Horses have evolved over millions of years to live in herds 24 hours a day and, as such, are highly social animals. A horse living in a herd is psychologically sound and well-balanced. Only when the horse is psychologically balanced can the health of the entire animal be optimal. Research is showing that isolation or individual paddocking causes stress-related conditions such as stomach ulcers, as well as stereotypic behaviours such as crib biting and windsucking.
On average, wild horses move 10-15 miles per day, over various terrain. The horse has led this continuous-motion lifestyle for millions of years, and its entire physiological makeup has evolved to be perfectly suited to it. The heart is relatively small compared to the body, so the muscles, joints and hooves, through constant motion, support the heart in moving the blood through the body. So, with more space, more movement is likely, especially if living in a herd.
Maintaining well hydrated hooves is very important. Absorption of water prevents the hooves from drying out and keeps them elastic and supple. There are a range of options:
... the professionally built 'hoof spa'
... the DIY hoof bath
... the budget hoof bath
Form an edge out of sleepers, line with a pool liner or strong tarp, and cover with carpet to protect the liner from hoof damage.
... hoof soaking boots
Information on these soaking boots can be found at: