I board at a small facility and horses are turned out all day, every day regardless of the weather. The pasture boarded horses have shelters but the stall boarded ones do not. However, last week during the “hurricane” that hit the PNW, high winds, pouring down rain by the bucket, gusts of up to 60 mph so there were branches flying around and part of the chicken coop roof came off. Luckily no flooding. Would you be okay with your horse being out in this weather with no shelter? He was no worse for wear but was clearly happy when I brought him in early.
What were the temps?
I will say, my horses have a run-in off the barn and they might still have chosen to be in that weather. But I feel a heck of a lot better knowing they have the option of going in.
No. Domesticated horses are not wild horses. Some shelter needs to be provided.
Before my last horse passed, the barn he was at was not great about getting him in out of the weather. I kept very close tabs on the weather and went out to pull him in myself when needed.
Their turnouts do not have shelters and they are out there for about 9 to 10 hours a day. My horse and three others have small paddocks off their stalls but are turned out in the large turnout in the morning and brought in at night. Temps were in the low 50s I believe? Not sure.
50s, rain, wind and no escape, plus the option to just let them do the paddocks off their stalls? No brainer I wouldn’t have put them out.
I guess I’ll be different. I used to board where my two mares shared a day time turnout with no shelter. This was in New Hampshire, and this was their setup year round. They had a small run-in in their overnight paddock.
My horses live home now and are still on 24/7 turnout. One will choose to use the shelter in heavy rain and the other two will choose to stand outside. We don’t have hurricane force rains very often, but they stand out in Nor’easters all winter. So while I would have probably been a nervous wreck in your intense storms, I also probably would have preferred them to be outside because I know they would be more comfortable that way, based on what they are used to. It’s really hard to know what the right thing is in truly extreme storms though, so no judgement on your concerns about the situation.
Stall boarded horses at my barn don’t have any shelter nor even trees to hide under.
My barn will bring them in a bit early (like maybe 1.5 hours early) if the weather is bad. But they will go out in the morning even if it’s really raining/storming so they can clean stalls. In the winter, we can ask them to be left in a little bit later if the wind chill is really bad, but horses go out for at least 4 hours every day unless the pastures are 100% ice covered.
No. My horses don’t have shelter either, other than the woods. Light or steady rain? I’ll leave them out, and they typically don’t move from their hay feeder, or they go stand under trees when they want a break from the rain.
But, heavy non-stop rain, wind and/or lightening? They come inside…
Thanks for the feedback. I bring my at home horses inside if it’s storming out; I know they appreciate it.
In that sort of weather the noise will drive them out into the weather. They’ll huddle outside rather than be deafened in a shed most of the time.
I very rarely keep mine up during the day. The two with no shelter have rain sheets and neck covers are happier out.
That being said, I kept all of them in with that horrible weather (including my one that does have a shelter and the one I am horsekeeping for the week who also has a shelter).
So here in FL it’s sometimes impossible to guarantee that horses will be brought in for bad weather. Pop up thunderstorms may come on so quickly that there is no time to get horses brought in and it’s something I’ve kept in mind when visiting boarding facilities… shelters in turnout are preferred. That being said, horses can be peculiar about using shelters. My gelding never used the nice shelter in his private paddock at his last boarding facility, but if it so much as mists he’s hauling butt up to the barn at home. Granted if it rains long enough he’ll venture back out to graze if I don’t provide hay in the barn.
Boarding I would expect my horse to be stalled in predictable severe weather even if there are shelters in the turnouts. Both of the barns I boarded at recently did so as part of their standard procedures.
Nope, I’d probably freak out. A few years ago, I was at a barn during a storm as they were turning in because of how bad it was. A half hour later after the horses were in, a tree fell in one of the paddocks and given the size of the tree & its branches, the horse in that paddock would’ve been severely injured if not killed. For reference, I live in an area that’s very wooded so storms/high winds always causes at least some large branches to fall so everyone always gets a bit nervous around here.
I’m very pro turnout but I’d bring them in, especially if they don’t have shelter
If I had to choose between boarding who put the horses out too much and boarding that did not put the horses out enough, I would for sure pick the place that turned the horses out too much.
So you’d be okay with your horse out during a severe rain and wind storm with no shelter?
I have one that does not use the shelter when the weather is bad so the answer is yes.
In a perfect world, they get to choose. But sometimes that is not an option.
I put mine out in that storm. He has no shelter, but is blanketed. He didn’t care (there’s grass to eat, yo). But I am here pretty much all day, and could bring him in if he was upset.
If my horse (or the entire group) was terribly upset or miserable due to the weather and left out anyway, I would not be OK with that. If my horse was calm and doing his normal activities, I’d be OK with him being left out.
I’m sure they’re no worse for the wear. If the staff turns them out to pick stalls, what’s the alternative? Even a “well behaved” horse is a PITA when picking stalls, and not every horse ties so grooming stall is out, too.
I’m bigtime pro “leave em out, they’re fine”. Especially with only 9 hours of turnout a day.
The turnouts are just large dirt lots, no grass to nibble. He was standing near the fence line with his head down looking very forlorn and unhappy. He practically dragged me to the barn.