Originally I was always against it, even know I saw a lot of articles boasting that individual turnout was good for most horses, and that they do quite well on it.
Last year, and early this year I’ve had to split my two horses up and put them on individual turnout twice. Once because my gelding was injured, and the second time for about a month because my gelding was eating my mare’s tail, and nothing else worked. (Trust me I tried EVERYTHING!)
During the times they where apart (a relative term as they could still touch over the fence, and through the division in the run-in shed) I began to think individual turnout was a great idea! My horses where calm, did not seem stressed, didn’t fight, had less injuries and where easier to handle. I was even contemplating separating them on a regular basis for the sake of convenience.
But the truth came out each time they where put back together. Mutual grooming. These are not two horses who are inseparable, or who have lived together all their lives, and if put in with other horses they are certainly not the other’s first choice for companionship.
But every time they are back together (I can also see this sometimes when I take one to a show for the weekend) They groom each other, and quite a bit. I am going to take this as a sign that they want, and need to be together. Even if half the time they drive each other crazy…Sounds like family to me. 😉