This design is based upon the principles in Pasture Paradise by Jaime Jackson. Personally, I found the book had good ideas but was a bit too preachy – however, the premise is sound and I want to incorporate these ideas when I get our own place as I want to keep a herd of ponies (who of course are vulnerable to easy foundering).
A larger view is right here… this is not to scale…
* keep horses moving by using narrow tracks that force them to continually seek new grazing.
* move horses over rougher terrain, i.e. such as rock, gravel, hills, slopes, creeks, etc… In my area of the world, naturally occuring rock paths are not always there. For this property the tracks, especially Track #1 (pony lot) would be dozed and covered with screening and small gravel.
* horse movement is generated with the placement of feeders and/or water at opposing ends of the track. Some great examples of pasture paradises with slow feeders can be found at Paddock Paradise support page.
* The pony paddock features an open loafing shed where horses shelter in a community. A center aisle aids feeding and allows a place to groom in crossties. Tack and feed are stored on the opposite side.
* The pony paddock grazing track can be sectioned off so all are kept up at the barn area, have the option to be on the green track with or without shelter; or with opening of gates, allow the green track to access the orange track (top right corner or at the front entrance).
* If ponies are sectioned off at the barn area, the green track can be accessed for trail riding via the stall area for the horses.
* The smaller arena is for ground- and liberty work.
* Horse stalls have an aisle breezeway in front where horses can be groomed and tacked up. The rear area opens to either individual paddocks or a joint, shared paddock, depending on the nature of the horse herd makeup. The paddocks open to Track #2, which can be shut off at two places to restrict grazing further or to allow areas to recover, be cleaned or maintained.
* The fencing around the arenas and the front of the property is in solid, wood fencing. Other fencing is reinforced with electrical.
* In front of the horse areas is the place for the house, storage of hay and tractor, as well as parking for guests.
* Depending on the size of the property (many properties here are squares or even more comonly a rectangle) the center section could become a farmed hay meadow to supply the horses hay through the winter.
* I have been thinking a lot about grass fires because this is a problem in my area of the country. With the green track being mostly rocky this could serve as a potential fireline in extremity.
* Since the exterior fence of the property is the line for horse containment, it’s important with this plan that neighbors are compatible with having horses. You don’t need someone keeping a stallion next to your mares, or feeding your horse over the fence something that is inappropriate.
* Of course with this design, there is no terrain consideration. What I’ve been finding in my area is that most horse properties are a blank slate of flat grassland. Putting in barriers and landscaping to challenge the horses would be more of an issue; your area may have more natural elements to deal with.