promotes the increase of herd movement on any size acreage - The key to healthy hooves, healthy bodies, and healthy minds!
Movement is essential to wellness in horses. In their natural environment, herds roam over 15 km daily while foraging and seeking water. Paddock Paradise® is a system that simulates the lifestyle of wild horses. It was established by farrier/ researcher Jamie Jackson, whose goal was for horse owners to provide their domestic horses with an environment that more closely resembles a natural habitat with enrichment.
A track system can be designed to maximize movement on any sized acreage. The opportunity to move freely 24/7 enables the herd to live more harmoniously even in mixed herds (geldings and mares together). The ability to forage constantly for the right types of food spread around the track supports their natural instinct to move and eat, rather than standing on pasture overindulging which is not suitable to their needs.
There are many health vices that affect horses who live unnaturally. Mental instability is a major factor for horses who live in stalls or other means of confinement without a social life. Overgrazed and lush pastures can both cause Laminitis, Cushings, Navicular Syndrome and more. A well-designed track system can prevent numerous health concerns by simply allowing freedom of movement, freedom to socialize, and access to appropriate nutrition 24/7.
The sky's the limit for creativity in track design. Incorporate bushes for scratching and nibbling. Logs and rocks dispersed along the track cause the horses to create meandering pathways. Add gravel to high traffic areas to help develop "Rock Crunching" hooves! Water holes are great for natural hoof moisture and cooling off. Horses will pick their buddies, and travel together. The farther apart water, shelter and food sources are; the more exercise everyone will get. This system is successful all over the world, regardless of the climate.
Providing enough space for freedom of movement is just as valuable to the horse as feeling the freedom to move comfortably within their body. Bodywork can improve range of motion and increase flexibility, avoiding stress points and sore muscles which impede on daily performance and balanced hoof growth. Bodywork is a crucial element to addressing certain issues that lifestyle and the best trim alone cannot always correct.
The natural angles of the hoof are essential for proper flexion and contraction of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. An unbalanced trim will cause the horse to compensate in not only the hoof structure but also throughout the body. Hoof imbalances cause stress on the ligaments, eventually leading to lameness if not corrected. In rehabilitation cases, It can be of major benefit to address the body at the same time as healing the hooves.