There are nights when I bring the horses in. I don’t like locking them up in their stables and restricting their movement, but I have noticed they don’t really move much during very bad weather. And my horses do not share the field shelter.
My field shelter is 12 by 16 ft. Big enough for two horses, I thought. Unfortunately, Cassie doesn’t agree. Although they did share the shelter initially and would happily eat their hay side by side, this changed a couple of weeks ago. When Cassie started to get more dominant, she began to push Minnie out and now the field shelter is basically Cassie’s space. When I let them in after their evening feed, I have to block Cassie with my body, otherwise Minnie won’t even come in. Minnie will only stay in the shelter as long as I stand between her and Cassie, but the moment I leave Minnie dashes out so fast that Cassie doesn’t even get the chance to lunge at her. Cassie then blocks the access to the shelter and is the undisputed sole occupant for the night and Minnie gets to stay outside. And that is where they are when I check them at night before I go to bed, or in the morning when I arrive in the yard. Cassie is in the shelter, and Minnie is standing just outside. If it’s raining, Cassie will be bone dry while Minnie is soaked.
So tonight, with sleet coming down just as it was getting dark and a hard frost forecast for the night, Minnie and Cassie are in their stables. When I checked them a few minutes ago, they were both lying down and they looked very comfortable. However, I’m hoping to close off my hay shed this weekend, so I can give them access to the yard and the stables at night. Then they can choose for themselves and Minnie will be able to take shelter from the elements.