My Paddock Paradise Track!
This is a relatively new way of keeping horses with the primary goal of :
allowing natural herd dynamics and socialization
allow free movement
more natural environment
free choice hay scattered around the track to stimulate movement
different ground surfaces for healthy hooves- I’ve added gravel, crushed limestone etc. but need more.
The advantages are the horses are calmer, healthier and happier! The goats are added in the mix to browse the weeds. I have a natural trim farrier and my horses hooves have never looked so good!! Everyone is barefoot- including our new ottb.
This track is basically constructed by a permanent fence and temporary fencing along the inside perimeter to form a track. Some places are wider – like in the photos above, and other areas are narrower. Water is placed as far away from the hay as possible. I have 2 run in shelters and provide clean, free choice grass hay in multiple locations. The tb and standardbred require grain since they have a higher metabolism but the others are ‘easy keepers’ and are perfectly happy on hay and mineral supplements.
I have stalls and barn space to bring horses in if needed but the idea is to keep them out and moving as much as possible. Stall vices and grouchy, grumpy horses are created from our desires to keep them confined not to mention higher risk of colic, ulcers, laminitis and lamenesses. I realize its not for everyone but it is working for us!