I've done a little research but can't find much. I think they call it a natural pasture, but I'm not sure.
I read a post on here quite a while back about someone putting rocks in their pasture to help toughen up and keep the hooves worn down? I can't find it for the life of me though! They had pictures and everything. :-(
I was just wondering how you would go about doing this and what kind of rocks are best?
Pictures would be great!
probably do a search for "paddock paradise"
one thing I will say is test a small patch with rocks before you invest a lot. Our soil here (terrible clay) can not do the whole pea gravel thing. The pea gravel is supposed to be a natural french drain...with our clay it doesn't drain it just sits and stews and puts off a very aromatic scent in a very bad way.
Small, smooth stones will help toughen and exfoliate the sole without bruising it if your horse is thin soled. Helps to build it up. For the pea gravel, if you have a less than ideal soil type, could always make a base with large stones and hardware cloth underneath, then top with gradually smaller stones, but can be cost prohibitive.Crushed limestone seems to at least provide a dry area that packs down, and helps in preventing thrush. If you live in a naturally rocky area, just don't pick them out of your pasture.
I currently live on a super sandy soil, and pea gravel just disappears in it. I put every rock I could find here, around the water trough, and as the horses pack them down, I add more. We are building up a 12 foot radius around the waterer, and will put landscape timbers down to retain the rocks (the area around it has been badly eroded, so we are filling it back in this way) and top with pea gravel.
Even if you can't put rocks everywhere, just put them in one key spot they have to go.
At our place were on clay as well. What we did was scrape down to hard pan and then laid down about 18 inches of what we call crusher fines. I think what barefoot called limestone crusher would be similar. It's been in for three years now and this year we will have to add a few inches to top it up.
The crusher finds are great for their feet, we noticed a huge improvement and we only have the paddock in front of the barn done in it. This is where they come to drink and spend a good portion of the day, so it's heavily travelled on.
This is the biggest area picture I have, excuse my niece, who was learning how much work picking poop is.....the paddock is about another 1/2 again in size.
If your soil will hold it I suggest using whatever size rocks you plan on riding on. I haven't done it yet but plan on having a load of "road gravel" brought in for around the water tanks. We do a lot of road riding around home and figure thats pretty much the only rocks I need to worry about.
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