Horses are a truly magnificent animal. They are intelligent, loving and great fun for the entire family. Owning an estate country horse ranch means you have to have the proper tools in place to care for them. One of the things every ranch needs is a paddock that is easy to maintain and horse-friendly. When your horse has the right paddock, it can make the job of cleaning the paddock more efficient, improve your horse's health, make it more aesthetically appealing overall, and improve the environment. Here are a few tips for making sure your horses have the perfect paddock.
Planning Ahead for Your Paddocks
If you haven't decided where you want to put the paddocks, you need to start there. Choose an area away from any wetlands, creeks or other forms of water. Choose an area that has well-draining soil. Slight slopes are ideal to help drain water away from the confined areas and your barns. Make sure the area you choose for confinement is relatively close and convenient for you to access the manure storage area and the barn. You don't want to make work twice as hard for you either. You need one paddock per horse. This gives them mobility and minimizes stress.
Footing Matters More Than You Think
You need to choose an area where you aren't going to end up with a bunch of muck and mud. Wood chips work great as a top layer in the paddock. They are good for the environment and compost naturally. They also help to break all of the nitrogen down in the horse's manure and urine. This minimizes the pungent aroma of urine in the paddocks. Gravel also works well, especially in areas where it tends to be a little damper. You can easily pick manure off the gravel and clean the paddocks in no time.
Make Sure the Barrier is Safe
Choose the best fencing possible for the paddocks. Wood might look nice, but horses also like to chew on it. Make sure that your fencing also has some form of hotwire or electric tape. This will prevent the horse from testing its boundaries and destroying the fence. Building corners should be safe for horses -- no bolts, nails, sharp corners and so on. Make sure wires are secured and out of the way. Any junk or machinery should be removed from the area.
By following the tips above, you can make sure your horses are safe and secure in their paddocks at all times.