What is a Paddock Paradise?
A Paddock Paradise or track system typically follows the perimeter of your field, making a fenced off area that forms a loop.
Following Jaime Jackson's legendary studies, the Paddock Paradise was created to provide a domesticated horse with the benefits of a natural, species appropriate lifestyle; optimising their overall health physically and mentally. When a horse is on a Paddock Paradise rather than a paddock, they must move to fulfil their daily needs.
'The principal goal of PP is to facilitate health and soundness – both physical and mental – in our horses. In fact, it is an ideal preventative to many of the illnesses and disorders plaguing domestic equines who are forced to live in stalls or other forms of close confinement or, equally hazardous, in lush, sugar-laden grass pastures. In fact, a genuine PP can virtually eliminate the risk of laminitis, colic, Navicular Syndrome, Cushings Syndrome, and other debilitating conditions caused by an unnatural lifestyle and diet. As well, it allows horses to eat as they do in nature – on the move!' - Paddock Paradise
The core beliefs the Paddock Paradise was built upon are the four pillars -
1. Diet - as near to species appropriate and natural as possible; a low sugar, low potassium, high fibre diet.
2. Movement - understanding the nature of equines and providing them with a mixed herd to encourage natural behaviours and dynamics. No stables or paddocks.
3. Hoof care - understanding what a natural hoof is and trimming to replicate what nature would leave and what nature would take.
4. Natural schooling, ridden work and ground work - this is based on what movements are natural to the horse; nothing is forced.
All 4 of the pillars work together to support each other for the equine - healing and strengthening the horse's body, mind and soul.
We have one water station (1 per track) situated on all 3 of our systems, with several feeding stations that supply the herds with 24/7 access to adlib meadow hay. Our feeding stations are strategically placed away from any normal sleeping areas or herd hangouts, as well as never being too close to a water station therefore increasing their movement drastically. Not only is this mentally stimulating and encourages natural herd behaviour, but also encourages new hoof growth, helps get rid of fat pads and fatty crests and strengthens and builds muscle along their top line, shoulders and bottom.
The digestive system of a horse is designed to pull every tiny bit of nutrient, fibre, mineral out of what they eat; a horse in the wild would be on a diet of low sugar, low potassium rough forage that they'd have to work for. When we supply our horses with rich, fertilised, high sugar and potassium grass that is found in the UK, this is when problems start to arise in the gut - leading to issues such as Laminitis, behavioural issues, sensitivities and metabolic conditions.
A true Paddock Paradise has no grass so instead we supply our herds with adlib meadow hay, allowing them to trickle feed. When placed in such an environment, the horses very quickly learn that their food/forage isn't going anywhere, erasing any problems restricting feed would cause such as Ulcers, food guarding, stress induced behaviours, over eating/ under eating and so on. Although adlib hay is their main diet, as you can see our herds have access to hedges and tree's which often serve as a tasty treat.
PB Barefoot Rehab and Retirement Livery is a Paddock Paradise livery for several reasons.
PP's are ideal for horses or ponies who cannot tolerate any grass, for example horses who suffer from bouts of Laminitis, explode under the saddle, skin conditions, head shaking, twitching etc.
They're highly beneficial to horses or ponies who suffer from injuries, tears or Arthritis - issues that would drastically worsen from lack of movement in stalls, stables, small paddocks etc.
They're mentally stimulating! Many horses walk through our doors who suffer from problems such as crib biting, wind sucking and food guarding. Being in a herd in as natural environment as possible allows them to thrive mentally, simply allowing them to be horses.
PP's build and tone muscle - top lines, bottoms and shoulders strengthen naturally without ridden or in hand work.
They're the perfect set up for losing weight or any unwanted fat pads! Track systems are ideal for horses with EMS, IRS and so on.
More movement encourages new healthy hoof growth, ideal for horses with Navicular, Laminitis, Thrush and so on.
Our horses have the freedom to do as they please - play, eat, drink, snooze, go paddling in the ponds, forage. They have access to everything they need but when they use it is completely up to them.