Puny Property Pasture Paradise ;) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-13-2016, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Puny Property Pasture Paradise ;)

Ok, I am actually a little nervous to post this for some reason... you guys are usually pretty nice

Anyways, last year I moved my gelding from my parents home one town over to my in-laws a few blocks away. This move certainly has some pros and cons. He had about 6 1/2 acres of grazing space at my parents and has now downgraded to less than 1/3 of an acre. BUT I now can walk from our apartment to go ride and feed and whatnot and I am a lot happier having him, and now my mini close. I now ride 1-2 times at least a week during the summer and it's wonderful! He has gained weight since being alone and is no longer pushed around and off of feed. I'm also learning for myself the ins and outs of pasture management. I did a TON better this year than I did last year.

I'm still not completely happy with the layout I have now though. I've been wanting to build a Pasture Paradise and always just thought I would save that for when my hubby and I finally have our own property. But I am now thinking it might be beneficial to do, for the health of the horse (and to maybe relieve an itch in me )

Now, this is a fresh thought... pretty much a day in the making. I tried bouncing it off my hubby. Don't know why I tried that because I pretty much knew what the answer would be... "What ever you wanna do." So I am now bouncing off of you guys.

2016-09-13 10.16.17.jpg This first picture is my current layout. I hope it's pretty self explanatory. It worked pretty well as far as keeping some grass nice for him to graze. The red x's are gates. The large pink X isn't really a gate, but a part of the fence that can be easily taken down for vehicles to bring hay in. The horses are labeled but hard to see... they're there for size reference. (Duggan isn't really Duggan, I had to steal a neighboring horse so I could visualize haha he must have been chilling under the tree)

2016-09-13 10.14.48.jpg ANYWAYS... Here is what I would like to do as far as a track goes... I think I would be ok with sacrificing that outside edge grass, as it really doesn't grow well there anyways. There's a few spots within that come in good, but for the most part it's kind of blah. I have wanted to add Pea Gravel by that entry gate anyways as it gets slick there, so that works out. I want to add logs, just so there's a difference in terrain. The new neighbors next-door aren't horsey people and are tearing up their paddock (stab in the heart for me, it was so nice), and I would like to try and get the sand from that and put in as you can see.. but I'm not sure. And as you can also see, I was thinking of maybe putting more Pea Gravel by the stall entrances, just to keep mud down.

I also can't quite decide if I would split the grazing down the middle, or leave it one big thing and just limit even more their time on it.

I didn't draw this in, as it was kind of an after though, but I plan on being able to shut the horses in the back where the dry lot currently is when it rains, to keep them from completely tearing up that outer track.

I was also thinking about using something like this https://www.lighthoof.com/about-lighthoof/how-it-works/ to place the Pea Gravel. I was hesitant to spend money on something like that for a property I don't own, but I would be able to tear that up and use it elsewhere when we do move, right? I would assume so.

And if I did do the sand, I was thinking of making it more of a sand box like this.


Fewh.... made it. Hope that wasn't to scattered, and I hope I didn't leave anything out. Hopefully you can add more insight than my hubby His only concern was getting vehicles in and out, which should still be easy to do, and cost. So for those of you who stuck it out, what do you think? Am I crazy? Is this just to small of a space to work with? Any input is appreciated.

Duggan & Miss May
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-13-2016, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Or "Paddock Paradise" whatever the proper term is :)
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Duggan & Miss May
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-13-2016, 07:40 PM
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I have one!
On 1.5 acres, not huge, but helps a ton with getting them moving and not pigging out as much. =)

Paddock/Pasture Paradise Track System is what I usually call it so there's less confusion.

Mine is 15 feet sides and 20ft corners. Small horse and 2 minis, could of and should of gone a bit more narrow.

I haven't added any logs, sand nor gravel, since it's not needed for me and I will be letting them in the center for winter grazing freely. It's on steeper hills, so they have to go down and up if they want to get to the barn or water.

Mine go in the center to graze for an hour every other day to every 3-4 days, depending on how well they are listening to me calling them back. They have hay given in the AM and sometimes lasts, though, they just pack it in like hogs, even though it's more than they need of hay a day.

Have the water, shelter, hay and most used gates as far from each other as possible, to even out wear. If, in the future you think you need more track, then you can add it in the center and have two pastures or an N shape at the far end.

Hopefully that helps some.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-13-2016, 11:03 PM
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This is great to see your idea drawn out. I've been studying the Paradise Paddock style and thinking of how it would be done on my land, so good to see how you're envisioning it on a small space. I was also wondering if you wouldn't want to have more of an "N" or "W" shape so that they could walk constantly, as with a middle area of green grass, you'd maybe still have to be taking them on and off of it. It's great to see that sand box, as I've not actually seen that before. Possibly sand would be a bit cleaner than having them make a dug up dust bath area in the dry pen, as my mule and little horse are doing. Thanks for sharing!
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-14-2016, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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I said less than 1/3 of an acre but I meant 3/4!!! Goodness that would be tiny haha

@secuono I so wish I had a hill for them haha this land is flat as flat could be, so that's why I was thinking the logs, get those legs up! I did plan on spreading out feed all along the track in slow feed bags. The water being away from the shelter may be an issue, the hook up is right there at the barn and my hubby came up with an "ingenious" self draining watering system that he's so proud of (a permanent hose was run up into the barn rafters with one end hanging in the trough and the other by the faucet, I'm excited to try it in the winter!) And I will be needing a water heater in the winter, and the power is at the barn.... Geeze, now it sounds like I'm making excuses haha but ideally yes, I would like the water to be on the opposite end. But I think I'll just put the entry gates down there instead, that should help.

If I may pick at your experience a little secuono, I'm guessing your minis fare well on this system. I keep debating back and forth on tearing out May's pen and letting her permanently live together with my gelding, she is just a piggly wiggly and I worry about her over eating and fighting over feed. They graze together well though.

Here I go rambling again. I do really like the suggestion you both had of the N or W shape for the center pasture! @LlamaPacker Who knows if my gelding will actually use the sand haha he likes to cake himself in mud whenever he gets a chance haha but I liked the idea too, especially if I could get the sand at little to no cost!

Thank you for your thoughts!

Duggan & Miss May
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-14-2016, 01:53 PM
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Before getting too involved in this, have you run this idea by your in-laws since it's their place?
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-14-2016, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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@Prarie I have not run this particular idea past them, BUT I was given permission when I moved the horse there to do what I need to to make it work for me. Fencing won't be permanent, step in posts and electric string that I already have, and my mother-in-law wants to put gravel in her front drive and said I could just put my load in with that when I spoke to her about Pea Gravel previously. Like I said, this is still a fresh idea, no set plans just yet. Thank you for bringing that up

Their youngest pretty much plans on putting in a dirt bike track when we move the horses if he's still at home, so I think I'm ok with this. Mine's not near as destructive of a remodel

Duggan & Miss May
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-14-2016, 07:17 PM
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I'd be leery of those step-in posts for permanent fencing since if you lose electricity the horses can walk right through the fencing. Remember horses are an accident waiting for a place to happen. Also, it took under a month for our 2 mini's to turn a lush acre of grass into a dry lot so don't count on any pasture lasting for long on only 3/4 acre.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-15-2016, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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So far they've been there for two years, and the pasture was better this year than it was last year. Even had to mow it recently. They don't go out on it 24/7. I usually turn the mini out for a couple hours and my gelding gets turned out in the evening and put away in the morning. I've been surprised at how well it's done.

My gelding won't even begin to test anything resembling electric fence. All inner fencing I have right now is electric with a few T-posts mixed with step ins, and has been working like a dream. But I do have enough T-posts sitting around I could use those if I need to. The outer perimeter is already permanent if that was something you were concerned about

Thank you for your points. Nothing is set in stone yet, this will definitely be a spring project, so I'll have all winter to decide if it's workable, worth any risk, etc. I would just like to see some more movement in both the horses, thought this might help.

Duggan & Miss May
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-17-2016, 12:51 PM
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Here's some pictures of mine, from spring to now. It's too wide, so there is still grass, but I was worried about the flood areas, hills and zig zagy areas ending up too muddy, so let them be wide. =/
Minis still got round, but not as fat. Worked best for the 13h gelding, he used to turn into a massive hippo. =0

Video is from yesterday and should show how little grass there is on the track vs the thick 1.5ft grass in the center. Video might still be processing.

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