Paddock Paradise in the High Desert?

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Paddock Paradise in the High Desert?

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    05-16-2013, 11:28 AM
Question Paddock Paradise in the High Desert?

Has anyone had any experience using a track system on the high desert? I am thinking of putting one in so the horses will be more likely to move about during the day, the only problem is that all the examples I see are in areas that, well, grow grass. Where I am at we get about 9 inches of rain and rain equivalent on very young volcanic ash soil, therefore our land is mostly sage brush, rabbit brush, some antelope bitter brush, and bunch grasses which the horses pull out by the roots when they try to graze.

Is it still ok to implement a track system without the daily romp into the center pasture that so many seem to emphasize?
Do you have any tips or tricks for successful paddock paradise tracks?
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    05-16-2013, 01:11 PM
You don't need the grass part to have a successful paddockparadise. I have similar conditions, not high desert, but an old dairy, the soil is so bad, only tumbleweeds grow. I put my arena in the middle. They can still go romping in there
Or you can connect the track diagonally through the middle, if you have no other use for it. Anything that makes them move
karliejaye likes this.
    05-16-2013, 07:21 PM
What exactly is Paddock Paradise? I went on thier website, but im still pretty confused
    05-16-2013, 07:50 PM
Originally Posted by Hailey1203    
What exactly is Paddock Paradise? I went on thier website, but im still pretty confused
Search on YouTube.
It's basically a track, wide enough to safely accommodate the amount of horses, as a drylot, with slowfeeders spread out, one source of water, sometimes smaller obstacles, short, anything what makes them move more, and make life more interesting and natural without the risk of overeating on lush grass.
    05-17-2013, 10:39 AM
These tracks often become susceptible to erosion. I have four areas side by side. Started with one, added another a few years later, etc. The top end is open and the previous fencing remains. After reading about the tracks, and watching the horses, they get plenty of movement as they always have to come to the top end to go into the next grazing area.
karliejaye likes this.
    05-17-2013, 12:54 PM
[QUOTE=Saddlebag;2540746]These tracks often become susceptible to erosion. QUOTE]

The erosion issue is the only thing at this point that is stopping me from putting it up today! And why they will ONLY get the track, no grazing on the center, since the plants are ripped up so easily leaving the soil bare and prone to erode. (And I am a soil conservationist by career so I'd feel awfully hypocritical letting my land turn into a dust-bowl ).

The horses (2 of them) currently have about 3/4 acre drylot with a run in shelter. I am thinking of making a chute of sorts along the edge of my property on one side (the other side is a cliff, so no good!) I need to measure it, but I am thinking it is about 800-1000 feet. Do you think an out-and-back type chute would be alright, instead of a fully connected circuit? The way my land is situated, it'll be a challenge to make a circle!
    05-17-2013, 01:31 PM
I would think going up and down an "alley" would cause more damage than a round track.....
Watching my two...they rarely run. It's 95% slow movement. If the wind picks up suddenly I see them buck and kick...for about a minute.......
I think the round is critical for constant movement. No finish line there, so to speak.
    05-17-2013, 04:40 PM
If you go to and click on "news and articles," you'll see a lot of different articles about Paddock Paradise but, in particular, you'll find an article called "Paddock Paradise in Lompoc." This might help give you some additional ideas.
deserthorsewoman likes this.
    05-18-2013, 10:08 AM
A side by side would work with an opening at the far end. If hay is placed in small piles in each side spaced well apart the horses will nibble a bit then move on to the next. Once they tasted all the piles they'll settle down and finish a pile and move on to another. This is why the piles are small. I have set out two big rounds as far apart as possible (dealing with deep winter snow) and the two horses move back and forth. They are also placed as feasibly far apart as possible from the water supply to add more movement.
    05-18-2013, 11:33 AM
Green Broke
I'm not sure if the paradise paddock really makes the horses move more than just being in pasture? Wasn't there a study that showed this was not the case?

Mine do not seem to move more on the track than they do when allowed access to large pasture. But what I have found my track is fabulous for is a replacement for a dry lot. My horses barely move in the dry lot so they do move much more on the track.

grazing, health, paddock paradise, track

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