We believe that nature is the best care taker. In the wild, horses move over large tracts of varied terrain, eating small amounts over the course of 18-20 hours. Modern, highly cultivated and fertilized pastures are no replacement for their natural environment. A shift is needed. Knowing that we can't create the mountains of Nevada in South East Virginia, we began brainstorming on what we can do.
We strive to supply species appropriate environments for all of the animals in our care. We are building a track system based full care boarding facility in Chesapeake Virginia.
Forage First: Horses are fed a forage-based diet supplemented by Custom Equine Nutrition's Vermont Blend Pro minerals, vitamin E and tested low NSC hay fed in hay nets. Loose salt is also offered free choice, and feed is soaked to improve hydration and digestion.
This is a speciality, grass-free facility that can allow any horse to thrive, but is targeted to horses who are metabolically unable to be on grass.
We encourage beneficial insects to thrive on our property, including dragonflies, dung beetles, pollinators, and more. Our farm is a haven for wild birds. We are focused on living as gently as possible on the land. We are creating a permaculture farm, with a focus on hosting our native species of birds, insects, and plants.
Read more about our All Inclusive Model of Boarding Below:
We will have 2 openings in March of 2024
We're more than Pasture Board
Our model of horse care is all inclusive. So feed, hay, minerals, vitamin E, blanketing, semi-annual worming (based on FEC), and even fly spray are all included in our board. No hoof no horse: We are adamant about top quality hoof care! We include monthly hoof maintenance (trims) and will apply casts and field paste as needed. We regularly clean and inspect hooves. And extras like sessions on SureFoot (TM) pads are included along with cooperative care sessions, using positive reinforcement. We are striving for optimal health for our residents, so we even include quarterly visits from a qualified bodyworker. We are a full-service facility that understands that horses are healthier when afforded the freedom to move, forage, and maintain social connections and not be locked in 12 x 12 stalls.
We will share photos and updates of your horse, allowing you to stay informed about their care, even when you can't make it to the barn. Of course, we know that Ardani is at its best when our friends and clients are there! So, we take care to create a safe and comfortable environment for our human clients, too.
The fridge is stocked with drinks, you can gather for lunch around the picnic table, take a yoga class (boarders get 50% off!) or grab a few herbs or veggies from the garden, and if you want to stop in to spend time with your equine family members before heading off to work (or anywhere else where the smell of horse sweat and fly spray may not be appreciated) - we have a shower with clean towels ready on standby.
Our farm is a place of relaxation and community. We plan on holding events like wine tasting, movie nights, sound baths, reiki classes, cookouts and more. And we want you to be a part of it. Ardani is more than a horse boarding facility- it's a place to gather and feel at home.
Outside trainers and instructors are encouraged and welcome! They must provide a Certificate of Insurance and embrace our spirit of inclusiveness.
Due to safety concerns, as we do use hay nets at ground level, only barefoot horses are appropriate for our facility. Special arrangements will, of course, be made for horses who are in corrective shoes temporarily.
Our inclusive boarding fee is $800 and we look forward to sharing the experience with you.
Horses Should be Treated as Individuals
Horses are sentient beings with their own thoughts and feelings about the world around them. We base our care on taking these very real feelings into consideration. For this reason, abusive horse practices (harsh bits, whips, riding behind the vertical, draw reins, etc) will not be tolerated on this property. Love the horse first and the sport second.
We fully support and will work with anyone who is using positive reinforcement (R+) to train their hoses in basic husbandry (cooperative care) and beyond.
Why increased turn out?
It can help with
Horses are designed to eat up to 20 hours a day.
Horses (and people) are herd animals. We encourage both species to create strong, healthy, lasting bonds.
Horses are designed to move. Their hooves and digestive systems require near constant moving. We have built our system with this need in mind.
Our pastures are more than grass. We encourage herbs to grow in all of our pastures, which allows horses to browse and forage as nature intended. We also provide regular cognitive enrichment activities to keep their minds working.
Our water stations are designed to encourage healthy soles and stimulate strong hooves. The increased movement keeps blood flowing through the hooves.
Our facilities are designed with horses' ethology in mind. Everything is specific to their needs. This reduces stress and results in a happier, healthier horses.