The natural management of horses is one of the core elements for CabaBLOOM. We opted for the construction of a Paradise Paddock to stimulate natural movement. Anyone can set this up quite easily. The main thing you need for this are, except for a meadow (and it doesn't even have to be a big one), posts, electric wire, some time and a lot of imagination.
It is best to start with a sketch. You can request a map of your lot (s) from the municipal spatial planning department. By copying this a few times on A3 you can easily experiment and you have everything to scale.
Then you set out the corners of your paddocks with a few posts in your pasture and then you walk through the pasture itself as if you were a horse. Check whether the tracks are logical and wide enough, whether you can easily close certain passways if necessary. Make sure that the horses have to walk a long way from the shelter to the watering and eating place, while you can acces them easily and without having to drown in mud. Make sure you have at least 1 track of sufficient length for a good run.
We have opted for tracks of 3m wide to allow the horses to easily overtake each other during a sprint. Wider tracks would undermine the 'flight behavior' and as a result your four-legged friends just consider the tracks as meadow and remain standing put. We have flattened the corners so that there is more room in the bends and they can also take those in rengalop. Also handy to take into account is the width of your tractor / quad and tow, so that you can easily keep the tracks flat and free of manure.
With CabaBLOOM, we really had to start from scratch on a flat wet meadow. To determine where and in what position the shelter should be, we literally stood on the plain in all weathers to feel for ourselves where the wind and rain came from. After a wet winter it is also easy to see where the driest place in the meadow is, so hat is where you find our Cabahara (sandy place). It is important for the wellbeing of your horses, and even more so if you have a wet pasture, to make sure that you can give them plenty of exercise in the winter and that they can run and roll around in a dry sandy place. We thought it was important to also leave a space for mud rolling close to the shelter.
The principle is that they can easily enter their shelter from any pasture and at all times. For us in this swampy meadow, it was not an option to leave the floor of the shelter flat ground. It would be transformed into a mud bath in no time, which would also entail the risk that the corner posts of the shelter would sag. Imagine all that work being done getting lost. The floor coverings were thus identical to the same stone shoots as the walls. And mud plates were laid around the stable for the same reason. An absolute must in maintenance!
Our choice of electric wire went to a blue / black very conductive wire of 6mm thick, stretched at 2 heights (70cm and 1m20). After all, horses see colors in a completely different way. While blue stands out just fine for them, it definitely does much less in the landscape than, let's say, white ribbon and white thread. Take also a look in our webshop, where we would like to share with you the items with the best price / quality solution for us.
Our horses are not breakers, so at the moment we leave the indoor pastures without power (until we notice that it would be necessary and then we connect the outdoor fencing underground with the paddocks).
Do not hesitate to contact us for advice or materials for creating your own Paddock Paradise! CabaBLOOM likes to think along with you how you can manage your horses in the most natural way!
Working on the ground, next to the horse, is certainly a way to develop a closer bond with your horse. With CabaBLOOM we are quite a beginner in this story. The great thing is, if you teach a young horse to lunge and obey in the different gaits and from the different lead positions, you learn at least as much from your horse as the horse learns from you. They tell you mercilessly when you are not in the right position, give unclear signals or do not dose them sufficiently. Of course you have to want to understand it. If you're able to observe well, you get it all back nicely ...
The other day when we went for a walk we had to pass a pile of wood, covered with a large blue tarpaulin, flapping in the wind. Not that our boys completely freaked out about this, but their short shock response was the signal for us to pick up a bit of shock training again, in freedom.
We become stronger when we dare to face our fears. The one from afar. The other very close.