• Adele Shaw

Ep 52 // Helping Horses Adjust To Turnout

Are you interested in turning your horse out more but worried for their safety? Do they run the fences, call, stress, and in general act in a panicked way when turned out? Maybe they even act like they would prefer to be in their stalls and don't like the pasture! This episode is JUST for you. I explain my process to helping introduce horses to more turnout or to full time pasture life in a safe and low stress way. Low stress for them, and for you! I also share some of my personal stories of where "just turn your horse out" has not actually been the safest approach.

 

Podcast Transcript:


ep 52

[00:00:00] Hey there. Welcome to the TWE Podcast, the podcast where we talk about all things related to horse. Horse keeping and being better horse people for our horses. I hope you enjoy this episode today, and if you'd like to share your thoughts with me or have suggestions for future podcast episodes, please feel free to reach out to me through social media or the TW website, the willing equine.com.

[00:00:37] On my website, you can also find a ton of great information about horse training and keeping in general, as well as check out the TWE services and just learn more about us. Also, we have courses and memberships that you could sign up for. Before you do that though, I would love for you to listen to this episode and I hope it inspires you in a positive way today.

[00:01:04] You know, I've been hearing so much really great conversation centered around having horses out more, right? Less in their stalls, less isolated, less trapped in a a box . And so more turnout, basically the conversation that I'm hearing on social media and throughout other outlets and in barns and through, I don't know, just different types of environments that equestrians might have. Conversations I'm hearing a lot more conversation about turning horses out more, and I'm absolutely here for it. I think that is such a big step towards making progress as the equestrian community as a whole and providing a better lifestyle for our horses and meeting their needs, their basic needs and I consider myself a LIMA trainer and I follow the humane hierarchy when I'm addressing problem behaviors. So really quick, what that looks like is anytime I'm in a situation where I'm dealing with a problem, behavior, or I'm helping an owner, or even myself or some students work to achieve a certain training goal or to problem solve a behavior, the first thing we look at is the environment and the health of the learner of the animal. And also potentially the human learner as well. And one of those first things that comes to mind is, well, how much turnout does your horse get? And because I can't tell you how many problem behaviors are rooted in this very issue that the horse is trapped in a fairly small space considering the size of the animal and in how they're designed and built to move and graze, socialize and be outside. They're trapped in this small confined space. And then we expect them to be well behaved and to be emotionally and mentally and physically sane and sound. And that's just asking a lot from them. Something that we couldn't even do if you were trapped in a little box for most of your day, and then let out for an hour a day. We would go insane too, and you would probably have severe behavioral issues as well. There, I'm, I'm not gonna go too far into a bunch of the comparisons that we could bring up. I mean, we could talk about some types of learning environments that kids are expected to sit in, sit through, or deal with and cope with and how they're not really ideal learning environments and we're really setting 'em up for failure. We could talk about the big outcry having to do with large marine animals and how the space that they're expected to live in is too small for their needs. And they're too isolated for what they need. And a lot of times the same people that are speaking up for the large marine animals, which I am one of those, I wonder because I'll see them go back and have their horses in a stall 24 7 or for most of the day, and I was even one of those back in the day. So it's, it's such a tough conversation to have because I know there's so many factors involved. I mean, and I'm not talking about extreme situations. I'm not talking about your horses stall rest because they injured themselves and the vet, put them, that's their prescribed health advice, whatever, please do follow your vet's advice. I'm not talking about those situations. I'm talking about day-to-day living for your horse on an average basis and what they're expected to be able to cope with and then behave well. So anyway, I'm getting a little bit off track there. I don't really wanna dive into the ethics too much here, except for that, I want to say 100%, your horse is designed and meant to be roaming and graze. And have a social aspect to their life. The herd companions 24 7, their whole lives. That is how they're designed. That is who they are, and we can't, It's a little bit disingenuous, I wanna say, to say things like, 'we love our horses and we want what's best for them, and then we can't, we don't provide this basic thing for them.' Now I realize there is a lot of different factors at play here in regards to where you're located, financial status, things like that. And I'm not saying that you need to buy a hundred acres of land and turn your horse out with five other horses for the rest of their lives. And you know, like I'm not asking you to do that. I realize there's going to be times where pasture turnout is not available. I realize that there are going to be areas of the world that, that availability for pastures and companions and all that is very restricted. And, you know, we have to look at it as a whole package. I'm not going to make blanket statements that not doing this thing equals this, right. There's a lot of gray area here. All I'm gonna say is I would like, and I am excited to see the equestrian community as a whole really pushing for this and trying to do better. And that's all we can ask for is can we do better? Can we offer more, more than what they had before? More than what? Maybe we would've thought was acceptable 10 years ago, five years ago, even three years ago. Can we just do more? And that's all I'm asking for. I think that's all anybody can ask for. And so I'm really excited to see this because it is happening. I'm seeing it happen. I'm seeing people really motivated to provide pasture environments for their horses. I'm really seeing people motivated to change their belief systems around how horses are supposed to be kept, how they are safest. I know just from my own experience that my horses sustain far fewer injuries and are have far fewer behavioral issues and are way easier to work with and to keep and are less expensive when they are kept in a pasture environment with companions. And I know that's counterintuitive or counter counter to the advice that I received growing up in the horse world up until I was, you know, let's see, it's probably been about eight years since I started really turning horses out all the time. Maybe a little bit longer maybe nine. Before that, I kept my horses installs all, all the time, every day. Except for their hour or two of turnout, or sometimes it'd be a couple of hours in their individual paddocks. And meaning that they were by themselves. And so a lot has changed for me and I, I just can't imagine ever going back. But, you know, initially it started off with just trying to do better. Right? So I just worked towards, can I turn my horses out for a couple extra hours? Okay, great. Can I provide them at least one companion? Awesome. Okay. Can I, you know, make my pasture a little bit larger so they have more room to roam? Perfect. And so we're just making changes a little bit of a time. So, you know, I'm gonna, I'm kind of, that was my preface to going into this topic. I wanna talk about how to go about that process though, because a big roadblock I hear for people and for myself included, actually had this exact experience, was I wanted to turn my horses out more. And I, I wanted to try and, and trust that's what they needed most and that's what would help. But I ran into the issue where my horses hated being turned out like would legitimately panic and harm himself. If he was left out for more than an hour, sometimes even less than that, he would, I would turn him out. This was a warm blood I had a long time ago. I would put him out in his pen and he had, or a pasture and there was grass. There was other horses nearby, not in his pen, but nearby. And he would start running the fence line, screaming and calling and just having a meltdown and just, he'd be dripping in sweat if I didn't bring him in quick enough. And, he hated being out, but he loved his stall. He was calm in his stall. He just stood in his stall and I'd give him, you know, hay, a couple times a day. And he had his other stall members nearby meaning his other, the other horses I had, I wouldn't, I don't know that I'd go as far as call herd companions because they were never turned out together but I suppose they were to him because he could socialize with them and they were the horses that were nearby. But this horse had grown up his whole life being, besides maybe when he was a young foal, he had been in the stall with an hour of turnout every day for his entire life. And he was, I think he was about 13 years old at the time, maybe 14 when I started trying to turn him out more. So he had lived his entire life in a box. And if he wasn't in the box, he even, his turnout was kind of just a larger box . It was literally a square, a green, flat square that was just a little bit bigger than his stall. Sometimes at some places he boarded out. Before I had him, they were as much as up to an acre, but still there were like a square, flat and green. And he was always turned out by himself. Oh, and then when he wasn't in his stall or in for the one hour square, large turnout. He was in the arena working and he worked an hour a day in the arena six days a week, and then he hand walked on that seventh day. So, This horse had largely lived his entire life, hyper controlled and hyper confined, right? So he was in this confined space constantly, and there was no variability really. There was no freedom and enrichment. And he just, everything was controlled. Everything was confined and everything he constantly living this cycle for his whole life for 14 years, or we'll say, we'll say 12 years to be safe. So you can imagine when I turned him out and left him out for a little longer than he was supposed to be out, he panicked. He was like, they've forgotten about me. I'm gonna die . And. Obviously that wasn't the case from my perspective, but from his perspective, of course that's a little bit different story.

[00:10:20] I can't tell you exactly what he thought, but I could tell you what his behavior was, which was that he panicked and it was very dangerous and he was very unsafe doing that. And he was gonna hurt himself. He was gonna hurt people around him. Even trying to catch him at that point was extremely dangerous. Obviously you can imagine that this first step into pasture life for horses was not a super great one. I, I for a while was like, Okay, people are dumb. I'm not, I'm not doing that. I'm gonna hurt him. He's gonna get hurt. And obviously he just likes his stall better. And I'm just gonna keep his stall and, and keep doing what I've been doing and they're just not right. And so that's, I kept doing that way. Later though later on in life I started learning more about behavior and conditioning and creating positive and negative associations with and I'm talking from an emotional perspective or a, or an experienced perspective, positive and negative, not the like operating conditioning, so like positive meaning good associations and negative meaning bad associations with things. So he had developed really strong positive associations with this stall. And the reason being, that's where he got all of his meals, that's where the other horses were nearby. He he knew what to do, where to do it, when to do it. It was familiar to him. Typically, even if it's a terrible situation, familiarity is or typically creates a very good association for the learner. So there are, I mean, you could do your own research on this, but this is very well known that just because it's a bad situation doesn't mean somebody will choose to leave it because that's what they're familiar with. They will choose that because it feels safer than the unknown. So this happens with horses as well. So he had created, or he had been conditioned to think that his stall was the safest place for him to be. And that was, you know, definitely assisted by the regular feeding in there. That's where all his hay was. That's just where he felt safe. Whereas the pasture, he was okay for a little while, but he started to panic after a certain amount of time because that's, it wasn't part of his routine. And this is the other part of it is routine horses can very quickly pick up on what is routine, when are things supposed to happen? Feeding times, for example, I'm sure all of you guys have been in a barn at one point or another when it's feeding time and you can't ask the horses to do anything because they're freaking out because it's feeding. And they, they know it's time to eat, and so why would you do anything else other than get your food? So they have a routine. Now, I don't feed my horses on a routine time because of that. I want them to be a little bit more flexible. I mean, they still generally get fed around the similar time, but not always. Anyway, they're, they're a whole nother conversation. I do try and keep less of a routine when it comes to feeding time. I. They only get supplements and their ration balance are once a day. So that's fairly easy to do. And then they have, hay, 24 7. So they always have food in their stomach. They're never going hungry. They always have grass too. But this allows them not to get so stuck in a certain routine that it disrupts everything if my schedule changes or something happens that, that helps me a lot. You don't have to do it that way. That's just something I've chosen to do. I know people that would disagree with me on that, and that's okay. So I don't think we're harming the horses either way. That's just, it's just behavior. It's just what happens, right? Same thing happens with turnout times and when they're supposed to come in from the pasture and when they're supposed to go out, do they usually come in at night and then go out during the day or vice versa? They get into routines and they start to recognize patterns. That's the best way to think about it, is patterns, behavioral patterns. And so when things change, that can be quite alarming to them if it's done all of a sudden, or basically that leads me to, okay, so what do you do though when you, what do you do when you have a horse that is in a routine has a pattern, a behavioral pattern. They have created a really strong association with being safe in their stall and don't understand that they're safe in their pasture. What are some things you could do to really help this horse? Because you do wanna turn them out more, but you want them also to be safe reasonably. So. Well, my answer to that is, and is, this is the same answer I give to my clients and students, is that we need to take it slow . So changing behavior takes time. If we're going to do it in a low stress way and in a safe way. So you could of course, just throw your horse out to pasture and say, sorry, it's gonna, you know, be terrible for a little while, but you'll get over it eventually. I know people that do this, I potentially have done this. I'm trying to remember if I have ever done this in the past. Maybe I have when I was desperate or I didn't know better. I can't think of a specific scenario, but I'm not gonna say I've never done it. And I've done it with other situations too, on accident. But when, when we're using best practice and when we're trying to help our horses learn a new pattern and feel safe in their environment and to make it as low stress as possible, following that LIMA and it, you know, we need to take this very gradually and it depends on the horse, how long this takes. This could take a couple of days or it could take a couple of months. I've definitely met horses where it's taken a couple of months to really adjust them to being turned out. There was one horse I worked with, it was the horse actually came to live with me and it actually took, So the, the client had been working towards getting your horse to stay out at night because he had always stalled at night that he was out during the day. So that was still a really good step forward. He was stalled at night. He was out during the day. That's still a huge step. That's still a big that is still a really good thing for that horse. But she wanted to take it another step and have the horse stay out 24 7, however, again, he was a senior, had lived his whole life mostly in stalls. And they had gotten to the point where he was comfortable in his pasture during the day, but he really expected to come in at night. He didn't feel safe out there at night. A couple of the steps that we took towards helping him feel more comfortable at night is we found him a companion that stays out with him at night, which is really important. The horse needs to have companions that they trust and know and have positive associations with. So if you can do that we'll talk about that more in a minute. But that was a big step towards it, is he needed to have companions that stayed out with him. And the other thing she provided extra enrichment and stuff for him going into the night, but it got to the point where he was. He would get really distressed late at night. So he would, he would be fine for the first couple hours after the sun went down, but then he'd start to get really distressed even though there were other horses out there that did, were not distressed. One thing we ended up doing with him actually is he came to stay with me for a couple of weeks, and because the environment changed, everything changed. There were no patterns of behavior anymore, really. I mean, there's still the learning that he has, but it's in a new place, so, prime to set up for new patterns, right? Prime to set up new routines. Cause it's a new pasture, new stalls, new barn, new handlers, new everything. Except for he came with his companion, which was awesome. And so we actually were able to finally break that pattern and teach him that it was okay to be outside because we were at a totally new environ. And so he adjusted much quicker and didn't have those panics late at night. And then he was able to go back home and maintain those same patterns of behavior of staying out and not wanting to come inside the barn at night and panicking. That's just one scenario. I don't, that's not usually necessary. I kind of, we're on tangent about that. But normally what we do is we just slowly extend out how long the horse can stay out in the pasture with things that are distracting and creating positive associations. So let's say, let's go back to my example with my warm blood that I had. What I could have done, knowing what I know now, is I could have gotten to close to the end of that hour before he started to get panicked. This is important. Before I started to get panicked, I could go and give him an enrichment toy that I know would last him at least 30 minutes or something like that, and then before he got panicked, after finishing that enrichment toy. I would bring him in the next, you know, do that for a couple of days. And when things were going well, I could do that same thing again, but I would stretch it out just a little bit further. So I might say, Okay, so before I was going out at the 50 minute mark before the hour, right? This time I'm actually gonna go out at an hour and do that same thing. And and then bring him back in and then we'll stretch it to, you know, an hour and 10 minutes and then an hour and 15 minutes. So gradually he's going longer and longer before you bring him in. And you could even do it also on the other side of things where if you don't wanna, cuz we don't wanna create a a strict pattern. As soon as they're done with enrichment, it's time to come inside. So what we're gonna do on the other side of that too, is when they finish the enrichment toy, can they just stay settled for an extra minute or two? Then can they stay settled for two to three minutes before you bring 'em in, then four to five minutes, then six to, you know, whatever. We keep building, building, building. And this is gonna take a couple of days at each level. And before you increase the intensity, meaning the difficulty. And pretty soon you'll be able to really not throw out enrichment too much. And even if you do throw out enrichment, they don't need to come in right away and it's gonna become this thing where they start to learn that being outside is actually okay, that they are safe that there's positive things, and you can start to throw out multiple enrichment things. So you. You know, at the first hour, or maybe you're at this point, you're almost at two hours. So throw out and a piece of enrichment that lasts 'em 30 minutes and then give 'em a little bit of time after that's done and then maybe throw out some more. And that is going to help them. And then also the other part of this is, like I mentioned before, they really do need to have a good environment that is set up to help them be successful and help them really enjoy their time outside. This means 24 7 forage, so they need to have grass. And or hay available to them. And if you have a horse that is an easy keeper, it needs to be on a slow feeder net. Or something similar to slow down their intake of the hay so they don't just like consume too much grass as well. The other thing they need is companions. Not just any companions, though, any companions they get along with. If you have a horse that's worried about being outside and then you throw 'em out into a herd that antagonizes them they're not gonna really enjoy being out in their herd, right? They're gonna wanna come inside to get away from the horses that are being rough on them. So make sure you find a companion for your horse that is really calm and and doesn't antagonize them, and it helps them feel safe. I would, I would ideally make, if the companion could be a seasoned horse as far as they're used to being out 24 7, they're not at all stressed about it. They're really relaxed and calm and they could show your horse that it's okay to be outside, that it's okay to continue grazing and eating your hay and playing with your enrichment toys. And or, you know, enrichment doesn't have to look like a toy. It could be throwing you know, scattering little pieces of alfalfa, little clumps of alfalfa all around the pasture that would keep 'em busy for a long time. Or putting clumps into the trees where they can reach 'em, or, you know, hiding carrots around the field. There are so many enrichment things that you could use that do not cost a lot of money, don't have to buy fancy toys. And actually a lot of the horse toys are really not that great because the horses don't care about them. Like most horses don't care about balls hanging from the ceiling. It's just not a thing that they really care about unless they're like covered in molasses. And then they might play with them and lick on 'em and stuff. Really, enrichment for horses is more involved, looks more like food and food scattered around to engage the seeking activity, seeking side of the brain and get them really looking for it and engaging and distracted from just standing there and not doing anything. So really what this comes down to is there's a lot of different ways to help your horse gradually become accustomed to staying outside longer on their own. Not on their own with a companion, but not in their stall without throwing them out into like this environment that they feel is really unsafe. And we don't wanna cause that level of stress to them because that really doesn't make for a good learning environment. Also just causes reeks havoc on their body and their mind. So we just don't wanna do that to them if we can. And so just gradually increasing the amount of time they're outside in little increments and providing enrichment to keep them active and engaged in doing those things. And if you don't wanna throw out the enrichment You know, you could just stretch it out. You could try, you could try this, stretching it out just a little bit at a time. Like I'm talking a minute or two. Like watch your horse's behavior. At what point do they start to become distressed about being outside? If it's at the hour mark, so let's say the 60 minute mark, could you bring them inside at the. Well, 50 59 minute mark. Right? So the point is really to try and bring them in before they're distressed, not after, because we want to reinforce that calm behavior. We wanna say. That was it, That was the good behavior that we like to see that results in you getting to come inside. If you're bringing your horse in after they're already distressed. You know, sometimes you have to, sometimes that's the point you're at. And I don't, I'm not encouraging you to leave your horse out there until they give up panicking. Please do not do that. Do bring your horse inside if they are panicking and going to harm themselves. Yeah. At that point, they're over thresholds. They're not in a good learning environment anymore and or good learning frame of mind. So you just kind of, kind of have to do damage control. And I've talked about damage control a lot in this podcast in previous episodes. So check those out. . But if you get to that point where it's damage control, that's different. But what we're trying to do strategically is avoid going into that damage control scenario and try and bring them in. At a moment where they're calm and relaxed before the panic hits. And then we're gonna start to stretch that out very gradually. So maybe the first couple of days is that the 59 minute mark, and then we're gonna stretch it to 59 and a half minutes or 60 minutes and then, you know, do that for a couple days and then it's 61 minutes. And then we do that for a couple days. And I know this sounds like such a slow process, but honestly it doesn't have to be quite this slow. It depends on if it's really bad scenario and they really do panic, like right on the dot, then you might have to do it minute by minute until they start to really understand what's going on. And then you might be able to start making a little bit bigger leaps to like five to 10 minutes. And then eventually they'll start to really embrace being outside. And you won't have to do that quite as strictly. Again, this is where I like to use the enrichment activities and stuff because it stretches out that time a lot faster and it allows this process to go faster and creates intentionally, creates positive associations with being outside.

[00:24:45] So it's not just about only bringing them in when they're calm, which is more of an operant approach. We're trying to reinforce certain behavior. We're looking, I'm looking at combining both the operant and the classical, which is always happening, so, you know, don't go, come after me about that, but we're trying to focus a little bit more on the classical here and or respondent conditioning and create positive associations with being outside. Creating positive associations with being outside of the stall and showing them that they're safe and showing them that all the good stuff happens in the pasture. Which brings me to another point. Try feeding 'em their meals in the pasture. Stop feeding 'em meals in the stalls. This is super important in a very, very easy way to change the association with the environment. A lot of horses only go into their stalls because that's where meal time is, and they've created a positive association with their stalls because they know when they walk into their stall, they get their dinner. If we change that though and we start feeding 'em their meals in the pasture, then why are they coming into the stall anymore? It might take some time to figure out, but they will start to associate going out to the pasture and being out in the pasture with their meals. And stop looking so much to get back into the stall. Now, if you have your horse in a stall for part of the day during this transition or evening or whatever definitely do still provide them with hay and forage in their stall. I'm not saying to stop providing that in their stall. We don't wanna make it punishing or just a really unpleasant place to be, but we wanna make it maybe a little bit less reinforcing than being out in the pasture. That's really the goal I'm after. Can we weight the positive association to the pasture? Can we make the pasture like the golden place to be? Can it be the most exciting, the most enriching, the most comforting, the most safe, the most what, on and on and on, right? If you can do that, and the more consistently you can do that, The more your horse is really going to create that love of the pasture and stop looking to come into their stall. This doesn't mean that you can never stall your horse again. Doesn't mean you should never stall your horse again. Again, if the, you know, if vet recommends they go stall rest or you bring 'em inside to groom them or whatever, like that's no problem. We're not talking about that. We're talking about perpetual or just long term stalling for extended periods as a daily routine. Okay. And, and so really the large goal here is if you have a horse that is just panicked about being out in the pasture and doesn't understand being out there and really wants to come into the barn, just very simply put, it's about switching the association over to the pasture, making the pasture more positive and more enriching and comforting for them then their stall. And I think you'll be surprised. I think you'll be surprised at how quick this process goes. And again, it largely depends on the individual horse and their case and, and what your setup is like, and what you're able to do and how often and consistently you're able to do it, how fast this process will go. But usually it doesn't take long. I've, I. I'm not saying. Let's see, I'm trying to think from myself and the cases that I've worked with, usually within a couple of weeks to a couple of months, the transition is able to happen and the horse is completely fine with being outside. Again, that's not saying that's for every case. There might be ones that are more extreme. I've seen them happen before, but usually if you're really consistent and work really hard at it and are very patient about it, it actually goes faster than being impatient about it and, and it's a lot better for the horse and for you. I mean, honestly, like the mental health for us, watching our horses panic and run around and we're like, Okay, this is better for you. Why aren't you happy? We're trying to make you happy. We're trying to do better. And then they're just like, No, bring us in. That's very stressful for us too. I know for myself, it was just so stressful. If we can do it slowly and really look at it through their lens and their perspective and make that change gradually for them, it's much better mental health wise and physically for both of them and us.

[00:28:42] And so it's worth putting the time in into it and being very intentional with the process and not rushing it. All right guys. Well, I know this was a little bit shorter podcast episode, and I hope you guys found it very valuable. This, I felt like was a good follow up to some conversations that I've been hearing about turning horses out and different reasons people have given for not wanting to turn their horses out because I, I completely understand. I understand the desire not to turn your horse out. I understand the fear of what's gonna happen should you turn your horse out, especially if you've watched your horse panic when they're outside. I like, I completely understand that. I think the important thing to remember is just because our horse has been conditioned to prefer their stall does not make that the better choice for them, does not make it the more healthy option for them. A good example of this is somebody. Hates vegetables and has been conditioned to find them. You know, maybe because of pressure from parents at an early age and, and things that have happened in association with the vegetables and all that. So they don't want their vegetables now and they don't eat any vegetables at all ever. Does that make the vegetables less healthy for them and make not eating vegetables more healthy? The answer is that vegetables are still healthy for them unless there's an allergic, you know, medical concern. And that really the, they need to go through a process of recreating positive associations with these vegetables and adjusting their taste buds. And pretty soon they will really learn to love it. And again, it varies based on the case. Some people take longer, it may take more work. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't try. That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be an intentional and conscious effort towards eating more healthy stuff. Sometimes our brain and the way, you know, behavior works. We become conditioned to do certain things that are not particularly healthy for us, and we become more familiar and feel safer doing things or in, in certain environments that are not the best place for us to be and not the best thing for us to be doing. That doesn't mean we should continue doing it just because. That's what we've always known. That's basically what it comes down to is that our, a lot of horses in the modern world, the only thing they've ever known is stall life. And that doesn't make it a better choice for them. However, I am definitely an advocate for taking it slow and helping your horse adjust very gradually versus throwing them out and just kind of doing a sink or swim approach, you know? That's, that's never fun for anybody. It's extremely aversive and. , you know, cause fallout in the long term. They may actually become more afraid of their pasture. They may become aggressive towards, towards herd mates, they might hurt themselves. Like the fallout from that is far worse oftentimes than the taking things gradually and turning them out in longer, longer, in increments over. Even though that will mean that they end up being stalled for maybe a couple more months than you want to that is still, to me, the better choice than just throwing 'em out and saying, tough it out. So, I hope this was helpful and gave you some ideas of how you could approach this issue with your horses or maybe other horses that you know of, and also potentially gives you a conversation topic, you know, a way to talk to people that maybe that is a concern that they have, that they don't want their horse to get hurt and they've tried it before and the horse ran around. Maybe this will give you some ideas of how to approach that conversation with them and being, you know, help you be sympathetic towards their side. Because as you can imagine they don't want their horses to get hurt and just like you wouldn't want your horses to get hurt and they are trying to protect their horses and they do love them. And just like we love our horses and just like, I loved mine and when I didn't wanna turn them out, it's, it takes time for us to learn. To a different way of taking care of our horses. And it takes time for us to become comfortable and feel safe with, and have a positive association with our horses being turned out more when that's not what we've ever known either. So we also have our side of the story in our conditioning and our training and our learning history, where we've always thought that it was safer to keep 'em installs. And so that takes time to adjust too. And I think this also potentially can give you some understanding of why the process in those cases should take longer. And it shouldn't be, just throw them out to pasture and they'll be fine. That it does need to be gradual and done with great consideration to the horses wellbeing, mentally, physically, and emotionally as well as the humans as well. So I think that's really all I have to say on this topic, and please do feel free to reach out to me if you have anything to add to the conversation about turning out horses. I'm really excited to see more and more people keeping the horses out and turning them out and allowing them to be horses and loving them for the horses that they are and providing that environment for them.

[00:33:39] Thanks so much for listening. If you'd like to find out more, head to my website, the willing equine.com. I'm also on a lot of different social media platforms, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook. So check those out and I'd love to hear from you, so don't hesitate to email or send me a message.

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