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- Colleen - 09-27-2007

[Big Grin]My husband is amazed at how much I'm learning I never stop telling him what I've learned and how great you guys are.

Does a horse know when to stop eating? can they eat too much?

I know they lay down to sleep but can also sleep standing up out in the field? One lady here wrote in a local paper to have people stop calling her farm because they thought her horses were frozen in the winter but she said they were just sleeping[:I]

Should they always have fresh water to drink at their disposal?

Do they know to get out of the sun, white horses do they sunburn?

Is it okay to leave the horses out all the time? and let them come into the barn at their own free will? I do know someone who brings her horses in every night but she has just electric fence and thinks they may get hurt.

Do all horses get along with each other? I often see fields of horses but some are together and others are seperated?

Is it okay to feed horses like apples, carrots etc or shud that just be for treat time?

Do you guys alwys have a halter on your horses? I guess its a preference? I've seen some with halters in fields an;d someone with a bridle over a halter?

okay enough for now[:I]


- puddleplasher - 09-27-2007

Well, I'm still learning too, but here's my take on some of these:

->Does a horse know when to stop eating? can they eat too much?
Some horses do know when to stop eating, but some don't. Especially for yummy stuff like clover, fresh green grass, or grain. Overeating these things can cause major immediate and lasting health problems, so the safe assumption is to assume that NO, horses do not know when to stop eating.

-> I know they lay down to sleep but can also sleep standing up out in the field?
Yes, horses can get sleep standing up. There was an article recently (in Equus maybe?) that said that they only get deep REM sleep when laying down, but that most horses didn't seem to need that as much as people and did fine if they got that kind of sleep for just a few hours every few days, and got the rest of their sleep in the lighter, standing-up mode.

-> Should they always have fresh water to drink at their disposal?
Yes, that's best.

-> Do they know to get out of the sun, white horses do they sunburn?
Yes, white horses can sunburn especially where the hair is thin, like on the muzzle, and no, they probably don't know any better when to come in out of the sun than people do. [Smile]

-> Is it okay to leave the horses out all the time? and let them come into the barn at their own free will?
I think the main issue with leaving horses out all the time is making sure they have some way to get out of harsh weather if they want to: some sort of windbreak especially, though overhead shelter from rain is nice too. If they have those things, they can stay out, and might even prefer it.

-> Do all horses get along with each other? I often see fields of horses but some are together and others are seperated?
Not all horses get along with each other. Any group of horses will establish a pecking order among them, and inevitably some horses will end up on the low end -- sometimes the owners of those horses prefer to keep them separate rather than have them marred with bite marks or skinny from being driven away from choice feed.

-> Is it okay to feed horses like apples, carrots etc or shud that just be for treat time?
I'd say those things are treats only, not a regular diet for horsies.

-> Do you guys alwys have a halter on your horses? I guess its a preference? I've seen some with halters in fields an;d someone with a bridle over a halter?
In the field, I generally take the halter off unless I'm watching or planning to re-catch the horse shortly; the idea being that the halter can't catch on anything and hang up the horse if it's not there. For riding, a bridle over a halter is common on trails because then if you need to get off and tie the horse to something, you can tie them with a leadline to the halter instead of to the bridle. Some people even loop the lead line around the horse's neck and back to the halter as a second set of "reins" in case something happens to the real set while on the trail.

I'm sure others will have other insights...

'plash


- hoopski - 09-27-2007

They can indeed eat too much. Too much is a value judgment we place on them. In the wild a horse is too busy avoiding predators to eat continually and is burning calories more than what must of us require of our horses. Most horses won't eat continually though, but too much is very possible.

I don't know if it is technically sleep, but they sure can get drowsy standing up.

Free choice fresh water is a necessity for responsible horse keeping.

Horses can sunburn. Particularly light colored horse around their noses and muzzle.

Our horses have free choice to be in or out. They seem to see the barn as a "safe" place.

Apples and carrots are ok, but I wouldn't overdo it. Horses are grass eaters. Too much sugar and carbs and an unbalanced diet can cause medical problems (just like us).

Halters should be off when not needed. They can get caught on branches or cause sores from rubbing if too tight. You wouldn't want to wear the same underwear all the time would you?

Lots of people ride with a bridle over a halter. (Personally I'd rather see a lady in a halter without a bridle.[}Smile])

Later edit: Dang it - PP beat me to it! She had better answers too[Smile]


- Stormie - 09-28-2007

Does a horse know when to stop eating? can they eat too much?

Not only can they over eat just by pigging out but they can over eat to the point of being fat. Many owners over feed their horses and a fat horse is not a healthy horse.


I know they lay down to sleep but can also sleep standing up out in the field? One lady here wrote in a local paper to have people stop calling her farm because they thought her horses were frozen in the winter but she said they were just sleeping


Not sure about the woman but I know I have seen my horses standing outside of the run in shed with their head down, half asleep in the middle of a winter storm. Yes they can sleep standing up. Their elbows kind of lock into place so they don't fall over.



Do they know to get out of the sun, white horses do they sunburn?

Not all white horses burn. It's more the pink skin that can burn(not all white horses have pink skin) but not all seem too.


Is it okay to leave the horses out all the time?

I hope so because mine normally are! Big Grin

and let them come into the barn at their own free will?

Mine have a run in shed. If you have more then one horse and have the barn set up so that the stalls open up into the pasture you can end up with fighting if one horse goes into a stall that already has a horse in it.

I do know someone who brings her horses in every night but she has just electric fence and thinks they may get hurt.

Horse can get hurt but they are just as likely to get hurt during the day as at night.

Do all horses get along with each other?

Nope.

Is it okay to feed horses like apples, carrots etc or shud that just be for treat time?

These are treats. but not all horses like them or can have them.

Do you guys alwys have a halter on your horses?

I rarely leave a halter on and even then I don't like to. I do have to keep a muzzle on Jazz and that does have a halter like part to it to hold it on and then I have to put a halter over it or she gets it off. Both are designed to break away if she gets them stuck.....shhh don't tell her that or she will start getting them caugth just to take them off. She already knows how to roll and take it off.




- Colleen - 09-28-2007

Stormie is the muzzle for her to stop bitting other horses? or you? I never knew that had muzzles for horses, boy learn something new every day.


- Red Hawk - 09-28-2007

Everyone has had great answers for you, Colleen, but I just have to comment about horses brought in at night. Actually, it's not too bad of an idea. Even if mine are out at night, they are kept in our small arena up close to the barn and our house. Many people will keep their horses in the barn at night if there is no way to keep them close to the house. The reason is security. Not so the horses feel secure but so the owners do. Horse theft is a whole lot more common than some people think, and the most common theft is through a pasture fence by the road, into a trailer, and gone! Thieves will be much more tempted to steal a horse way out in a pasture than when the horse is closer to the house.




- Colleen - 09-28-2007

Red Hawk thanks for that tip, I would feel safer with them closer to the barn at night too. We had a riding school up here, the owner lived across the highway from his stable and always had his "girls" that he used for lessons etc out in the field when he got there in the morning someone had backed up a trailer and stolen them all. I think there was about 10 - 15 horses. There was one I rode quite often, so sad.


- Stormie - 09-28-2007

Jazz bite? She knows better. No she is a good girl. She will bite other horses as needed but she has never bit a human in her whole life. The muzzle is so she can't eat grass or eat very little depending on how I set it up. Right now she is not allow to eat grass because she has insulin problems.


- EZ2SPOT - 09-29-2007

I keep my horses in at night, for several reasons. One is that I live in what is now a heavily-populated area (wasn't that way when I moved here!), with lots of traffic, and I can't take the chance that the horses might get loose at night & be running around on these roads in the dark.

The other reason is that, although I do think horses probably do better on 24/7 turnout, horses that are not used to being in stalls, will often freak out if something happens that requires them to be shut in. Having my horses used to being stalled has greatly helped them cope when such things come up as horse shows, camping (such as at Midwest, where they have small stalls for the horses), injuries that required some lay-up time, and periods of freezing rain, when it just was not safe to have the horses out.

This is just my persnal preference on ths matter. I'm sure there are people who do keep their horses out constantly, and are still able to stall them, when necessary.

And, a lot if it may depend upon what horse(s) you end up with. Some horses that have never been stalled, you are better off keeping that way. I had a gelding that never adjusted to being kept in. Seems like we replaced the boards in the dividing walls several times a week, and he just about crippled himself from the constant kicking & & trying to get out. I finally sold him to someone who had room to keep him outside all the time.

EZ2SPOT


- Montezrider - 09-29-2007


That's a really good point EZ. One that I will keep in mind when it comes time for my own barn. It certainly makes sense to get them used to being stalled, for their own good.

Cindy