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Paddock Paradise - the best tool in the box for prevention

There is still quite an overwhelming percentage of owners who consider ‘track life’ to only be suitable for retired horses or those rehabilitating from Laminitis and EMS. Whilst it is absolutely true that a paddock paradise can drastically improve various issues or aid in the management of both of these scenarios, there are countless benefits to be offered to the average horse by prioritising species appropriate living.

This is Dun, a beautiful 10 year old Irish Draught who was the first to arrive with his friend Raffles at our new woodland track on the 17th February 2023. Dun’s lovely owner was kind enough to share a photo of him taken last summer, before his arrival here at PB.

Like quite a few of our new arrivals, Dun arrived with some obvious grass affected issues, separation anxiety and a bit of extra weight which we are seeing more of an improvement with the longer he is off the grass and remains in a herd environment. His owner has done a great job over Winter managing his weight so he did arrive slimmer than he was when the summer photo was taken. He had previously been kept on an equicentral system with sections of their grass paddock rotated weekly to maintain a better grass length with the winter paddocks left to grow to standing hay too.

Now we're quickly approaching summer, many owners with horses like Dun - your typical good doer, are going to be pulling their hair out with weight management and Laminitis prevention. Unfortunately the grass commonly found in the UK is highly unsuitable for so many horses which typically leads to owners restricting turnout, movement and forage. Not only is this an absolute nightmare for any owner to juggle but it’s detrimental to the physical and mental wellbeing of our horses and only solves one issue by sacrificing many other aspects of their management.

Fast forward to present day, Dun is now on a completely grass free track with netted adlib hay, 24/7 turnout and lives in a herd environment with the freedom to move, groom, play and eat as he chooses without the risk of Laminitis and obesity. In the short time he has been with us, he has lost any remaining fat pads and we are now starting to see changes in his body shape, gaining muscle along his shoulders, back and bottom.

The paddock paradise is a brilliant tool that can be used by owners to prevent common conditions or issues caused through inappropriate diet and management like Laminitis, EMS and obesity. Dun is still able to be ridden but with the added benefit of being an overall healthier and happier chap.

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