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Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1293
Experience:  I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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I have a retired thoroughbred 17 years old in good shape. I

Customer Question

I have a retired thoroughbred 17 years old in good shape.
I watch him on a video camera. I live in New york
and he is on a farm in Pennsylvania
I have noticed recently he has been kept out
for 3 days straight. I just happened to catch the moment
he was brought back inside last night and he appeared agitated,
trotting around in circles for a good 20 minutes. What is your
about keeping him out for 3 days straight
Thank you
Leslie Sarf
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.

I guess my first question is to what specifically concerns you? Is it more the fact that Simon was kept out for the 3 days or his agitation upon being returned to his stall (understandable).

Have you spoken with the management/caretaker at the facility about you concerns?

I will be online all day if you want to continue.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I want to know
If it is wise for him
To be kept out so long
Can this cause the agitation?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Both are bothering me
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.

Under most circumstances, & in many horse owner situations, horses are left out 24/7. Ideally, they will have good shelter from inclement weather that is easily accessable. I have had many horses ( right now 16 ), both in boarding facilities, & now on my on farm. Only if they are sick, old, or being treated in some way will they be stabled overnight. Otherwise, they are free to choose. In your situation, it is more important to know what you were told to expect in the care of your horse, & if there was a specific reason for keeping Simon out for the 3 days. Perhaps some work was being done in the barn.

For the most part, I believe it is healthier for horses to be outdoors. Simon's agitation may have come from his desire to remain outdoors, perhaps with a buddy he had become attached to. Perhaps something had changed in the barn while he was out. That is why it is important to contact the facility to ask why Simon stayed out.

If Simon calmed down after 20 minutes, to me this suggests he was more interested in remaining out than coming in. But if you notice this happening again, then it is important that Simon maintain a strict regimen. Some horses need a very regular structure to their day, including turnouts, return to stall, & regular feeding schedules. Your boarding facility needs to know this to make sure this does not happen again. While low, there is some concern that the stress of irregular care can leave a horse more prone to illness, including colic.

Does this make sense?

Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.
I see you viewed my answer. Do you have any further questions?
As I said, I would speak to the barn owners/caretakers of your horse to find out if there were any extenuating circumstances that kept him out for 3 days. Then I would reiterate my concern that Simon be kept on a previously agreed upon turnout schedule to prevent any further issues with him becoming agitated. I hope you agree with this.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.

You are very welcome.

Take care.

Expert:  Dr Linda replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr Linda