Natural Horse World

Leigh Martin from Mountain River in Tasmania writes about his track…

We have set up track about 4months ago I guess, been working well, in fact I think its could be the best thing we have ever done for our horses.

Track_near-road We are lucky in that the perimiter of our property (about 1.5klm) is where most of our trees are and our dam and bush areas. Unfortuntely for the horses (well they think so) the dam is at the opposite end of the property to all the nice grass.
They have defintely developed regular beats and places they like to go at certain times of the day and they never gallop just huge extended canters if they want to have a run/play. Which they seem to do a hell of a lot!!
We have some big paddocks off our track and open them up occasionally for them, we try to get the right mix of grass and track, when we open a paddock they often stay in there all day so we shoo them out and close if of a night. Once the paddock has been opened for a while they treat is as part of the track, in fact we set the gates up so they have to go the long way around to get grass and then come all the way back out and along the track to get a drink….and then back again…its a hard life…. It is much easier to manage their feeding, we yard them of night for an hour or so as some get separate feeds and off they go again.

Fitness levels and toplines have improved out of sight. Fat ponies have to keep up with the fickle TB’s now. Drink once a day it seems, don’t always go for the trees when its hot, often seen resting in the blazing sun. When its really windy they hate the trees they go for the flat plains where there are no trees whatsoever….cold rain and wind though they often go for the trees. They play a hell of a lot and its interesting that there is no real agression in it, no real biting just nipping and grabbing each other with their teeth. They have also dug a couple of big holes, one in particular is huge and they have turned it into a big
dust roll, they have one they use a lot in

Track-Driveway a damp area and one they use a lot in a very dry area?
And interestingly one of our ponies who suffers terribly from separation anxiety is almost cured. All ours are in together and could not be happier so when we take her riding she is already feeling calm and content before she leaves the paddock and taking her away this calmness seems to follow her….rather than the opposite effect. Mentally she is more resilient and stronger. Horses are defintely much happier and have much more choice about what they do.

PHOTO: The electric tape gate across the driveway opens to the opposite side of the gate opening to close off the track while driving through.

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