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Re: [RC] [RC] limited pasture/horse and hoof health - Val Nicoson

I too am considering the Paddock Paradise concept for our 4+ acre property for our horse(s)...we have 1 today but will soon be adding a second.  Right now she's in a 1/2 acre paddock that wraps around the barn in a U shape and enjoys going around it every day.  There's trees there too and I spread the hay out in various places to keep her moving.  She has the ability to go into the barn into a run-in stall and can come and go as she pleases.  When it was really super muddy she tended to stay in the barn and look out.  At nights I think she stays in the barn but obviously moves around thru out the night.

The biggest question/concern I have as we get more involved in endurance riding...is the amount of grass they can or cannot eat.  As the tracks become worn down to where little to no grass grows, then the horse is limited to a complete hay diet.  Then what happens when you go to an endurance ride and set up an electric pen on grass?  I think we would want them on grass at least to some extent so when we take them to endurance rides or just general trail riding they will be accustomed to grass.  I know when I take my current horse out riding she is really eager to eat grass along the trail because she has none in her paddock.

Val + Sania

On 1/29/07, Kristi Schaaf <iluvdez@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
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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[RC] limited pasture/horse and hoof health, Kristi Schaaf