Whether a horse is with us for rehab or retirement, their time spent here with us on our Paddock Paradise is a journey regardless. If you take a horse out of a grass paddock and put them onto a PP system where movement is essential to eat, drink and sleep, then changes will happen.
I see so many people worrying about their horse's body changing shape or their weight fluctuating when they're on track, constantly analysing every detail of their horse. The Paddock Paradise is nothing short of a life saver for so many horses and it has truly provided the equine world with an affordable method of keeping horses in a much more species appropriate, healthier way.
However, trusting the process of the Paddock Paradise is an important part of rehabbing any horse - it just isn't an easy fix and as brilliant as the Paddock Paradise is, miracles don't happen overnight. If the set up is right, learning to embrace the positive but DIFFERENT (not bad, just different) changes in your horse is so much better than fighting the process every step of the way.
Take Orca here as an example. This beautiful little lady arrived early last year and has changed shape in many ways ever since. Her weight has fluctuated slightly (which is normal depending on the time of year) but she has still made incredible progress on our system. The top image was a few days after her arrival, the middle was the 31st of May 2021 and the bottom was last week. Orca has gained muscle all over her body, built up stamina and increased her fitness levels largely. She's also gained some healthy weight and is overall much happier.
She's doing fabulously right now and has done for quite a while but the process of getting a horse here isn't always pretty. Sometimes horses need to lose fat pads and look scrawny to then build muscle on a healthier diet. Other times, horses need to work out for themselves how to moderate their eating when provided with adlib hay. This may mean they stuff themselves silly for a short while and gain some weight (even the horse's who were already overweight) only to slow down again, drop the weight and continue on a much more suitable, low sugar diet without standing around hungry for large portions of the day. So, whilst the process isn't always glamorous and sometimes a bit scary, it's so important to remember that this is a journey for you and your horse and one that, if done correctly, will only benefit them in more ways than I can count.
This doesn't solely apply to just the body but behaviour and feet too. Abscesses, thrush and anxious attachments are all parts of the journey plenty of us owner's go through. This process may take 6 months, 12 months or even a few years depending on the individual - the longer a horse is ill, the longer it takes for them to recover. However, to every journey there is a beginning, middle and end so please don't feel embarrassed or guilty for the middle of your journey when the end result provides your equine with a much healthier, happier life.