Who Invented Paddock Paradise?
Paddock Paradise was designed by a former farrier named Jaime Jackson. In the 1980s, he began to study feral horses and their interactions with their natural surroundings. It was discovered that wild horses can suffer from hoof conditions such as laminitis and navicular disease. These are also two common conditions in domesticated horses.
Using this discovery, Jackson experimented with methods to trim a domesticated horse’s hoof that was more like the natural hoof and this allowed the horse to be bare foot or without shoes. He developed the ‘wild horse trim’ and wrote a book containing information on how horse owners could properly care for their horses’ hooves and how horse owner’s could reach the biological needs for the horse’s hooves.
How Does The Paddock Paradise Work?
The Paddock Paradise is a method of fencing that promotes improved hoof care and allows for the turn out time to better mimic a wild horse’s interaction with the environment which is beneficial to all parts of the horse. Most pastures or paddocks are square, rectangular, or oblong and the horse may move around but most often they continually graze around the pasture. The Paddock Paradise is designed so that the horse is encouraged to move rather than stay in one place and eat for the entire time the horse is turned out.
The Paddock Paradise works by having an external perimeter (existing fence) and an internal perimeter (“inside track”). The inside track encourages the horse to move when the distance between the fence and the inside track is narrow. The smaller the distance between the perimeters encourages more movement and the greater the distance offers the horse a location to relax or stop moving. However, the inside track should not be too narrow because it may cause a horse to become pinned or trapped if more than two horses are turned out in the track or a more dominant horse is turned out with a lesser dominant horse.
This method of fencing may sound expensive to achieve but the inside track can be built with temporary or portable fencing. Using those two types of fencing materials reduce the cost of building this beneficial fencing system.
Using The Best of Your Property
This fencing system allows you to use the best of your property without creating massive pasture lots. Large pastures are good if you have numerous horses but if you have two or three, you do not want to turn them out in a 10 acre field. When Jackson implemented the Paddock Paradise into his personal farm, their property featured a creek that they used to encourage the horses to soak their hooves, gravel and rocky areas to strengthen the hooves, hills to condition the horses, trees that gave the horses a place to scratch and to give them shade on sunny days, and two muddy areas so that the horses could roll.
All properties vary and yours may not have a creek bed (or your state may have agricultural ordinances that forbid animals having access to water sources) or rocky terrain or hills so it may take some brainstorming to make this fencing method work for you and your property. Keep in mind that if you are going to turn horses out for an extended period of time, the horses should have a run-in shed or a three sided shelter where they can stand out of the sun, rain, or wind. They should also have plenty of access to fresh water at any point in the Paddock Paradise too.
Take a look at this example to the right of a Paddock Paradise sketch that this horse owner implemented for their horses.
If you were to create this fencing system with all wood rails, it would be incredibly expensive, time consuming to build, and very permanent. In order to reduce costs and to make using this fencing easier for you, you can use temporary or portable fencing such as electric or non-electric wire or PolyTape fencing. This also makes it easier for you to change the shape, width, and existence of the track if you would need to change it or take the track down at any point.
Other Tape & Wire Fencing Options
Most fencing companies carry several tap or braid products that are great choices for this fencing style. Products come anywhere between 600-ft and 1500-foot options and can be used to provide conductivity to the track and for reinforcing portable or temporary fencing that is used to create the inside track. If you used a 1320-foot Poly Wire rolls, it would cost you $34.99 per spool. Sixteen spools of the Poly Wire would allow you to make a 4-line fence for one mile. The total cost of a mile of 4-line Poly Wire is approximately $600 (yes, six hundred. No more thousands) making this by far the cheapest option.
The Natural Horse: Lessons From The Wild, J. Jackson, Northland Publishing, 1992, Star Ridge Company ISBN 0-9658007-0-9
Paddock Paradise, J. Jackson, Star Ridge Company, 2007 ISBN 0-9658007-8-4
All-natural-horse-care.com - http://www.all-natural-horse-care.com/paddock-paradise.html
AANHCP Website - www.aanhcp.net
See Videos on WikiFoundry: http://paddockparadise.wikifoundry.com/page/Paddock%20Paradise%20Videos