"Paddock Paradise" instead of muzzle and/or dry lotting?
I was out spraying my mare, coop, barn and the pony ran off. So I went after him and he wanted to keep on moving, so 35-45min later he's sweating and I still can't catch him. He smells the fly spray on my hands, thus thinks I am a tiger trying to eat his face.
Opened the 2 hot wire fence to the sheep area and he won't go in, even after I led the mare in. His face is torn up from the grazing muzzle, wanted to lock him up in the sheep area for a week to let his face heal.
But that got me thinking of the "Paddock Paradise" I have seen and read about several times in the past. I have great hills, since we are on a mountain. Hard part will be getting those posts into the rock, all I have is my bare hands and a shovel....
Since he refused to cross the gateway the electric was at, I'm hoping if I use Step in posts and 2 strands of hot wire, then I can make my own "Paddock Paradise". It will be at the pony's height, since the mare challenges nothing, and this will allow the sheep free access to the center and to cross the paths back to their sheep area.
What do you guys think? Anyone here try this?
I was going to follow the C shaped curve, it goes over a steep hill, flat low stretch, exposed rock area, over a trickle creek and then a light hill back to the barn. There is another steep hill a little off from the center, but that wouldn't make them cross the rock area. I could add a second hot fence that would curve away from the sheep gateway and over this other steep area and bring it back up to the barn.
Dark blue squares marks the flat area.
Purple squares mark very steep areas.
Light blue is only slight a slight hill.
Brown line is where the new hot wires would go.
Red is current hot wire.
Blue is property fencing.
Gray is easement fence.
Sounds like a good plan to me. I'd be inclined to go the second idea & make use of the hills if that's not too much for you. I'd make the track probably closer to half that width too. If using step ins, you can also move different areas to provide more grazing if/when necessary. I'd also be inclined to make use of the easments, if that's possible.
1/4 or so of the easement is used for the sheep. Rest is a ton of thick brush I haven't cleared out yet. It's barbed wire and I won't install anything permanent on the neighbors fence, they are crazy people.
If I'm gonna go for 'full use' of the mountain-y land, this pic would show the fencing. lol
But that is a lot of fencing. The blue square w/the green dots is roughly 100ft. So about 2,000 feet one line, 4,000 two lines & 400 or so posts.
Your paddock fence can be as much as 20' wide, just not so narrow that turning around is iffy. The idea of a narower track is to keep the horses moving but the width is what works best for you.The rock is great for their hooves. Let the mare graze it down then the pony will have barely nibbles altho you will have to toss out hay. Small mesh hay nets are popular tied to a few stout trees to keep them moving. The second plan would work well as it will keep the horses moving and it provides plenty of sheep grazing
Our grass grows so fast that I don't see the two of them mowing it all down. =D
It's 4.5 acres w/o the separation, btw.
But I can toss out hay once they do get it low.
Looks like your second pic is still the best idea... assuming you don't have a passion for fencing work! 3rd might well be more ideal, but, well, most of us have to compromise on 'ideal' situations.
Re what Saddle has said, yes, you don't have to make it all - or any - narrower, but I was thinking firstly about the amount of grazing there appeared to be considering only a horse & a pony on it, and also the narrower it is, the more motivated they are to continue moving through it. For that reason, if there are areas you specifically don't want them on much, make those areas quite narrow tracks, even down to 5'. As saddle has said though, you need to consider turning horses, so I wouldn't make too much or long areas quite that narrow, and I'd also make corners & bends wider, to allow them to go round comfortably at speed if they so desire - that's also heaps of fun to watch too!
So the flat stretch should be real narrow. It holds water too long and will get nasty. Or should it be wide, so less hooves are smashing the ground up over and over?
hmm..I'm only finding paths on the hills, paths of least resistance.
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