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[RC] limited pasture/horse and hoof health - Kristi Schaaf

It's interesting reading about the different
philosophies in horse 'housing', since there are a lot
of different ones! I have three small (one acre each)
lush pastures, and I used to rotate my horses around
them every few weeks and thought all was great (and I
wished for even more acres of green grass). Well, I've
been doing a bit of reading/research about horse
health/nutrition/hoof care (Ramey, www.safergrass.org,
etc), and I now realize that turning my horses out on
lush pasture isn't in their best interest. It was a
HUGE leap for me to willingly 'lose' some of that
beautiful pasture when creating the Paddock Paradise
tracks, but I think it's going to be a great payoff
for the horses. More exercise + less lush grass =
better health (and yes, one of the costs is a higher
hay bill...sigh). I'm not to the point where I'm
willing to totally cover up all that green with rock
and gravel, but who knows, I might get there some day.
My horses' dry lot has different areas with pea rock,
shale, gravel, sand, and dirt, and my AANHCP trimmer
says that it's an ideal environment for barefoot
horses. It's funny how a year ago I wished I had more
pasture acres and a 'less rough' dry lot but now I've
gone 180 degrees in what I consider perfect 'horse
land' and I wish I had some rugged, rocky, hilly
sparsely grassed land!   


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