Hello all. This is probably a dumb question, but here goes.
How far can horses be reasonably expected to travel for water over hilly terrain? Our 10-acre property is on a hillside, with a small dirt paddock at the bottom and a new 1.5 acre grass pasture being fenced in at the top, with a path between the two. The path is a bit steep in a few places (you'll be winded at the top, but you can definitely hike it on foot). Their source of water would be the automatic waterer in the bottom paddock. Our two mares currently reside in the bottom paddock, and the plan is to open the gate and allow free access to the top as much as pasture conditions permit.
Theoretically, the goal is to encourage them to go up and down the hill between fresh grass and water for some built-in hill work/conditioning, but not if this would be cruel or risk dehydration when they're up top. (Note: They have free-choice hay in the bottom paddock at all times, so they don't have to go up the hill at all if they don't want to. My primary concern is that once they're up there, they won't come back down to drink as much as they should.)
Thoughts? I know horses travel long distances in bigger pastures than this, but I don't know what's reasonable given the terrain or how many troughs/ponds/whatever those pastures usually contain.
Last edited by Surrealle; 05-24-2019 at 07:06 PM.