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In the late 1980's I participated with my horses in an agricultural research study through TUM School of Life Sciences in Weihenstephan, Germany. The program explored the possibility to keep horses "artgerecht" (species appropriate). The question was and still is:

What are our horses’ daily needs and HOW can we fulfill them, so they can live a happy, healthy and productive life and be the partners we envision them to be?

To answer this question is the purpose of the Natural Horse Habitat™ System, the first of Four Building Blocks to create GENUINE CONNECTION - with your Horse, your Self as well as other Humans.

Learn about the 7 Ingredients of the Natural Horse Habitat™ System below
and access the Natural Horse Habitat™ Library of Articles and Lessons here.

Horses Travel - THE TRAIL SYSTEM

In the wild, horses travel many miles depending on the size of their home range, forage and water availability. When we stable horses we take away their foundation to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. Many develop behaviors such as windsucking, weaving or wood chewing to cope with the stress of being cooped up. Many riders deal with out of control horses because they have no possibility to satisfy their natural tendencies to move consistently.

My NATURAL HORSE HABITAT includes a TRAIL SYSTEM that weaves around what I call Play Pastures and provides over a quarter mile of trails on my personal 2.24 acres setup.

Not only can my horses use the trail system, I can also play online, at liberty and under saddle on the trails AND I can exercise myself by walking and running the trails without having to leave my own property.

Horses Don’t Work, They Play - PLAY PASTURES

In the wild, horses eat while moving and they also play to engage socially. So what could be better than having PLAY PASTURES, a multi-functional area where horses can follow their natural instincts to graze and browse and where we can play WITH them.

While those Play Pastures serve partially as an additional food source, we can also use those areas to play with our horses online, at liberty and under saddle.

Fun and safe obstacles help us to keep things interesting and we are building confidence, as well as raising our level of trust and connection as a team.

While this will not work for everybody and in every situation, even my 20x40m "arena" is in pasture grass: Play Pastures, a Wholistic Approach to Horse Training!

Horses Don’t Live in Caves - HABITAT SHEDS

In the wild, horses live on the wide open plains. They only seek shelter from inclement weather and heavy insect populations. Always keeping a watchful eye on their surroundings. If they can't find shelter, they will simply "stick their butt in the wind" and wait it out.

We humans build barns with our horses' comfort in mind, or so we think. In general, barns and even run-in-sheds barely meet the horse’s requirements. Addressing our horses' level of comfort, the NATURAL HORSE HABITAT offers horse-friendly shelter instead of satisfying our need for comfort.

Around the HABITAT SHEDS they will seek shade, windbreak and refuge from insects while being able to observe their surroundings.

Horses eat - all the Time - NATURAL FEEDING

In the wild, horses spend about 75% of their day eating. There, they not only graze but they also browse on bushes, trees, lichen, herbs and more. They do not eat stationary, they travel as they eat, keeping their relatively small digestive track moving all the time.

Yet many horses are only fed twice a day with concentrated feeds and industrially harvested hay, lacking roughage, nutrients, foliage, flowers and seed heads that the horse would find in the wild. The unnatural, concentrated feeds add to the unhealthy effects of such an imbalanced diet.

Spending as little as 15% of their day eating... It’s not colic insurance that will make the difference, it’s feeding our horses the way they are SUPPOSED to be fed:  Aligned with their physical, mental and emotional needs!

The Never-Ending Story - MANURE SOLUTIONS

If left alone, large, concentrated quantities of manure can be a hazard for our environment. Many community now have strict rules on how to handle animal waste. Instead of allowing this precious, free resource to turn into a hazard, let’s turn it into black gold instead!

There are many different ways to deal with our horses' manure: We can work out and be our own manual manure spreader. We can collect it and make piles, allowing it to passively compost. Or we can choose active compost methods such as Vermiculture, composting with worms.

When we properly manage and use manure, we are closing the natural cycle by enriching the soil of our pastures and landscaping on our NATURAL HORSE HABITAT.

Planning with Nature - ECO-LOGICAL LANDSCAPING

In the wild, horses roam many square miles. We horse lovers usually cannot provide the amount of acreage that is needed to sustain horses AND keep nature in balance. Horses have the ability to turn lush pastures into desert waste land if we allow them to do so.

Incorporating Eco-Logical Landscaping, Architecture and Systems will help us preserve and increase property values while making NATURE a valuable part of the NATURAL HORSE HABITAT.

Providing windbreak hedges with local shrubs and trees that will also feed the wild life, planting seasonal flowers for color and texture and incorporating healthy pasture and manure management to enrich the soil while protecting our precious natural resources is all part of planning YOUR NATURAL HORSE HABITAT.

 For Horses and Humans - NATURAL CARE

Caring for our Selves and our horses naturally is simply a logical as well as heart-based extension of NATURAL HORSE HABITAT.

In order to develop a relationship that is based on heartfelt connection and communication it is vital to balance our own body, mind and emotions first, because - after all - horses are in general just fine before we show up.

In times where environmental challenges and health concerns are mounting, each of us can make a difference by incorporating natural care and wellness practices for our horses and our Selves.

Learn how to use natural approaches such as Personal Self Development, Movement Education, Aroma Therapy Oils, Flower Essences, Homeopathy, Herbs and Red Light Therapy. Modalities you can implement on your own so you can be your best for your Self, your horse and others. Modalities that will set up your horse for success as well so it can do what you are asking it to do, willingly and with enthusiasm!

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