The importance of ‘species appropriate’ or natural boarding
When boarding any members of the equid family, one must take into account their natural desire to move freely at all times. This desire to move is embedded into their DNA. It is part of their survival strategy and greatly benefits their general wellbeing.
Apart from movement, the social behaviors and a reasonably natural diet are inseparable from their overall conditioning. When we look at the horse from a natural, species appropriate perspective, we are able to create a greater physical and mental resilience in our animals.
Traditionally horses are kept in stables with the possibillity of some or multiple hours of turnout on pasture. For many owners and specialists, stables are a controlled environment and are therefore considered safe. The pasture is an environment where – according to these traditions – a horse can move and eat freely.
But this control has a few disadvantages. Most horses in stables are isolated, have little or no freedom to move and have to conform to a set meal plan. A horse in pasture might have freedom to move, but in most cases it will also consume a diet that does not fit the horse as a species.
Fortunately the importance of movement, socialisation and a continued supply of high fibre roughage is becoming more widely accepted as healthful. The Paddock Paradise system offers all these advantages and more.
It goes without saying that proper boarding is very important for the development of hooves. All aspects of life come into play when conditioning and developing a healthy hoof.
We know that all horses are capable of working barefoot on any given terrain. But in order for that to happen we need to create the right conditions. In order for horses and hooves to function optimally, we must provide the animals with as many healthful elements as possible. This is important because all pressures exerted on the horse will ultimately find it’s way to the hoof. Natural wear for example, will enhance natural growth patterns and a natural diet will enhance the healthful production of horn.
How to board horses is a large and very diverse topic. Let us help you to make the right choices for your horse. It is what we do best!
What is a Paddock Paradise™?
In the wild, horses are constantly on the move. In doing so , they form trails or ‘tracks’ that lead them to places of interest and have specific survival value for the horse. The life of a herd takes place in a well-defined area and depending on the availability of forage and water, these horses will travel distances of upto 30 km per day whilst constantly eating.
Paddock Paradise™ is our ‘domestic’ version of this wild environment. Simply put it is a simulation of the natural situation. Like in the wild, a Paddock Paradise™ forms an endless system of tracks within an outlined area. Within this system of tracks, the horses are fed and protected from all outside influences.
As you can probably imagine, the design of such a paddock is of great influence on its workabillity. The length and width of the tracks, where they lead to and how to construct these safely? What type of surfacing should we use, how can we feed more naturally and how to keep the tracks dry throughout the wet season?
Over the years we have found answers to all of these questions and many more. No matter the size of the plot or soil you are on, our ‘hands on’ experience offers solutions to all your questions.
What can we do for you?
Paddock Paradise Europe™ offers all services related to the design and construction of a Paddock Paradise™. We work closely with landscaping architects familiar with Paddock Paradise™ and work with companies specialised in green engineering. Our design will fit both your needs and that of your horses, thus creating the best possible natural boarding system.
In all of our designs we take into account the natural landscaping values of your area and find solutions for various issues, such as the drainage of water and possible limitations in your soil. The welfare of the horse is always leading in our assessment and our clients always have a say in the outcome of any design.
We offer specialized feeding stations, grass hay forage and have contacts with leading fencing companies to ensure the best possible solutions for any Paddock (Paradise™). Of course we also provide Natural Hoof Care for your horses.
What is our method of operation?
We prefer to visit your home or facility in order to come up with a customized plan, or to simply inform you about a more natural way to board or trim your horses. During our consultations we will make an inventory or your current situation, make an assessment of the possibilities and inform you of any costs.
With regard to the design of a Paddock Paradise™:
We always recommend making a professional design that can be used to determine what types of materials and plants you need and we help negotiate and work with the contractors involved. Our scaled designs will give you and your investors a clear idea of the outcome and make your paddock come alive before it is built.
All services offered regarding the design of your Paddock Paradise™ or other means of natural boarding will be carried out in stages. Our method of operation ensures that all parties involved know exactly what activities will take place, and when.