Wiola over at The Riding Instructor's Diary had a post about whether horses should be left in or out, with a link to an article about that topic. This inspired me to post about how we have set up Pippi's life:
With the generous, and oh so very kind, help of Kevin (BO) Pippi's stall was converted into an in/out stall. During the night she is in her stall, closed up to the world with Chance (a mini horse) across from her. It is only the two of them in this building, as the other mini's are in an attached building. We feed her about 7am, and depending on the outside Temperature we may open her doors at that time. If it is very cold, Miranda will come back later in the morning to let her out. Being in college her schedule luckily allows for that.
Letting her out means that we open the door to the outside. The door swings inward and links it to a gate that blocks her from walking freely around inside. We then open up her stall door, and with that she can go outside into a run and from there into a small field. We have the option of two fields; her daily field, and one that we are trying to keep some grass in and use maybe once a week.
We have found that Pippi chooses to be outside the majority of the time. She will stand in the doorway during heavy and cold rain, but I can not recall her ever being truly inside when we arrive or do a drive by. Pippi used to live a sheltered life, and was scared of the world as a whole. I love that she now ventures around all by herself, and has some autonomy in her day. I think it makes her more of a real horse (if you knew her when we got her you would totally get what I mean), and less fearful. She is also really healthy, and Strong.
Personally I like this constant turn out option better than just a "few hours a day weather depending." But each horse is different, and a few years ago this would never have worked. I will have to take some pics to show you what a great lay out Kevin made for our Pippi.