Why I have chosen Natural Horse Management.

In this blog I will write briefly about the reasons why I have chosen the Natural Horse Management Model instead of small stalls and paddocks for my herd of seven horses.

I will share this video of my horses home and natural horse management.


The main reason for choosing Natural Horse Management is that I want happy horses. I am inspired by lots of people but especially Jamie Jacksons Paddock Paradise ideas.

In the daily day I am spend a lot of time running educational and farming projects so I consider how the time I spend with the horses become good quality time. Being together with the horses in the nature brings me joy, relaxation and fun. For this I am very grateful.

To keep a good friend- and partnership with my horses I have to ensure they are happy when I am there and also when I am not there. I also have to be sure that the horses want my company. I do a lot of liberty training. In this type of training the horse is without any tack so the horse can at any time walk away from me if my behavior is not appropriate or the lesson is not inspiring.

So if the horse really enjoy being with me when I am there that good, then comes all the time I am not there. Most hours of the day I am not with the horses so during all these hours I have to be sure the horses are happy and have lots to do and good company. So what do horses like to do when I am not there?

Horses are genetically made move move move alot and be together with their family and friends. They are also made to eat with the head down and eat a lot of grass. They are not made to have iron shoes on their hooves, stand in their own toilets, have little movement and no access to their friends.

So I have tried to look form the perspective of the horse, when I should decide how their home was going to be. They spend most hours of the day in the home we create for them. Then we had to combine dreams and reality. So I played horse for a while thinking of what herds dream home would look like.

So today my horses roam free, they are together in the herd, foals with their mothers and they have a big shelter they can go to if they want to get away from the rain and the sun. (and snow… if this was in Denmark)

The horses do not wear shoes, they eat with their heads down and mares breed naturally. They do not breed tied up for rape.

Shoeing the horses cripple them and I did not want to do that. I am not a farrier so I had to find a way to keep the horses hooves in self trim… I created a bigger pasture in a hilly area where the herd have to walk a lot back and forth to find food. There are also some trees in each end that is dropping some nuts the horses really like, so they roam back and forth to find the nuts. The horse’s hooves are strong, have a good angle, strong bearing frog, sole and are pretty healthy.

I know the hoof and shoe question is quite controversial, but after 8 years of constant studies, it is very clear for me that shoeing the horse for 12 months a year is very very unhealthy. You are very welcome to write to me at stina@richmondvaleacademy.org to get a list of useful links on where to study about hoof health. There are some really great Youtubes out there explaining and showing in details what happens inside the hoof when you shoe it and why it is so damaging.

So Natural Horse Management Let’s Go!

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Comment by Stina Herberg on June 26, 2010 at 3:39pm
Hi Sarah, yes I agree you can do alot with what you have to help your horse to a more natural environment. I am just lucky to be able to go the whole way.
Comment by Sarah Siler on June 26, 2010 at 3:36pm
I agree, natural horse management is best. I am restricted to how natural I can keep my horses, so I do what I can. My horses do not wear shoes, I have a natural balance hoof farrier, I ride in sand when I can for an emery board effect of the hooves, I ride in rocky areas too to help keep the hooves healthy, I feed in tubs on the ground and let them out of their pens when possible for a time of grazing. I get to keep my horses at home, their pens are larger than what most people have and certainly larger than what you'll find in most boarding facilities. There are lots of things anyone can do to keep their horses in a more natural way, even if not able to go completely natural or in a boarding situtation. Very good article.

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