I wonder if it's been discussed before?

There has been a strong interest in building living facilities for horses (we used to call them barns and paddocks, or stalls and runs -- ) that work to duplicate more wild conditions.

One feature is to use rough ground on your property and put a labyrinth of relatively narrow pathways out for the horses to travel over. Travel is encouraged by putting out feed at various points along the pathways.

Rocky rough ground is preferred and some folks have even graveled sections to help with good hoof exercise and health.

With spring coming up for those of us in the northern hemisphere dreams of paddock and yard building no doubt come up often. I know I'm trying now to map out pathways on my little wooded 1.5 acre or so for Altea and her new foal to wander about and play. Lots of stumps to climb on, and a little hill or two, little thickets of brush to explore, big big trees to snooze under on warm days.

No overnights outdoors though. My three stall barn is lion, bear, and coyote proof as we have them hereabouts and they have been known to attack livestock.

What have you worked out for your horses, where you can do so, to more naturalize their living area?

Donald

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I have been fortunate to have enought varied acreage to not have to create anything. A little creek runs though the pasture, hills and trees abound, good pasture and trees. God created a perfect place for my horses here. My only problem has been too much pasture and sometimes too lush. My horses are not stalled but have a shelter when they want it. Coyotes are pretty thick here and as long as they are healthy and strong I have not felt overly concerned for them. If I had any horses that were very old, sick or a mare with a new foal I might keep them up in the barn at night. I would like to add some gravel to their path up to the barn but haven't had the money yet. This is an interesting discussion and I hope more people will respond.
Oh how I miss some of the properties I've owned. Once had 80 acres of trees, meadows, hills, trails, wonderful stuff. Now on three little acres that my house and garden and drain field take up an acre of.

Your horse's IR sensitive are they? "Pastures too lush?"

Here's the URL for one of my favorite methods of creating natural conditions:

Paddock Paradise

This is what I want to try and do on very limited acreage. Lots of posts and electric tape or rope.

And because we get over 100 inches of rain a year I most certainly will have to add some gravel they, Altea and her foal, must travel over. I'll pour a yard for them right at the entrance of the barn. Deep, for good drainage.
My comment would be very similar to ridendurance - in fact, we don't live all that far apart. :o) We have rolling pasture with plenty of rocks and uneven ground. I also have to watch that lush grass for my two, and put them in paddocks during the spring and summer. The paddocks are large though, and even my vet commented on what a nice long run they provide. I have stalls, but the horses are always free to come and go at will.

We have coyotes here as well, but they've never bothered the horses or even the barn cats. Hmmmm.... Maybe I have so many barn cats that the coyotes are afraid to come onto the property...
This will sound a bit strange, I'm sure, but I can tell you that coyotes are afraid of horses and even ponies and try to steer clear of them.

If you've ever seen a horse go after a dog coming in at it you know why I say this. The instinct is so strong in a horse to strike, and many are very good at it. It's the very instinct that is used and tuned in the cutting horse.

A coyote trying to close with a horse is at a distinct disadvantage.

Your horses are protecting your (their) cats, most likely. Just be being horses.

Coyotes do hunt in pairs but not in packs. Horses will run from pack animals, as they should of course to survive, where they will often stand and fight one or two dogs or coyotes. The little Morgan I was training to be more confident and less spooky did a great job on a couple of dogs that came for him while I was out on a ride. The moved in from the rear, and I simply let him have his head to see what he would do (I was caring a carrot stick, of course - just in case);

He stopped, turned on them and struck out just once, and all their noisy bravado melted away, and they slunk back into their yard. Dakota was quite proud of himself, and calm and confident.

Donald
My comment would be very similar to ridendurance - in fact, we don't live all that far apart. :o) We have rolling pasture with plenty of rocks and uneven ground. I also have to watch that lush grass for my two, and put them in paddocks during the spring and summer. The paddocks are large though, and even my vet commented on what a nice long run they provide. I have stalls, but the horses are always free to come and go at will.

We have coyotes here as well, but they've never bothered the horses or even the barn cats. Hmmmm.... Maybe I have so many barn cats that the coyotes are afraid to come onto the property...

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