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4 things to add to your Paddock Paradise next!

If you’re in the UK right now, the chances are you’re extremely fed up of the wet, mud and cold. Personally, we’re just about ready to attach a snorkel and flippers to our horses going forward just for safe measure. However, whilst we’re feeling glum and frustrated with the weather, it’s a good time to look ahead to warmer days, blue skies and dry tracks and start the planning process for your next, spectacular track project.

So, here are 4 track additions to kick off your Pinterest board that we have already tried and tested:

1)      A pond

Now of course this first one depends on whether you own the land you’re on or have permission to modify it in any way, but one of the first things we did when we moved to our current place over 15 years ago was add a pond.

We were lucky enough to have one pond on site already but with 18 acres to make use of, we wanted to add another one into a separate track, now known as track 3, so both herds could enjoy a cool summer dip or a splash in the water. Both ponds are used religiously throughout the year, providing an area to cool down in over the summer and a way of releasing their inner mud monster during the winter. A pond would be particularly beneficial to those of you with land prone to flooding in certain areas.

2)      A dirt mound

If your track is fairly flat and you often wish you had some undulating land to build over, creating a mound or small hill with any excess dug up dirt or soil provides a great enrichment addition for your horses to enjoy. It’s fairly easy to remove if need be and extremely budget friendly – which is always a big bonus in our book!

3)      A sand pit

Again, this one may depend on whether you have your own land or not, but we built a very simple and easy-to-do sand pit, initially to provide some where soft for our laminitic rehabs to plant their sore feet if need be. However with time, all of our horses have grown to use and love it.

We used wooden railway sleepers to provide a barrier between the track and the sand. We’d recommend researching what type of sand you have available in your area and what type of sand would be best for this purpose, but we took advantage of some local sand available to us which has worked well for the last 3 years or so. We did put some gravel underneath for added drainage but I’d also recommend putting down some underlay to minimise or stop any weeds from growing through.

4)      A cut through

Something most people should be able to add to their track is a cut through. It’s very simple and not as exciting as a pond or sand pit, but our horses have thoroughly enjoyed having a new area to explore and snooze in, tucked away under some trees or on top of a hill. Both of our cut throughs go from one side of our track to the other and even several years down the line, is one of the most popular areas that is used and a firm favourite amongst our herds.

If you have any trees, hedges or natural features already in place, take advantage of what’s readily available to you and make a little detour off your original main track. As long as you don’t compromise their movement, a cut through is a great way to keep things interesting.

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