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Creating a Track System for Thriving Equines and Sustainable Management

Is creating a track system or paddock paradise for your horse an item on your dream-project list? You are in good company! No matter how large or small your horse’s space, how you use it to stimulate movement and satisfy behaviors is more significant than its size.

Horse keeping is a work in progress; small, positive improvements over seasons and years. We’ll discuss why, what, where, and how to assess an existing space to make it more movement-friendly and chore efficient. You’ll see inexpensive hacks as well as top-of-the-line setups. We’ll look into footing, fencing, feeding and manure management, as well as what can go wrong—safety, herd management and troubleshooting. A list of resources will get you started with ideas for your own future track.

Ruthie Thompson-Klein practices horse keeping on Lopez Island, WA where she has not been entirely successful fully retiring from hoof care. She graduated farrier school in 2003, transitioned to whole horse hoof care by 2010, forged a few useful things out of leftover steel shoes, and has spent the years since trying to make the world better for horses at every opportunity.
She is active in PHCP and has a special interest in equine nutrition and paddock/ track systems as important elements in whole horse health, especially hoof care. She has been developing, maintaining and refining her track for 15 years, consults for horse owners, and is keen to share the benefits of track systems. When not occupied maintaining her three horses in the manner they demand, she teaches horsemanship, trains and competes in Working Equitation and Mountain Trail, and does a lot of yoga to hold it all together.