Consider the following scenarios
1. This horse is turned out 24/7, has access to 8 acres of grazing, large trough with clean water. He has two other horses to share it with
2. This horse is out 24/7, has access to a 10-30 feet wide track that equates to 3 acres, grazing is sparse and there is free choice hay in several places. The horse has a variety of surfaces along the track including sand and gravel, access to a watering area, logs, branches and other objects are spread around to encourage play. He has two other horses he shares it with.
Get the picture ?
1. Even though this horse has a ‘larger’ area he will move less. His hooves will not be benefiting from conditioning on various surfaces, he will probably be stationary for much of the day. There is an increased probability that laminitis may occur due to unrestricted grass intake and sedentary behavior....
2. This horse will cover lots more miles in a day then scenario 1. One of the herd will lead (from the front or the rear) one another around the track picking at the hay, conditioning their hooves to a variety of terrain, enjoying the variety a large ‘track’ offers and he is a lot more likely to perform barefoot on different terrain. The diet can be managed when necessary by restricting/increasing access to grazing through outlets to ‘camping areas’. He has access to a more interesting environment which will have a positive impact on both his physical and psychological well being