This is just a brief outline of the equicentral system as we have implemented it.  Nothing is ever perfect and in an ideal world the stables and school would have been in different positions, at the centre of the fields rather than at one end.  In the end you work with what you've got, unless you have the opportunity to start from scratch.
If you would like more information about our set up or to see it in action, please contact us using the enquiry form below.
Here at Lowes Farm we've been keeping our horses on an equicentral system since autumn 2016.

The horses have complete freedom of access (except when we choose to keep them in) to our grazing, their stables, water and ad lib hay.

We contemplated a track system but, in the UK, equicentral seems to offer several advantages and benefits for the horses....

At the outset  I have to admit we're pretty lucky.  We have the land and the layout lends itself to the equicentral approach (tho there are always compromises to be made).  

The home base is the stables.  The stables, which are left open with a plentiful supply of hay and water, are located in a concrete yard area.  Access to the fields from the stables is through our school, which also acts as a loafing area for the horses.  As the school surface is of sand and carpet, there is the additional advantage of helping to condition their hooves as they wander in and out! 

Pros :
* It's a much more natural environment for the horses
* The horses come and go as they please and (surprisingly) take themselves off the grass
* The horses have a choice - if any of them wants to come in for shelter, hay or water, the others can stay in the fields.
* Saves us time. No more taking the horses to and from the fields
* There is no water in the fields so they are forced to walk in from the fields when they want water - which keeps them moving and helps keep their weight down
* They no longer hang around the gates so poaching is minimal
* By changing the electric fences we can easily rotate the grazing whenever we like, according to the weather or length of grass.

Cons :
* Additional poo picking in the school

Charges are a flat rate of £40 per horse per session. Typically a session lasts between 45 minutes and two hours.  
The actual length of a session is determined by :

* the nature and behaviour of your horse -an anxious or wary horse may only be comfortable with a short session
* any existing physical issues - an injured horse may be sensitive and only allow limited treatment
* the amount of work needed
* how much sensory stimulation your horse can take

To cover travel time and petrol, the following amounts are charged in addition to the basic session fee.

Mileage to client
Up to 10 miles - no charge
11 to 25 miles - £5
26 to 50 miles - £10
over 50 miles - please ask

Common Issues
The diagram on the left is a good starting point.
It shows the relationship between horse and rider and some basic anatomy.

There is no substitute for veterinary advice but sometimes some problems have very simple solutions.

One instance of this was a horse that started to refuse at jumps until he eventually refused to jump at all.  In this case the owner was placing her saddle too far forwards (the 2nd diagram shows correct saddle placement).  Think about carrying a child on your shoulders and how it feels if the child leans forwards and bends over!  Now imagine how the horse must feel and how that horse's performance and comfort are affected.  Adjusting the saddle position and a couple of bodywork sessions to release tension and extend the range of movement in the affected muscles and the problem was solved.

But not all issues are so easily identified and resolved.

Gastric ulcers are increasingly more common for a variety of reasons and the warning signs are not always easy to spot.
Typically horses may lose weight, crib, be reactive around the girth, be reluctant to move forward, appear 'grumpy', buck or rear to name a few symptoms.  But these are 'typical' signs and horses are individuals and react in different ways.

This is a great article by Dr Kerry Ridgeway that discusses equine digestive ulcers and how the use of acupressure points can give you an indication that your horse may be suffering from them.

For more  references and useful articles and videos that I have stumbled across and found interesting, see my facebook page 
You want to know more ? You can contact us by this form.

Tel :    +44 (0)1538304700
Mob : +44 (0)7976533398

Lowes Farm, Grindon,
United Kingdom
ST13 7TT

You can also contact me through my FaceBook page