Not everyone is in a position to use the track system as their method of horse  management. For perfectly good reasons, other people don’t want to! There are definitely other systems that work really well for some people and their horses.  In my experience, it is what  these different approaches have in common that usually  makes the biggest impact in terms of their respective success.

If the Track System doesn’t suit your livery desires, circumstances, ground conditions or competitive schedule, then other management systems such as a traditional yard,  Equicentral, or suitable pasture can all work well PROVIDING that the system is provided in a way that puts the horse’s needs first.

Every system needs to be applied in a way that makes th horse’s fundamental needs a priority and which ever way this is approached, the same environmental challenges must be overcome.

In my experience, all horse-centric systems for horse-care should that ensure ensure that horses are:

  • Provided with appropriate forage 24/7, plus well balanced bucket-feeds that reflect the horses individual needs,
  • Given space for positive movement – where the importance of free as well as managed (ridden and in hand exercise) movement is seen as a priority.

and,

  • Provided with opportunities for relaxation and contact with other equines. A focus is given to ensuring the horses feel confident and positive about their environment.

With these things in place horses tend to be calm, healthy, willing and athletic animals.

 

There are times when we have to make hard choices about our management approach that necessitate compromise in acheving  these keys to success.  When that happens, it is important to find ways to minimise the effect of the ‘second-best’ and work hard to remove any shortcomings as quickly as possible.

If we fail to do this, before long our  management compromises create a compromised horse. Then we have a much more difficult set of issues to address.  Grass affected and associated pathologies that we often see in domestic horses stem from the fact that we are not sufficiently managing or meeting  the horses fundamental needs over a period of time.

 

 

 

Most issues are management issues, not horse issues.  When we get it right for the horse, the horse rarely has issues!”

Jenny Paterson  Calm Healthy Horses.