The rest area in this active stable was built on the site of what used to be our second stall alley. After removing the stalls, we had an area of almost 200 square meters.
We covered one area with soft bedding. Two other areas were covered with a green compost / wood-chip litter. A hay rack was placed outside the rest area. This group has four hay racks with small mesh nets for free choice forage feeding. These were placed at the far end of the first grazing area. Oats are fed via a concentrate feeding station.
2000 square meters of paddock were paved with grids and covered with sand. It was designed to provide as much variety as possible. There is a pond surrounded by bushes and trees at the center. It was fenced in as a safety measure. Tree trunks were placed around the slopes in the rest of the active or free range stable to prevent the sand from being washed away by heavy rains.
This group of horses also has access to a ford:
The horses have a nice long distance (around 100m) to cover to get to the oat station. Once you pass the oat station, you’ll reach the circular path leading around one of the grazing areas, with four hay racks placed at the far end.
This group is exclusively made up of geldings. All the age groups play together. Generally, two of them will face each other, snatch at each other’s necks, or – unfortunately – each other’s collars (this free range group has the highest collar bodycount of them all), chase each other round the pond and then go back to play-biting each other.
This keeps the horses, especially the older ones, “fresh” and fit as a fiddle. If things get too rambunctious, they simply stand around together and watch the younger horses. This free range stable is right next to our riders’ clubroom. Watching the animals at play is better than anything you’ll ever see on TV.