The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:18 pm
Posts: 103
Location: uk
Hi Sara,
sounds like you are doing a great job :clap:
First off I would advise you to buy a book by Jaime Jackson called paddock paradise. This book is based on feral horses and how they use their home ranges. There are a fair few people here who have this system set up but I cant remember who exactly :ieks:
I had a track system at my last place and it works fantastically well.
The basic idea is that rather than just plonking the horse in the field, there is a track that goes around the field (or through it, across it etc.) that is infinite. In other words imagine a 2 acre field with a track going all the way round so the horses can walk for ever! The track has to have a surface, often rolled hardcore, but also some different surfaces for conditioning and interest.
Along the track are placed various things e.g. the water trough, a larger sandy area for rolling, salt licks, ad lib hay all along the track etc. etc. really you can use your imagination, and this encourages the horses to move. The horses are then let into the centre of the paddock to graze for various hours a day (or whatever works). The adlib hay on the track is extemely important as horses need to eat for an average of 16 hours a day.
This solves various problems
1. Lack of movement. Most horses do not move anywhere near enough
2. Helps Conditionin the hooves necessary for successful barefoot horses
3. No excess of grass as horses are not designed to eat such rich food
(especially good for lamanitics) but ad lib hay
4. Enables herd life
5. Different things to do on the track aid enrichment

I do not stable my horses as this inhibits all of the above but obviously the answer is not to just have them living in a muddy field. The track can be expensive to set up but can be done little by little. Meanwhile, if there is anyway that you could make a small yard area outside the stables and give them free choice to come in and out. Many of my clients have removed the partitions and doors of the stables. It is important that the horses get on and dont get trapped by a horse that maybe has issues and that the introduction of a new horse is done properly. But thats another story!!!!!
Hope thats given you some food for thought and I highly recommend the book (although there are a few bits I dont agree with :huh: ) but thats a basic overview.
All the best
Colette

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:30 am
Posts: 289
Location: Australia
Hi Sara! :D

You were Jess's neighbour... can't believe you were both so close to us, and we only "meet" now that you've moved away! :roll: Anyway, welcome! :f: :)

Kate


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:00 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 133
Hi Kate,
?Yes itsnt it amazing? I so wish i could meet up with you guys and come over for a visit...maybe sometime...Where do you keep your horses, were they visible from the road on the way to the Rocks? I seem to remember some really beaut horses on that route, maybe on some marshy ground?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:18 pm
Posts: 103
Location: uk
Hi Sara,
Quote:
i didnt mean this to be a 'private' converstation, knowing me, i just pressed the wrong button! Yes, the idea is taking form about the track. Its beginning to sound a bit like a wide maze..I think i must get the book. How many horses do you have on your track, and in total, what would be the acreage of it?

So Ive posted my answer to your previous questions back here :) !!!

Quote:
Hi Sara, I sympathise with you regarding the quagmire :sad: Ideally the track should be a minimum of 3 metres widening out at various intervals and wide round the corners. You just want to make sure horses can always turn round. Pea gravel is great, it really massages the soles and helps diffusion of the blood. You can use your imagination really, with the track. You want to make it a stimulating, mentally and physically, place to be but not so much that they dont feel comfortable/relaxed and safe.
Our website is still under construction (time!!) but youve given me an extra push to get going. Thanks :f:
All the best
Colette

The track system we had was around a two acre field but we had four acres in total and 4 horses and 2 ponies.
Definitely recommend the book :D
Colette

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:44 pm
Posts: 1937
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Hi Sara!

Welcome :D

Kind regards

Bianca

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
hi sara. i know that you had some friends in Victoria, are they ok??? i really hope that they are in a safe area. :f: :f: :f: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:

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love jessy


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:39 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:05 pm
Posts: 133
I have literaly just had an email from Ruth in Vic....i thought the fires were a way from them, but theyre not! There are 2 big ones about 18 km from them, and Neil, Ruths husband, has an optometrist practice up in the hills at Mansfield, where there is a bit of danger too...hes there at the moment....they have the horse trailer loaded up and ready to go if they have to, as have 3 horses, 2 dogs and chooks, and plan to go to a local sportsground if need be....i really hope theyll be ok, theyre not in a bushy area, more suburbia....but i am worried about them....thanks very much for asking .....are you guys ok? How close is nearest fire to you? Do you think Kempsey is ok? Theyll probly get some torrential rain up there a bit more wont they, inbetween the hot bits.....It is really upseting isnt it....i am grtateful for snow now, and will never moan about the weather...
loadsaluv, yourl little pommy mate :friends:


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