing 3000 feather extensions and getting dusty, sweaty, wet, etc.

Eta: And allergies. Our flock’s favorite, rinky dink balsa wood coop got smashed to pieces in last night’s high winds. Spent 3 hours redneck engineering the ruins into something that would tide them over a few nights. Between the dander from the coop blowing into my face & the chicks hanging out in my shower stall until I can get them back outside, I am not exaggerating when I say my sinuses feel like a freight train hit me this morning. I realize the feathers for extensions are cleaned, but still!

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There could also be a bit of communication issue here (given the context of the post and the way she’s replying to someone else’s question about a horse that comes in injured from turnout). “I never turn out” could mean “I never turn out in large areas with multiple horses together where the horses can’t be watched” but the horses do still go out in small individual pens attached to their stalls. Which is life in a LOT of parts of California whether the horse is a $1000 trail horse or a $1 million dressage horse. Again, not how I would prefer to keep my horses but there are places where it’s this type of management or no horses at all.

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never have understood why people always go the extreme - here it’s live out 24/7 with a windbreak cause that’s “natural”. My horses are in at night to be fed, get a break from the weather or bugs and get turned out for the day in large grass pastures (luxury of manitoba, you can still afford land). While I believe being comfortable with being stalled is a necessary life skill for all horses they need to get out and move and deal with less than perfect footing for their physical and mental health. Where has common sense and moderation gone?

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I don’t think so unfortunately. I’m glad I saved all these screenshots bc she’s since deleted everything :joy: the second pic is the comment she was replying to where she says “I stand by not turning out”

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She had the chance to set the record straight/put it in context and doubled down.

And sadly people are out here taking that advice and now slowly taking turn out time away from their horse because Dani said so? Tragic.

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You have an OTTB that packed you over 5’ jumps? Barefoot?

Any links to photos and videos?

:blush:

PS Dani Waldman is a GP jumper rider who is known for wearing colorful feathers in her long flowing hair… for attention

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