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Paddock Paradise horse owners have at least three separate challenges when it comes to keeping grass away from their IR horse.
1- Get rid of the grass along the pathways and camping areas.
2- Get rid of the grass under the fence line.
3- Mentally get over our attachment to keeping horses on grass: We've been programmed to want green rectangular pastures, and it's hard to let go of that until we experience the many benefits of a Paddock Paradise which meets our horse's needs for exercise, curiosity, herd interaction, and diet.
| Horse owners are familiar with the term "sacrifice area," or "dry lot." |
Sacrifice area gets its name from the idea that it is a smaller portion of the land used for grazing. Horses can be kept on a sacrifice area during times that the grass is more fragile, like during rains or droughts, preventing damage to the grazing field's root system. In other words, a small section of grass is sacrificed to protect and effectively manage the balance of the grazing system.
Dry lots are familiar to many owners of insulin-resistant horses -- a small turnout with no plant life. Absolute life savers for laminitis-prone horses.
Both terms are similar, and you can easily find more information about dry lots and sacrifice areas online.
Paddock Paradise offers the opportunity to stretch that dirt rectangle into an engaging environment for the horse. Many of the tips you find elsewhere about maintaining dry lots can be used along a grass-barren turnout track for insulin resistant horses. Additionally, sections of hoof-conditioning gravel surfaces also discourage grass growth in your Paddock Paradise. Be sure to read about using geofabric under gravel.
Slow feeders provide a measure of entertainment for the horse as well as dispensing forage at a more natural rate. They can be a first step toward an enriched environment, even in a traditional dry lot. They can also be combined with turnout tracks to create a new dimension in natural horse keeping.
by JoAnn Johnson (See the expanded version of this article at Horses For Clean Water's website.)
Latest page update: made by tangledmanes
, Oct 29 2009, 11:13 AM EDT
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