As you know this place is a work in progess, and the latest is getting the grass paddocks established to hold upto hooves and grazing. The top paddock (the largest paddock) has been re-seeded, is doing great with grass growing, but is off limits until late spring. The lower paddock (the nice grassy one down hill from the barn) has nice grass, but horses with shoes are too tough on it right now and we need to baby that paddock a little. And, Java's paddock, it's nibbled down to the nub and is barely hanging on, but Java loves it there, so I have let this happen. Then, there is the newest paddock, the one Lobster has been in, it has no grass. It is our sacrafice paddock. It is very pleasant though, sun, shade, room to run, and the barn and other paddocks can be seen from that spot.
This is the issue:
We want 3 sacrafice paddocks. (3 stall barn, 3rd horse arriving later this month).
Do we split the existing sacrafice paddock into 3. Each horse would have it's own sacrafice paddock of 44x73. (3,212 square ft of sacrafice space each horse).
Do we split the existing sacrafice paddock into two and clear more trees and auger more fence post holes (you get the picture) and make a third sacrafice paddock. (4,818 square ft of sacrafice space each horse ).
The ring will be fenced in soon(?) and that would be a larger space that can be rotated into the mix if one of the horses would like to stretch out a little more. That is like 125x150, plenty big to get a little more exercise.
I'm reading everwhere and the recommended sizes for sacrafice paddocks is small, 400 to 1,200 square feet. This sounds too small to me. If we took the existing sacrafice paddock and split it into 3, each horse would have 3,212 square feet. If we split it into two, each horse would have 4,818 square feet.
Your thoughts on what you think is best for the horses? I'm really stuck on giving each horse as much space as possible. And, I want their joints to not get too wrenched if they have to screech to a halt too often if they feel like playing. OR, Im crazy because for example, Java is standing still taking a nap in the sun, and would be fine in a 1,000 square ft. paddock right now and 3,000 would be plenty, especially if she gets to be with her buddies. When weather permits, grass permits, conditions permit, the horses will be on grass. Like great grass. This is our transition period to get to that point, and if we want it to happen we have to work in some rotation. Oh, and we are adding a 4th grass paddock to the mix for good measure. That grass is growing establising and we just have to fence it in.
Ugh, please, your thoughts. You guys can help, and I would really appreciate it. Thank you thank you thank you.
Below are pictures of the sacrafice paddock that will be either split into two... or three...