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FJCowgirl83

Paddock Paradise - Who Has One?

8 posts in this topic

I wasn't sure if this was better here or in the hoof section...but to me it relates to the overall health of the horses so I came here.

I was wondering who all here has a paddock paradise setup. If you do could you share your details, and give me any useful tips? I am about to build one because one of my mares has gotten to the point that she cannot handle the grass anymore, and I do not have a decent dry lot to keep her on, only the barn lot that does not give her enough movement and grass still grows in some places. I have been wanting to do this for a while now and I have used Google Earth to mark off the area I will be using. Outer fence will be ~1100' and inner will be ~900'. The thing I'm needing the most help figuring out is how to do my hay feeding stations. There will be 4 horses and 1 pony on the track so I figured I would need at least 2 areas to feed hay. All I have at the current time is one hay net and it has large holes...it's all I could find within 50 miles of home. I have no issue ordering small hole nets. I do have an issue with our hay because it's round bales and it is a major pain in the rump to peel hay off of a round bale and try to stuff a hay net by myself. This is not something I want to do for the rest of my life lol. Our meadows are about to be cut and baled and I am going to see if the guy who does our hay can get someone to come in with a square baler. Next question would be, how much hay will I need to last one year for 4 horses and 1 pony? If I get squares they will have to be 50 pounds so that I can handle them by myself. I wonder if they will go through 50 pounds of hay every day.

Anyways I have to get up and get busy, I have more thoughts and questions so I will post more later...I will also try to upload the pic of my fencing plans from Google Earth.

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I am also very interested in this, I can't wait to see any responses. I am unable to do anything right now because we're tight on money, but getting ideas would be super so I can start planning.

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You can thank Apps4Life for sending me here to fill you in. :)

I've had one for 4 years now and LOVE IT! There is a LOT of good info to be gleaned from the wetpaint/paddock paradise site. Just do a google search.

I built mine knowing that I would always have 6-8 horses on the property. Mine is a figure 8, with the long sides of the track between 14-19' wide and the short ends/middle divider about 30-40' wide. The total length is about 1200' on the long sides and 150' on the short ends.

Because of the number of horses I have coming and going, I split my track in two, right up the middle. Both tracks have 1200' x 75' with 3 "stems" so one side looks like a big E and the other is a backwards E. I have home build slow feeders which 4 horses easily get together on, if they aren't violent at feeding time. I put my feeders at the back end of the track and my water at the front end of the track. I have a few trees and run in sheds for shelter/hang out stations.

My perimeter fencing is no climb with a board and hot wire across the top. My interior fencing, that makes my interior pastures seperate from the track, is 2 strands of electric rope (Gallaghers) with step in fence posts.

Changes I have made and am making:

-More gates between the various tracks/pastures/barnyard.

-Narrowing up the track. I made it wide because of the number of horses, but have found it's much too wide. I will leave the short ends with their 30-40' widths, but my long sides I am taking down to 8-10' wide. They only need to be wide enough to fit a vehicle through easily. There is plenty of room for the horses to gather at the 3 wide spots and room for them to get away from each other.

-Added gravel to the high traffic areas for rainy season and for their hooves. Pea gravel was expensive and dissapeared in months. I found some cement wash out that was good and cheap for the really high traffic areas and another small rock stuff for around the water trough.

My horses stay fit enough that I don't feel at all guilty pulling one out that has been "sitting" and going for a ride. They tend not to be as "fresh" either. No worry of having to lunge because someone might buck you off.

As for the hoof angle? I haven't seen any difference in their hooves. The ground here is mostly sandy though, so that's could just be my experience.

Do go check out that website though as there is lots of videos and pics. My place is on the Florida page.

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Thanks for the info! I have looked at that website before but I only browsed around. I will go back and check it out entirely.

I just got in from the barn...the mare I mentioned in my original post is sure enough having a laminitic episode and I don't know if I caught it in time. If this isn't a violent shove to get the track built, I don't know what is! Hubby is supposed to be making a phone call to get a dozer guy out here ASAP to clear my track path so I can start putting up fence.

My track is going to be square and one side of it (as short as I can manage, maybe 250') is going to be barb wire -BUT- I'm going to buy the 6" electric tape insulators and put 2 rows of tape along that barb wire fence so that they won't be near it. I hope and pray that that idea works. The other 3 sides of the track will be electric tape for sure on the top row, and I have been considering using electric wire on the bottom row since we already have a spool that has just been sitting unused for 3 years. If I do that I intend to flag the wire between every post/tree. Oh, that reminds me of my other idea, since most of my track will be up through the woods on the hillside I was going to use trees as fence posts where I can and buy the wood post insulators for the tape. Is this a good or bad idea? The less t-posts I have to drive into the ground, the better lol. All t-posts will have toppers on them.

Ok about my hay. Hubby says he thinks our round bales are about 2,000 lbs. If I had some home made slow feeders that I could load loose hay into easily by myself, that would be great, and I wouldn't mind just using our rounds and peeling off of them. At 2,000 lbs one round would last 40 days and that is a high guesstimate. If we go with squares that would be even better, easier and less mess, but I don't know how much space 365 50 lb square bales would take up...does anyone have dimensions for me on a 50 lb square bale?

You know I have another thought. I wonder if my hay guy would be willing to make me a load of baby rounds? Yeah it might waste a lot of hay string, but I'd imagine it would be easier to do that then try to get someone else to haul their square baler out to our place. I guess the hard part would be knowing how much length of a row to bale and then when to stop so that the baby round is small enough for me to handle.

I'm gonna go check out that website now, more thoughts later...appreciate any healing vibes for my mare, I'm worried sick that she's going to founder :mecry:

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FJCowgirl,

Have you read Jaime Jackson's book "Founder?"

I know you can go to www.aanhcp.net and find a trimmer there. Go to "Locate a Practitoner" and then you have to click on the state you want. Good luck! Hope your horse is ok.

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I made a paddock paradise a few years ago. Always improving it...I finally am making 4 barrel feeders using net at the bottom to make it easier to feed.

Edited by tifolie

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we have something that is called HIT/Aktiv, which is an austrian patented system. the horses have to MOVE if they want to eat of drink, and they are on gravel, sand, mud and grass. seems to work for hoof health and general health.

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