Paddock Paradise - August 26, 2006
I wanted to upload some photos and video clips to try and capture the type of movement that my horses get from their paddock paradise. Many of my clients and people that I talk to claim that their horses are moving all day long in the pasture...."They're out 24/7" They're moving all day long" they tell me. How can I explain that it just is not the same movement? Nor does it duplicate herd movement like the "track" does.
First thing upon entering the track to feed, I find the herd hanging out at the dirt pile. Big Star is taking advantage of the situation and getting in a nice roll. We have just had some terrible storms move through. The track is muddy, and the weather is sticky with 100% humidity. They love to be covered in mud!
My husband takes the ATV and starts to make his way around the track. He will begin to feed at the back of the track to get them moving first thing. The horses begin to move out after him. As he increases his speed, so do the horses. Soon they are at a fast trot and a canter to keep up and get first dibs on the hay. Even the patches of gravel don't slow them down. They continue to trot over two stretches of it before they get to any of the hay. (My husband enjoys this game!)
I barely have time to take all these pictures when they are back around the track. One lap in about 5 minutes. I doubt if any horse on pasture is moving like this. They barely spend any time in one spot before they are up and going again.
After their second lap around they come in for water and then move out again. They continue to do this until the hay is cleaned up. In a while we will go out and feed again. We try and feed smaller meals more often throughout the day. We do this any time that we can. If we cannot, then we simply put out more hay and scatter it all the way around the track.
The two arabs are constantly being moved by the Paso (Esther) and Big Star (the Alpha and Beta of the herd). This works really well. The Arabs are also the two with the best metabolisms. They get to the hay first and the other two push them on and clean up.
Take a look at the videos. They are not the best, but it is all I have for now. I will try and update again soon. If they do not load on the first try, refresh your browser.