The Importance of Winter Turnout

Hartpury College have recently released some research indicating that 20 minutes on a ‘horsewalker’ is equivalent exercise to one hour of turnout. The research showed that the horses travelled the same distance in both scenarios, but the heart rates of the turned-out horses were higher, due to periods of trot and canter.

With winter fast approaching, many horse owners’ thoughts will be turning to the inevitable turnout woes, and ways to get around them!

However, as the researchers were keen to point out, a ‘horsewalker’ is not a replacement for daily turnout. If you’re lucky enough to have one, it simply provides additional exercise during times of limited turnout or limited daylight for ridden exercise.

The psychological benefits of being out in the field, at least for part of the day, are huge. Here at Remus our horses enjoy daily turnout, as well as environmental enrichment to enhance their physical, social and mental environment. This is through various means including music, mirrors, toys and, of course, regular grooming. You can read more on our enrichment programme here.

Turnout is also important to allow horses to behave as naturally as possible in social groups. All of our residents love spending time with their pals out in the field – come rain or shine!

You can read more about the research in this recent Horse & Hound article.

Our last Open Day of the 2019 season will be taking place on Sunday 6 October. This is the last time that we will be open to visitors this year, so don’t miss out! You can find all the information you need on our website.

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