Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Goodbye India

This picture shows the mare's field. The mare in the centre is called ‘India’ (Dee is on the left) and I thought it would be nice to post a picture of India as sadly she has now left the yard. She is owned by the lady who loaned Red for a few weeks, but J. has now taken her to another livery yard where she can live out day and night. India is a friendly, sweet mare and Dee seems fond of her – even though she bosses her around. Dee seems to like young horses and greys. I'm not sure how you would describe India’s markings, but they are most attractive.

I have mixed feelings about 24 hour turnout, after seeing my two horses through a winter under such a regime. I think if you have your own land so that you can easily have access to the horses twice a day to bring them in for feeding, and if they have proper field shelters, it is probably an ideal way for them to live. At the yard where my horses were living out day and night however, they were fed hay in the field twice a day and this seemed to be a very hit and miss affair – the dominant horses made sure they got enough and continually moved the more subservient horses on. Also the horses were always given hay in the same place and would congregate when they knew a hay feed was due, sometimes becoming a little agitated, so inevitably that part of the field became excessively churned up and muddy. Consequently Dee and Red were spending a long time every day standing in mud. Even though I fed them extra hard feed over the winter, and part of the livery charge included regular hard feeds, they both lost a lot of condition.

Now they are at Wyndham where the horses come in for the night through the winter, and I'm glad that this year they will not be out in all weather through the cold of the night once winter really starts to bite. They are always waiting at the gate, ready to come in; they have a warm stable and a comfortable bed; they have easy access to water; and their have their own net of haylage that they do not have to guard or compete for. They will have turnout rugs and stable rugs changed daily when it gets colder, but will be able to go further into the winter before they actually need to be rugged. I certainly am not rugging Dee yet, whereas I would feel I should rug her if she was out all night.

So farewell India. I hope the regime at your new yard offers the advantages of 24 hour turnout and avoids the disadvantages. I've been thinking about her a lot over the last few evenings, while it has been so cold after dark, and pouring with rain – it must be a bit of a shock for her suddenly being out in it all. I hope we shall meet J. and India riding in Coed y Wenallt occasionally.


Anonymous said...

Hi Nordzin

I can't rest with you worrying about India! She is not out 24 hours- of course that would be dreadful after being in at night so far, and having been clipped the week I left. I moved her to be out longer in the days, as her fetlocks had been so swollen at Wyndham- it just didn't suit her. Her stable has rubber matting and straw- I think straw makes a much more welcoming bed though of course its much harder work for me to keep clean! Her haynet is filled by me, so that it always has haylage left in the morning so I know she hasn't run out in the night and been left hungry. She has settled in well, as she is turned out at 7.30am into a ten acre field with Jasper and Gail, her friends who left Wyndham shortly before her, and will be for a few weeks till they are turned out together with the others. I bring them all in together at 6pm, after work. So please don't worry about her, she is wrapped up day and night with her new rugs, and is happier at her new yard as she can socialise for longer- she is only a baby after all!

Nor’dzin said...

Thank you Jayne for reading my blog and for letting me (and my blog readers) hear how India is doing. I'm glad to hear that the arrangement is so good for you both at the new yard. Good luck to you and India, and I hope we meet up again one day.