Making the horse's turnout as pleasant as possible is important, no matter if you're an amateur or a pro rider. We asked internationally successful event rider Anna Siemer from Luhmühlen what turnout looks like at her stable.
Daily turnout, even for sport horses?
Why? And how do you manage that?
All the horses get an hour of turnout so that they can let off steam and be more composed when being ridden. It's extremely important for their health. It strengthens their lungs, their immune systems and their musculoskeletal systems and gives them more stamina. But daily turnout is also especially important for their mental health. Some horses come out singly, some in pairs. They come out in every kind of weather. If it's 3° C and windy, snowing or drizzling, they may not stay out so long. We don't give them leg protection for turnout. The one exception is FRH Butts Avondale, who gets ART FUR brushing boots.
Do you use leg straps?
We don't use leg straps, just hind cords. We prefer fillet strings because they're easy to clean. The lower the cord sits, the better the rug stays in position, even when the horse is rolling around. Attaching leg straps is too time-consuming for our routine. And you don't need them if the rug sits well. The hind cords are enough.
What do you look for in an outdoor rug?
As far as fit, we look for what works best for each individual horse. Basically it's really important that the rug won't slide around when the horse is rolling on the ground, bucking, or frolicking about. We use normal rugs and high-neck rugs. We want material that's strong and waterproof. The undersides have to stay dry, even when the horses are out for a long time or rolling in the mud.