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Paddock ParadiseRSS feed

Posted: Friday 15 January, 2010

by Rosemary at 9:06pm in Equines 2 comments Add your own

When we move to our new place in the summer, I plan to establish a "paddock paradise" for Smokey and his as-yet-to-be-identified companion.

Paddock Paradise is a system of natural horse boarding developed by American hoofcare expert, Jaime Jackson. Basically, it's trying to replicate the conditions in which wild horses live. Now, horses evolved in dry tundra - so that's not wet Scotland, but I'm going to give it a go.

The start point is that, in the wild, horses walk a lot of the time in search of food, water, minerals and this keeps them fit and their unshod feet in good condition. To recreate this, we create a track by putting an electric fence 10-15 feet inside the perimeter fence. On the track, we have shelter (trees or a field shelter), waterhole (or trough), feeding stations for hay, mineral licks, dust bath - and the horse walk from one to the other.

I hope to do this in the 5 acre field. As soon as we get access, I will work out how long the perimeter is and get the electric fence ordered. I'm going to use wooden posts and two strands of tape, so that it's pretty permanent. There is already a field shelter on the long side; I'm not sure where the water is.

Ideally, I'd like to dig a waterhole rather than have a trough. Jaime makes it sound quite simple - dig a hole 1-3ft deep and line with a tough tarpaulin; run a trickle feed into it. Surround with river rocks and a sand area for rolling. Easy!

I'd also like to put a couple of gravel areas on the track for the horses to walk over. This helps to condition their feet. A friend of a friend has done this and says her horses stand and rock on it, as if having a foot massage.

The track should be scraped clear of grass or mown very short. Keeping it in reasonable condition in our climate might be a challenge. Hay is fed all year, so it's a good system for laminitis prone horses.

Anyway, I'll let you see it once we have access. If you are interested, the book "Paddock Paradise - A Guide to Natural Horse Boarding" by Jaime Jackson, is worth a read.

Comments

Marja van Run

Tuesday 19 January, 2010 at 5:35pm

Hi Rosemary,

I was pointed to your post by Google alerts. Great that you're going to build a PP! I have one as well (in the Netherlands) and I made a Dutch website, dedicated to the PP principle. It's a pity you can't read Dutch ;-) (I presume). But do you know http://www.paddockparadise.wetpaint.com? You can find lots of information there and make your own pages as well.

Good luck on your PP :-)!

Best wishes,

Marja van Run

from The Netherlands

Rosemary

Tuesday 19 January, 2010 at 7:07pm

Thanks for this. I've bookmarked it - really interested in the slow feeders. I wish I could get one of those Paddock Pals but tey don't make them any more.

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