Turn Your Paddock into a Paradise

As April rolls around each year in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, I can’t help but say to myself as I look out onto my lush green pasture;  “What’s the point?”, if I can’t have my horse out there enjoying the lush green grass that spring has to offer? Not to anthropomorphize, but I’m pretty certain my horses are thinking the same thing. As a horse owner, and a hoof care practitioner’s wife, I know better. So every spring I pull my horses off the pasture and into the dry paddock they go. Only to go crazy of course!

Back in 2006, Jaime Jackson wrote the book “Paddock Paradise”. Although not a new concept, we recently decided to create our own. Utilizing approximately three out of our twelve acres, we took four foot tall plastic step-in posts located fifteen feet from our perimeter fencing, strung electric fencing tape and tied it into our existing electric fence. Wala! Our track was created. Although not as complex and fancy as most, it works for us.

To finish it off, we laid down some pea gravel and put a water trough in. There are many different things you can do to your track; you can go as far as your imagination will allow. When we turned the horses out for the first time, I was amazed at how much they seemed to enjoy moving around on the “track”. I think they honestly enjoy being on it.

The thing I like most about having a paddock paradise is that I can see my horses behaving in a more natural state. Anybody out there have a “paddock paradise” or “track”? What have you done to it to make it more interesting and natural?

Q DeHart


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