The herd Clare was working with for six years consisted of up to 35 horses roaming over 250 hectares of forest and mountain. In 2016 they sadly lost their land and had to be re-homed. Clare took part of the herd with her to their current location in Atajate, and started the Education Sanctuary. But this did not compare to what they had always lived on.

Clare was taught a lot by the herd regarding horse husbandry and the fundamental needs of a well balanced natural horse. Now the team at Time and Space intend to use that learning to create a special enriched paddock which replicates aspects of nature and the free-roaming herd to fore fill the horses' needs.

It is very important that we have your help to progress this project as fast as possible for the horses' welfare. They need basics like fencing, shade and grazing which we plan to incorporate into the ever evolving design to create movement and stimulation for the horses. This is essential for physical and mental health as the herd would constantly be thinking and moving – to other grazing areas, to shade, to water. A horse in a square field pretty much stays in one spot and has these things brought to him creating boredom and vices. We intend to combat this by creating obstacles which he must move around and through to get to various areas of the land.

 

We have seen with the free-roaming herd how easy it is to keep a horse naturally barefoot as the horse walks 15 to 30km in the wild. As soon as he's in that paddock, riding barefoot becomes difficult as the hooves have not been able to function naturally and start to deteriorate. The obstacles promoting movement will help with this, as will creating different surfaces for the horses to walk over. Placing food and water at opposite ends of the land with obstacles and rocks between that he must move around will encourage this movement.

 

Horses are designed to graze over large sparse areas with a wide variety of forage. We can recreate this through clever fencing and planting. We would like to build a variety of fenced and seeded areas where the horses can just stretch his neck into to nibble at a variety of plants without trampling and ruining them. Slow feeders can be built to slow down feeding to a more natural rate whilst keeping them entertained for longer.

In the wild the horse can easily find protection from the elements. We have harsh weather conditions in the mountains from extremes of wet winters to blazing summers. We need to build a free-access shelter and create access to other parts of the land where we have natural shelter in a sand quarry.

And just to make life a little easier for the humans, we also need feed and equipment rooms, shelter and a camp-site with outdoor kitchen and facilities.

 

Inspiration for Paddock Enrichment

 
 

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