Turning out on frozen rutted ground..

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Do you?

I'm feeling worried this morning after putting Ale out in the field, it was frozen and is churned up mud near all the hay and the gateway. I'm soooo worried about his leg but I felt I couldn't leave him in. I did write on the board if he looked miserable or any concerns to just bring him in and give him hay. But still :/
 

Ale

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I know lots of you have horses living out, I pressume you have nicer fields though, are they not so rutted
 

volcy

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Nov 6, 2008
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Ours is only rutted around the hay so I moved it slightly this morning, but as I arrived to find two of them on their back legs having a box and then galloping round me in circles they clearly feel more secure on their feet than I think they should in the snow! They live out so not a lot we can do but when we were on a livery yard and had to cross slippery concrete just to get to hay outside on rutted mud I didnt really see the point and let her have hay inside instead.
 
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Jessey

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We dont get the rutted mud here but used to where we used to live so understand your concerns, I think once they are past the gate its generally better and I'm sure most of them have the sense to stay away from it for the most part.
 

horseandgoatmom

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Mine go in and out as they please.During the day I usually let them be together.
Every time it warms up a bit places get muddy and then when temps plummet I get lumpy bumpy ground too.
They walk gingerly but I try to still have them together.
Now we have gone into a different senario with having had temps near or below 0 deg F.

It rained hard but ground was so hardfast frozen only a little bit on top got muddy and it was a bit slippery on top. I don't know whats worse.
Andi went chasing out to Sonny slipped fell slightly. jumped up bucking kicking generally acting stupid Slipped again and then went into another big time jumpy jumpy bucky mode
Like she was bucking at WHO MADE ME SLIP TAKE THAT!!!.
Then both acted like the spring broke- jumpy bucky.
She was fine.
I try to have them together as much as possible so they don't act like they have to rough house too much.
 

Trewsers

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When we were on our last yard I wish I'd not turned out in their winter paddocks. It resulted in J having the first set of damage to his suspensory and Storm went mildly lame too. Vet could only suspect the state of the field and them hoolying - or maybe just slipping. I'm not trying to put anyone off turning out in mud ruts that are frozen but for me, it would be something I limited to maybe just a few hours and when they'd had enough fetch in. Our pair do themselves a mischief if left too long - realise that isn't always an option on a yard but can you pay to have Ale brought in early? I know you've left a note on the board which I think is a very good idea. I know horses need to be horses but there's a happy medium. It was probably my own fault J stayed out too long and hurt himself - if only I had known then what I know now! I assumed (wrongly) that ALL horses loved being out more or less 24/7 - never realising that they didn't if there wasn't much grass! That particular yard did not allow hay to be put out either. Still not sure why??? Something to do with it messing the farm equipment up? Getting stuck or is that total bs?
 
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horseandgoatmom

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That particular yard did not allow hay to be put out either. Still not sure why??? Something to do with it messing the farm equipment up? Getting stuck or is that total bs?

I would be interested to their reason too.
I know of a place thru a friend in Wisconsin that also only hay's in the stall. They say its so the
horses don't fight over the hay-- da!! put enough hay out. The answer really made no sense.

You try to protect them as much as you can but yes horses need to be horses.
 
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joosie

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Oct 28, 2004
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We have 24 horses living out and have a lot of frozen rutted mud but I can't say it is a concern with regards to injury. Horses are perfectly capable of working out where to put their feet and taking time where necessary. Ours just pick their route carefully, they walk a lot more slower than normal but that is pretty much the only difference. We also have a stabled horse who is turned out with Mouse's herd in the mornings and he doesn't seem to mind the ground condition when he goes out - and this is a horse who spent the first 20-something years of his life living in the desert! They are not stupid!
 
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Jessey

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J stayed out too long and hurt himself
Personally my experiance isn't that horses hurt themselves more if left out for longer (when there is food out there), but those that hoon about when they first go out tend to be the unlucky ones, we just don't find it until we go back to bring them in. I know what you mean about some not wanting to stay out if there isn't much food, and often that is when squabbles break out for that one last blade of grass and then they forget to be careful.
 

Trewsers

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Personally my experiance isn't that horses hurt themselves more if left out for longer (when there is food out there), but those that hoon about when they first go out tend to be the unlucky ones, we just don't find it until we go back to bring them in. I know what you mean about some not wanting to stay out if there isn't much food, and often that is when squabbles break out for that one last blade of grass and then they forget to be careful.

J was institutionalised somewhat - even food would not keep him out! Guess they are all different. I think if there is food out there is more chance they'll settle and hooley less.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Ours are picking their way very carefully around the section where they stand to be fed, which gets full of hoof marks and holes. Other than that, business as usual.
 

Laura_107

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Kev is walking a bit gingerly over the poached areas, but other than that he's fine. One horse has come in mildly lame, I would suspect a bruised sole.
 

Ale

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He is quite a big horse (weight wise) and its only been just over a year since he injured his check ligament, I never would of given turning him out a second thought before that,but now when its boggy or frozen like this I can't help but worry. He was being very careful walking this morning but if he did struggle I hope the yard will bring him in, I can always pop him out in the school for a bit tonight
 

PePo

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I would be interested to their reason too.
I know of a place thru a friend in Wisconsin that also only hay's in the stall. They say its so the
horses don't fight over the hay-- da!! put enough hay out. The answer really made no sense.

You try to protect them as much as you can but yes horses need to be horses.

To be fair, we have a no hay in the field rule & I'm glad. With 20 horses to a field, with different owners on different routines it would be carnage.

Pete is still going out - just with his grazing muzzle on to protect against the sugars from the frost.
 

Flipo's Mum

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We have a rutted bit at the gate and hay - unavoidable in this weather. As they're out 24/7, they are a bit more savvy and don't d!ck about, they take it easy. Harder when your horse has huge dinner plates for feet and metal attached to his feet - he sometimes looks a bit drunk, but he copes.
I know how it feels to constantly worry about your horse going lame or hurting themselves after the experience you've had. Hopefully he will prove you wrong and it will help build your confidence in him not getting hurt again.
 
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lauren123

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I would say 3 quarters of our field is snowy and I would say less then a quarter of the field is frozen rutted ground. However I do still worry about them though they just seem more careful.
 
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