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Monday, 4 February 2019

How to Find a Yearly Routine That is Best For Your Horse



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While some horses can stand out in the field 24/7 (the best way for them to live!), others need to be taken inside for a number of reasons.  Some people do this for because it is better for them (just the usual behaviour for humans right?) but others may actually have a reason for this!  Here is my horses routine throughout the year.  

Spring!



This is the time where I throw them out into the field where they stay unless I am riding them because I am SO SICK of mucking out!  

Depending on how much grass there is, I may make myself push the wheelbarrow full of hay up to the field.  

My field pony Gypsey who is 31 years old prefers to be outside all year so she gets unlimited hay and hard feed twice a day all year around.  Again, it completely depends on your own horse.

A bay horse with a white face marking and weird dark markings on his side grazing in long grass

Summer!



By May, things start to get a little busier again.  Owning a white horse who burns extremely easily in the summer and the other one is terribly allergic to flies.   Some places are not that bad but the place I keep my horses is horrible for the flies!  So keeping that in mind summer goes like this -

Horses go outside at around 8pm with a fly rug, fly mask and fly spray on (also occasionally I also put a rain sheet on over the fly rug).  

Horses come into stables at around 8am.  Rugs and masks are taken off, given hay for the day and sprayed with fly spray.  

In the summer we muck out in the evening once they are put out.  I tend to find using less bedding during the day is better.   

Gypsey is prone to laminitis so I make sure there is limited grass and instead feed her only hay (sometimes soaked depending on how she is doing) and low starch+sugar hard feeds.  She has a fly rug and a fly mask on.  

Three horses standing in stables with their head over the stable doors


Autumn!


My sports horses are out 24 hours a day again apart from riding because again, I hate mucking out (if I had the choice, all my horses would be out all year long!). I usually don't need to feed them hay so they just get grass and a small hard feed.  I avoid over rugging so they will stay rug-less or have a rain sheet on until they are clipped in October/November.  

By the end of Autumn, the weather starts getting worse so I will take them in on bad days.  


Gypsey tends to lose too much weight in the winter so by the end of autumn I start feeding weight gain hard feeds and haylage (Although I'm not sure how much better haylage is for putting on weight).  This is because her laminitis risk isn't as high now. 


A mixed herd of horses in a grass field with trees and bushes in the background

Winter!




Winter is definitely the worst season for horse owners!  I try to give my horses at less 12 hours of turnout a day whatever the weather.  I'm not a fan of mucking out twice a day (which I do on the odd occasion that my horses need to stay in) and my horses hate being inside.  

They will be rugged heavily most of the winter because they are clipped and I change rugs often to avoid rubs.  

They get unlimited haylage in the winter and they get fed hard feed twice a day.  

As for Gypsey, she also gets rugged quite heavily, fed unlimited haylage and two hard feeds a day.  She stays outdoors but has a field shelter with bedding.  


A close up of a horse's face covered in snow



*disclaimer* 

I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  

TheRider'sReins 


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