Unusual Horse Boarding Set-up
   

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Unusual Horse Boarding Set-up

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    12-05-2013, 02:17 PM
  #1
Yearling
Cool Unusual Horse Boarding Set-up

Iíve been talking to my German horse friends about a new boarding trend. Itís referred to as active boarding. Itís based on the idea to recreate a wild horseís natural habitat. The horses are put into groups in what looks almost like an oversized paddock. It has several feeding stations that are spread out throughout the facility. The horses have to walk from station to station in order to eat. Itís supposed to be better for the horse because they get more exercise that way and canít engorge themselves on a giant bale of hay. Supposedly this system greatly reduces the occurrence of colic. In addition, some of the fancier active boarding facilities implant each horse with a microchip, and when the horse reaches a feeding station, a sensor recognized that particular horse and dispenses individualized grain or other supplement portions.
What do you all think? Is it weird or is it cool? Do you think the horses care? It seems very similar to pasture boarding except they don't get one giant bale of hay dumped in the middle of the pasture.
     
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    12-05-2013, 02:21 PM
  #2
Weanling
It doesn't sound like a bad idea to me, but also doesn't sound revolutionary I think that anything that allows the horses to be out and about for a large portion, if not all, of the day is healthiest for them as well as herd interaction.

That being said, it would not work for my horse since she does not interact with others well and would probably do nothing but stand guard over one feeder all day
     
    12-05-2013, 02:24 PM
  #3
Yearling
I would think a smart horse would coax all the other horses to the feeder so that the dispenser keeps dumping grain. You would end up with one very fat horse and lots of very skinny/unhappy ones.
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    12-05-2013, 02:28 PM
  #4
Weanling
Yes, that's always the problem with feeding in a herd. I like to separate horses for their feeding times and then have them out on pastures with grass for as much of the day as possible. When I clean up hay from around the storage area and spread it around the pastures, I make sure there is at least one more pile than there are horses so everyone has a chance at the feed. But this is just a snack anyway and they are stalled for feedings.
     
    12-05-2013, 02:29 PM
  #5
Yearling
I wouldn't call it revolutionary either. Granted I'm in America (and a very backyard, cowboy method/mentality type of place at that lol), but we sort of do that. The microchip thing is cool but for me overkill. My horses would break the feeder in 2 seconds and pig out on the goodies. I think being outside most of the time is what makes them healthy/happy in the end.
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    12-05-2013, 02:51 PM
  #6
Yearling
Not revolutionary here either. I've always spread out the hay, and it's away from the water trough, so horses are constantly moving around (like in the natural state) and no one horse can guard ALL the piles, so the horses at the lower end of the totem pole still get goodies.

But maybe it's new in Europe?
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    12-05-2013, 02:51 PM
  #7
Trained
The automated/customized feeding is used on dairy farms around here (I thing they use ear tags instead of microchips).
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    12-05-2013, 03:49 PM
  #8
Green Broke
What stops horse #2 from chasing horse #1 away from his grain and supps, eating those then eating his own?
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    12-05-2013, 03:55 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
What stops horse #2 from chasing horse #1 away from his grain and supps, eating those then eating his own?
Posted via Mobile Device
Exactly! I don't know if they have worked out all the kinks with this system yet, but many boarding facilities are now offering this set up as an alternative to stall or pasture boarding.
     
    12-05-2013, 03:57 PM
  #10
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
What stops horse #2 from chasing horse #1 away from his grain and supps, eating those then eating his own?
Posted via Mobile Device
Not a darned thing, which is where the whole 'revolutionary idea' thing breaks down completely.

Mine are out unless the weather's cold and there's sleet/ice, and I do feed them together although they get separate piles and pans of feed. Not seeing how it's even comparable to being in the wild though, as they're in a limited pasture space and still get regular feedings.
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