What is the Paradise Paddock? “Now that you have looked at this website you can get a feeling for what the paradise paddock looks like a track that has the essentials; clean water, salt, roll in the sand, hay spread out on the track keeping our beloved equine moving.”
I pray the paradise paddock helps you to understand another way to keep your equine (donkey, mule and horse) in optimum health mentally, emotional and of course physically as they are walking on the track non stop searching for something to eat. If you have pasture you can make the pasture in the middle and let the equine out for very short grazing sessions with the track on the outside. In the wild a horse walks fifteen to twenty miles per day sadly our domesticated equine are standing around eating and living like the human couch potato as most of us are working or like me recovering from an injury not available to ride every day.
Donkeys are desert equine and are easy keepers requiring a dry paddock that keeps them moving as donkeys are very smart and get bored just like the horse so if you see a donkey on a pasture please try to help the donkey by educating the owner. Please never feed donkeys alfalfa hay as this hay is too high in sugar and will lead to major life threatening health problems with the donkey or mule. I highly suggest testing orchard hay as it is generally lower in sugar, perhaps we can all work together in the future and motivate the farmers to grow hay with a label of no more than 10% sugar guaranteed.
I keep my donkeys and horse on second cutting orchard hay left in front of them full-time to avoid, colic and over eating believe me they don’t want low sugar hay they pick at it slow and easy, sleep in it, roll in it and poop in it. Keeping the low sugar hay in front of them all time keeps them all in a better mood, less anger outbursts and less tendency to over eat too fast. GOD created equine to eat on the ground, I prefer to use the mat to feed to avoid sand colic and parasites.
I test orchard hay and purchase once a year with sugar coming in at 8% sugar and never more than 10% for optimum health and I avoid anything with fescue. Additionally all of our equines hooves are trimmed every seven weeks. Each equine is unique depending on their physical attributes and their environment of living and riding on soft or hard ground so please use common sense for your beloved equine to shoe or not shoe.
I have learned that Mammoth Donkeys have the biggest white line of all equine and they can suffer from hoof abscesses. My miniature donkey trims his feet on the gravel pretty good still has farrier visits, my mammoth donkey is more difficult and my horse is entirely different. Last year when I was recovering from the motor vehicle accident things were harder and Rio suffered abscess in both front feet I am working to stop the abscesses in his hooves. I have learned it is much better to do less trimming of the hooves and keep the hooves wall in balance. The mammoth donkey has the biggest white line of any equine I am aware of and keeping the hooves in balance prevents gravel and grit entering the white line. Living in the Pacific Northwest has forced me to dig in and learn what is needed to keep the hoof wall integrity and keep Rio’s feet healthy.
My paddock is intentionally built on a hill with 3/4 inch clean gravel laid down to stop mud and hoof problems, the barns were strategically placed on the top of the hill as Washington State gets a lot of rain. The paddock I currently have them on is stage one. I was always going to create the paradise paddock for them but the motor vehicle accident interrupted these plans they will resume when we sell our home and build our new farm on flat land with a one story home for me. I intentionally have my Mammoth donkey and mini donkey on a dry paddock to control the amounts of sugar in their diet and the donkey boys their wooded paddock as donkeys love wood. Miss Lily having the thoroughbred in her pedigree is a runner and she cannot go out into the wooded paddock as she will run when scared and get seriously hurt as we have predators on our farm, coyotes and black bears.
I look forward to the day I can create my own paradise paddock on flat land with a rambler in lieu of a two-story home. GOD continues to amaze me and I am grateful to GOD for everything in my life, everything as GOD knows what to do and life is much easier with Jesus driving the wheel. Equine are GODs gift to us humans for sure they are amazing counselors, healers so please do your part to keep them healthy physically, emotionally and mentally.
Here are some creative paradise paddocks: