Superfix Freestep strongly recommends the use of a paradise paddock grazing system for ponies with low grade laminitis, EMS or IR for the following reasons.
1. Increased exercise is one of the healthiest things you can do for a laminitic EMS, IR pony and by placing the water, small heaps of low sugar hay and feed around the perimeter of the track the horses are encouraged to continually walk around the edge to forage for feed etc. much as it would do in the wild. Far better than setting up a small area of limited grazing where the horse simply stands still for most of the day and better also than leaving him in the stable with very restricted access to feed which is likely to add to stress and with limited access to feed can cause ulcers.
2. Many modern grass species contain high levels of sugar and taste sweet thus encouraging the horse to gorge itself, by making a track alongside the hedge and planting shrubs and native grass species you will be feeding low sugar content plants high in anti oxidants which are beneficial to all laminitic animals.
3. This system is easy to manage and allows the grass to grow in the centre area to allow the horse to graze during safe times such as the winter months, this method also allows for a hay crop to be taken during the summer.
4. This system allows a laminitic horse to be turned out for long hours without the hindrance of a grazing mask allowing the horse to socialise and exercise with other horses, much more acceptable than long hours standing in confinement.
A paradise paddock is easy to set up by creating an internal fence around an already existing hedge or fence. It is possible to use electric tape and fence posts as a temporary method until the system is fully established, i.e. width of track to amount of horses, shrubs and grass species to be planted etc.