My Tiny Horse Track - www.theessentialhorse.com

My Tiny Horse Track

I have been loving my tiny horse track and so have my ponies! The changes I have witnessed in three of my mini’s hooves is amazing. And in just 3 short weeks!

They all move more. I look out and they are always on the move. They don’t run around much, but they walk all the time. The trick to this is putting your feed station far away from the water. I also have a forage station that is far away from the feed station and the water station. They seem to have a different place to laze around every couple of days. I love watching them lay around as a little herd.

Bonnie goes out on the track with a muzzle on in the mornings. She likes wandering around the track pretending to forage because she hasn’t figured out the muzzle yet. She does love it when I push hay and the tall grass through the hole in the  muzzle for her and will follow me around begging. She spends time scratching on the scratch post and just walking and walking. Sometimes I let her walk around without her boots on and other times I leave her boots on!

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We’ll take a little photo tour of the track… then I’ll share a video!

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This is the beginning of the track. The gate into it is just beside the water trough. To create a water station I allow the water trough to overflow by leaving my hose on a very slow trickle. This makes the ponies have to step into the water to get a drink. They also have to walk through the water to go out to pasture in the morning. I gave them a shade cloth so they are always able to get out of  the sun.

 

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This is the south side of the track. I consider this the front part of the track. This part is 10 feet wide and goes up to the manure pile and opens up into the area that houses the old street sweeper that is a scratching post.

 

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Here is the open lounging and scratching area. They have access to the manure pile and sometimes they lay in it for a nap and they often climb it and dig in it!

 

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The feed station is on the east side of the track. The water station is on the west side. So in order to drink they have to walk around at least half of the track! I have four Hay Chix hay nets out tied to the T-posts so they can’t roll them into the middle, under the electric fence. I do have T-post toppers, I just need time to put them on!

 

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This is also on the east side of the track and connects the feed station to the forage station. This part is 8 feet wide to encourage the horses to move through here and not hang out. Narrower parts of the track encourage movement!

 

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This is the north east corner of the track. I bring the hay in through the little homemade gate there to right. (I built that gate all by myself! You can totally tell! LOL) This is a large corner and sometimes they lay around here and sleep. To the left there is the beginning of the Forage station.

 

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The forage stations are rocks piled up. Sometimes I put hay under the rocks and then I sprinkle timothy hay pellets among the rocks. I also put hay, spread out, under the log. They move the rocks and the log around with their noses. I love watching them make a beeline for the forage area!

 

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This is the north west side of the track. It was one of my little dry lot areas when the grass started to over take the dry lot. I felt it was too small because Sky would just stand around and eat the hay net all day. Now she walks around and eats all day! But the amount of movement the track has encouraged is amazing!

 

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This little section connects the north west side of the track to the south west side, where the shed and water station are. It’s a little jog around Bonnie’s dry lot area. The ponies hang out in this corner often and sleep next to Bonnie’s area.

 

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This is on the south side of Bonnie’s dry lot and connects back to the beginning of the track! Two ponies can fit in one side of the shed and the other side is for Bonnie. I provide the shade cloth for anyone that can’t get into the shed.

 

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My three wonderful ponies!

And the video –

I have shared this track on Facebook and the back lash was surprising! I have found that people feel the T-posts are very dangerous. I hear that. We rent and most everything has to be temporary. We will have to reseed the dry lot when we move. So putting in wood posts for the track was not an option. We also have high winds and deep snow in the winter so putting in a permanent post and rail fence, or even using the corral panels as the interior of the track is not an option as the snow would get caught by the rails and make huge drifts. I have to put the corral panels up when winter comes or the snow will build up on either side in drifts as high as 6-8 feet tall.

There are many things to consider when putting together a track. I’ve had quite a few years to think about this and design it! I’ve very happy with it and how it turned out. My ponies are happier and healthier this year than last year! I am most excited about the changes in their hooves. Sky’s heels have widened and her frogs are healthier than ever! The same for Captain Planet and Zorro. I can’t wait for Bonnie to be able to be out there 24/7 without her boots. I think it will make a big difference for her feet as well.

5 Comments

  1. Jessica

    Hi Mindy!
    My question is directed at the width of your track. I see the smallest is 6′ and the widest is 15′. I have 2 minis I’m making a small track for but I would also like to make it useable for a full sized horse. How do you feel about the space you have…. would the mix of horse sizes find it okay? My current design is pretty much 14-15′ the entire perimeter with larger dry lots at each end. Thank you for all the info you have provided!

    1. LadybugFarm

      Hi Jessica! I wouldn’t go as narrow as 6 feet with big horses mixed in. That is pretty narrow. It does encourage my horses to move on through those areas, but they can move through two a breast or pass each other going opposite directions. They will often get to running and running and sometimes meet head on in those narrow areas, but because they are minis they can either turn around or just pass each other. So I would consider that. I think having the entire track be 14-15′ is probably too wide so if it were my track I would narrow up a few spots. I find that when they find themselves in the narrower areas they will often start to trot or canter to move on through. I love that! I would measure how wide the big horses are and make it so they could either walk side by side or pass each other head on in the narrow areas. You may only be able to go 10′ in those spots. Hopefully that helps!!

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