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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 10:15 AM
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My horse prefers to be outdoors, she is not a fan of being stalled.... she is ok for about 2-3 hours , then after that she wants out.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 01:01 AM
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I'd be most worried about basic horse husbandry, i.e. deworming and farrier care. Domestic horses don't travel enough to wear down their hooves naturally. In some cases, the hoof wall grows like "elf shoes". The front toe grows so long it turns up. It causes severe lameness, joint damage, not to mention it's incredibly painful. The horse may not need shoes but it WILL need trims every 6-8 weeks.

Pasture should be fine for now...but the grass isn't as rich as in spring/summer and won't be providing as many calories or nutrients. Hay should probably be given over the winter. Not many horses need grain, especially if they're on pasture and not working. But adequate forage, be it hay or GOOD pasture, is a must. As is 24/7 access to clean water. Especially in winter, when water freezes. Do you know what the watering situation is like?

Companions are a bonus, but not all horses "need" them. Some are perfectly fine on their own. But basic forage, basic farrier, basic deworming schedule and shelter is must for a healthy horse.

As for human interaction...eh. Some horses like it and some don't miss it at all. The problem is keeping the horse used to being handled so when it's brought in for farrier or vet, it doesn't act like an unhandled two year old.

In all honesty, my guy doesn't get handled much anymore. I'm busy at school and he's at a great facility that looks after him. Besides getting his grain every day (he just gets it because he spoiled, he certainly doesn't need it) and the odd blanket change, he's left to hang out with his friends. He's fine, and he's a horse that loves interaction. I feel bad for not seeing him more often.

But we'd turn out school horses in a pasture for 2 months each winter and we could hardly get near them. They just cared about their "Freedom" and seemed happier without us bothering them with blankets or brushing them so they were left to their own devices besides a daily check for injuries.

So yeah - basic care. Forage (which means hay in the winter), shelter, farrier every 6-8 weeks, deworming. Wouldn't hurt to have a vet check teeth, too.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-04-2013, 09:52 PM
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I have 5 horses, and they are very social animals. This is most likely considered as neglect. They don't always need grain, but they should be brushed and at least some attention.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-04-2013, 10:27 PM
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^ This is how the babies at my barn (well not my barn, but where I board) are raised. Early in life they spend all their time in the stall with their moms, with daily turnout with their moms.

When it comes time for them to be weaned, they always are kept with another baby while they grow up and learn to be horses. They learn how to be good in stalls... are usually given a prime spot where they get fed treats and are handled all the time by all kinds of people throughout the day, every day. They are turned out together and so forth.



And then over time, they are turned out with other horses and my barn lady and all of the people who work at the barn keep an eye out for any personalities that do not get along together.

So generally by the time they are all grown up, they have their own pack that they are turned out with on a daily basis and/or longer. And they prefer being with other horses out there, because that was how they were raised.

Definitely, you can raise a more solitary minded horse by not doing as much nurturing and socialization, and handling.... but it's not always the best thing.

My personal THING or what I love the most about my guy and all the other horses at this barn, and it is a huge credit to my barn lady - these horses are closer to being dogs than most. They genuinely like and trust all the people who come into the barn and enjoy being handled. And while there are personality clashes (my horse can never be turned out with one of his brothers, because they will try to kill each other), they generally are a peaceful pack because of how they were raised.



Should add, another attractive thing that keeps me boarding at this barn - every horse is very socialized about cats and dogs. There may be a unpredictable element still as far as whether a young horse (or a mare) will get skittish about a dog being underfoot. But generally, when my dogs are out in the gelding's field with my guy and the others - I'm not that concerned. Because again, these are very socialized, handled, and mentally sound horses who have been inside the barn with people and dogs and have that trust.

Anyway.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the replies. I was there for their wedding a few weeks ago and saw this all for myself...the horse literally has no care. She loves attention...I went to the fence and talked to her, and she came up to the fence so I could pet her...this worries me because they don't pet her/talk to her/groom her. What worries me most (aside from me telling my brother that she was drinking out of her water bucket by the tubs we were setting up to put the beer in and he was shocked she found her drinking water because they ~think~ there might have been a stream somewhere on the property and didn't bother to provide her water) is that they have goat head burrs all over their property. These burrs flattened the tires on our rental car and ruined the soles of my shoes...so how will an unshod hoof hold up?
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