preparing a horse for spell

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by courtney&coco, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. courtney&coco

    courtney&coco Well-known Member

    Hey guys

    Just wondering what measures/precautions should be taken when preparing a horse to go out on spell. Obviously teeth done, shoes off, etc.

    Do you need to wean them off hard feed or can you put them out on 24/7 pasture straight away?

    What would be expected in the way of condition increase/decrease?

    Do you give them a canvas over winter / fly viel in summer or let nature take its course?

    If anyone has any stories or advice go for it :)

    Courtney, Coco & little Dusk
  2. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    It all depends of the paddock and the horse I guess. Flyveil would be good, but has to be taken off at night. :)
  3. Antyk

    Antyk Well-known Member

    If you put them straight to pasture 24/7 you may end up with the runs if the horse is not used to it, the best way to combat this is to make sure they have access to hay as well and they will pick and choose what they need at the time.

    If you are sending the horse out to someone for a spell then you should expect that they loose no condition maybe just muscle tone and fitness but they should still look good and healthy. The option for muscle tone and fitness is to send them to a paddock which slightly undulating so they still get their exercise.

    Also the person where you are spelling the horse should still be checking the horse everyday if not twice a day, putting fly veils on which I consider important, and if you want rugging done do that to, rugging for me would depend on the temperature at the time, our horses are all in big paddocks, they run naked during the day and have cottons at night due to the coolness in the air. If your horse is used to hot temps and you send it somewhere down south for a spell I would use a light rug at night at least till summer comes on a bit more.
  4. CJR

    CJR Well-known Member

    C&C I posted a thread similar about 6 months ago and got some good advice, I have had Dusty on spell now for 3 months..

    Before sending him out I had feet done, cut down his hard feed over a period of 3 weeks (he was having 2 HF a day and hay) I cut it down to hay only 4 days before turning him out and also wormed him.

    I also weaned him off his rugs, cutting them down to a light cotton and a canvas shell and this is what I turned him out in (in August), he is checked twice daily and has had his canvas off for 2 weeks now as he's fat and fully adjusted.

    Dusty is in a herd type situation which I found suited him perfectly and he hasn't lost any weight at all, actually he's stacked on the grass belly!!

    I'd definitly recommend having someone check on your horse at least once daily.

  5. courtney&coco

    courtney&coco Well-known Member

    CJR - Do you know what the thread was called? I searched "spell" and "spelling" but came up with not much.

    Thanks for the info Antyk & HT...

    How many horses would you suggest should run together before it gets dangerous?
  6. Antyk

    Antyk Well-known Member

    I run 5 in one paddock and the paddock is about 4 acres, how many horses you can run together very much depends on the size of the paddock and the horses. I will not run horses together that do not get on, if there is any major trouble the one getting picked on comes out and goes elsewhere.

    Also you need to watch out for geldings running with other geldings if there is mares in the same paddock, unless the peaking order within the geldings is already established. I have an old gelding who does not take kindly to other males entering his paddock where his mares are, they are his mares as far as he is concerned, but you can take the mares out of that paddock and put them with another gelding without any trouble.

    It pays to put a new horse which is to be introduced into a herd paddock in a paddock next door or closeby for a few days before putting them in the main paddock, this will allow them to check each other out first in safety.
  7. bonnieboozel

    bonnieboozel Guest

    Hi All,

    We run our agistment (spelling/retirement mostly) on 40 acres in Harvey and find that being "herd" animals they pretty much sort themselves out within a few days......pecking order that is. We have a couple of grumpy old broodies who are top of the pecking order in with a couple of yearlings, an old gelding and a couple of other mares and they know whos who. Any new comers are watched closely for the first couple of weeks but we've never had a problem. :)*
  8. Antyk

    Antyk Well-known Member

    We have a total of 94 acres here so there is no shortage of places to be able to put horses, each of our paddocks are between 1 and 5 acres, so there is something for everyone, depending on the horse and its special needs.

    We are constantly managing the horses and they are moved if their needs change, for example if someone starts dropping off a little weight they are instantly moved to a paddock where I can supplement with a little hard feed, if they are putting on to much weight then sometimes we will move them to a paddock which is slightly undulating so they have to exercise more.

    Moving them between paddocks means that they also might change buddy's so we need to monitor the pecking order again.
  9. bonnieboozel

    bonnieboozel Guest

    true true, 94ac....nice! where bouts?
  10. Teddie1980

    Teddie1980 Well-known Member

    I am preparing Tess for spell, i am getting her feet done, she will keep her summer rug and flyviel on, plus i will worm her. She will be going down to one feed a day (purely for her suppliments) and in a massive paddock with another baby and a oaten hay roll.

    Goodluck as i know it is different sending them off to spell! just remember that it does them good. :)*
  11. megan

    megan Well-known Member

    tess is feet are getting done tues i forgot ill have to come out and do it for you :)
  12. Antyk

    Antyk Well-known Member

    Hi Bonnieboozel

    We are 12km's from Bridgetown on the Perth side, in amongst our acreage we have a creek which was water in it for about 9 months of the year and we also have some natural bush. So we can get horses used to creek crossings and bush rides all within a controlled environment, before taking them out into the big bush which is only 3kms down the road.
  13. Lacey

    Lacey Well-known Member

    Hors talk Quick question - why do you take the fly veils off at night??
  14. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    LOL Lacey, do you wear your sunnies at nighttime? :)
  15. rmwgirl4eva

    rmwgirl4eva Well-known Member

    I have my guys in a huge paddock. all are naked(no rugs), or anything on them. They feed off the paddock and drink from a spring. None of them loose condition at all because they can get what they need from a well maintained padd. My daughters pony has actually put on weight. lol.
    We check on them daily if not twice a day and hand feed them carrots or treats, just so they dont get to feral. I love to have them in a spell paddock. Its nice to see horses doing what they love and being in a herd.
  16. CJR

    CJR Well-known Member

  17. Sweet Euphoria

    Sweet Euphoria Well-known Member

    My boy isnt really going for a spell, but i had his shoes taken off this morning, for over the xmas break. I'll put them back on again next year. :)
  18. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    I have sent 5 horses out to spell this year to give them a break from the home routine and small acreage here. Luckily I know a local farmer who has lots of horses himself, and I annually send out some to his farm to spell on over 80 acres to run with a dozen ggs!! They get 3 - 5 months holiday and they love it!:)*

    I always wean them off all hardfeed so that a week plus before they are only on oaten round rolls. Get feet trimmed up short and tidy (as its hard getting farrier out there), worm out, and keep tetanus shots up to date.

    Mine go out rugless as they really dont need them, even in winter. There have shelter, a thick winter coat, heaps of friends to huddle with, lots of good tucker etc. And to be honest the other horses will shread them eventually from pecking order brawls!

    In summer, I sometimes put on a fly veil if the horse is having real eye probs. And I leave it on. There can see fine in the dark. When the feed drops off in late summer, so do the TBs. The farmer usually feeds out hay at this time of year to the cattle & horses as they run together.

    I check them twice weekly and take out a few 1st Aid essentials in case! My TB always hurts himself (not too major) when he goes out, and the others rarely do. But they have to be allowed to be horses sometimes and have fun!:D :))
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  19. bonnieboozel

    bonnieboozel Guest

    hi Antyk,
    your place sounds like ours :)* we have a permanent creek too......runs through every paddock except 2.......lots of clover and rye with kyk, its great......most of our horses are a bit fat atm *#)
    yeah, the creek is great for teaching water crossings, do you do natural horsemanship?

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