How do you choose the best place, both mentally and physically, to board your horse? If you can only choose one how do you decide 1. A stall with turnout or 2> A pasture?
Horse Care and Comfort
paddock or pasture
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There are pros and cons to both. What kind of turn out is offered with the stall? Hw much time will your horse have to spend in its stall? What size is the pasture? Do you ride often? Getting a horse off large pasture may be difficult and time consuming. I believe a horse should be kept in a stall as little as possible. A horse need to have space to allow free choice exercise, shelter and free choice grass/hay. Free choice is the best thing mentally and physically for a horse and to be out in the open is the most natural thing.
If you answer my questions, I can at least tell you what I would decide. I hope you are able to make the best decision for your horse and you!
Personally I have my horse a shelter paddock which gives him the choise to be undercover of out watching the other horses. I have a stallion so it usually is not a good idea to put them in any pasture situation and you have to be careful with the horses in the next paddock as well. The advantage that I see with my setup is when needed I can lock my horse in if there is a medical reason, which I had to do for two months time, but it lets the horse be in charge of it's daily routine. He is turned out in a round pen every other day and is ridden 5 days per week.
If you don't ride as much and you have a gelding or mare a pasture situation may be best. In a pasture horses herd up and become very attached to one another and when taken out to ride can become very upset. That is one of the downsides to pastures.
As Joy said there is no one best way to keep a horse. It depends on how you use your horse as well as financial considerations
Dennis made some good points! There is a lot to consider. Good luck eileendotdurham!
Thank you so much for your posts. My horse is a 16 year old ex roping horse, very sensitive and sweet. I have only been his "person" since December of last year. He lives in a box stall evening and night it is big enough for 2 horses not sure of the dimensions but will check that out. He is in a turnout during the day that is quite large is constantly watched by the owner of the Barn and the trainer. He is fed 3 times a day. Unfortunatley at this time I can only see and take lessons with him twice a week as I work far from the boarding facility. The trainer does take him out at least two or three days a week as well and rides him. So my thoughts are to keep him where he is at for now then in the next 6 to 9 months when we are more bonded move him closer to my home. The pasture boarding is beautiful 250 acres of flat land combined with rolling hills, and trees. There are beautiful trails, round pens and arenas on the property as well. I am an advanced beginning rider and from your comments so far think I best be well bonded and more aware of how to work with him before I consider moving him? Please let me know your thoughts. And thank you all again.
There are a number of ranches where I am and their pasture boarding is about one acre per horse with a run in shelter as well as water. If this is the type of boarding that you are looking at I would not hesitate to move your horse to that type of pasture. If on the other hand you turn him out on 250 acres of of pasture you more than likely have a hard time catching your horse unless you are really bonded together. I had a friend that had him mare on a large cattle ranch and he could whistle his horse in because she had been trained to come to him at the whistle.
Good luck and I am sure you will be able to make a good choice the closer you get to your horse.
Thank you Dennis, Sounds like very good advise. I will keep him as is for now and move when I feel comfortable that we have formed a strong bond.
Oh that does sound like a good place to have your horse! He is getting plenty of exercise. As long as he is happy, I think your plan of keeping him there for now then moving him closer to you is a good plan! Blessings as you bond :) This forum has helped me so much I'm glad I was able to help someone too!