“What’s best for the horse is almost never what we humans think is best for the horse. As much as we’d like to believe that horses are like us, they aren’t. We must always ask ourselves, is this what I want or what my horse wants? Is this truly best for my horse?” – Joe Camp
Our focus in the boarding program at Thompson Therapy is to create as close to a natural horse environment as possible. Tempted as we may be to keep our horses in stalls, blanket them in cold weather, shod their feet, clip their coats, or any other number of traditional practices, horses are healthier and happier when allowed to live as close to their natural keeping as possible. There are so many real and proven benefits to a natural horse care environment that to list them all would be a dissertation. Here are just several very important benefits:
- Companionship within a herd: Everyone knows that horses are herd animals. Horses that are allowed to live freely within a herd are just plain happier. Their emotional needs for socialization, feeling safe, and developing bonds is met within a natural herd-like environment.
- Better overall physical health and well-being: When allowed to forage and roam 24/7, a horse’s health will exponentially increase.
- Your horse’s immune system will grow stronger in a natural environment because they will be less stressed, and develop their natural immune defenses that might otherwise be thwarted by a stalled environment. There is proven to be less incidents of colic due to diet, stress, sand, and dehydration when kept in a natural environment.
- Horses that are kept in stalls experience muscle loss and poor circulation. A natural horse care environment allows the horse to regain and maintain better musculature and circulation throughout their body.
- Grazing and foraging at will on a variety of vegetation, keeps a horses teeth naturally smoothed so you can forget about having to have your horses teeth floated every year.
- A HUGE benefit to a natural environment is better foot health for your horse. Each hoof is like another heart for the horse, pumping blood back up into the legs and throughout the body. Circulation through the feet is stimulated only through movement. In order to have strong healthy feet and legs, a horse needs constant freedom of movement.
- Reduced stress and anxiety: The majority of “bad behaviors” like cribbing, kicking, biting, pawing, and pacing can easily be eliminated by keeping your horse out of a stall and in an open-range environment 24/7. Keeping horses in a natural environment dramatically reduces their stress and anxiety, letting them relax and live in a natural rhythm within the herd. Horses kept in a natural environment are less spooky also due to the fact that they become more in tune and used to their surroundings.
- Reduced cost of horse care: Expect to see big savings when keeping your horse in a more natural setting. For starters, you won’t be paying for all of the frills of a barn and stall (that we now know to be the cause of so many equine aliments). The frequency of visits from the vet, ferrier, and equine dentist will largely decrease because you will be effectively eliminating so many health risks. Additionally the cost of feed, hay, and expensive supplements will be at least cut in half because your horse will be grazing 24/7.
If all of the benefits of a more natural horse environment sound good to you then come join the herd at Thompson Therapy. Nestled on close to 300 acres of beautiful open pasture in St. Augustine, Florida, you can rest assured that your horse(s) will be completely content, safe, and healthy.
What we offer:
- $300/month with multi-horse discounts.
- Two fresh water tubs in addition to a healthy lake for drinking.
- Feeding packages and special care services offered as an additional fee depending on your horse’s needs.
- Access to kayaks and fishing to enjoy our beautiful, healthy lake.
- A family friendly environment with private Facebook page to connect and coordinate group rides, hang-outs, offer help to each other, ect. We have a monthly Sunday ride for boarders.
- Plenty of trails to ride on and off the property. Great for endurance training!
- 800 pound round bails kept in the pasture through the winter months. ($75-85 one time payment per horse.)
- Training and riding lesson services on site.
- Secure and well-maintained fencing and gates.
- Beautiful green pastures that will save you money on grain!
- Ferrier services available every 6-8 weeks.
We offer a family friendly environment with a laid-back atmosphere. With plenty of space for the herd to roam freely, there is no need for a barn or stalls here! Because of the freedom of movement offered to the herd, our horses express their contended state of being through their relaxed and friendly behavior.
If you enjoy trail riding, kayaking, working your horse in open-range, or just spending the day in nature with your equine companion(s), this is the place to be! With on-site training and riding lessons offered, you can expect to bring your relationship with your horse(s) to his/her full potential.
For more details on boarding at Thompson Therapy, or to schedule a tour of the property please call 904-671-5833.