The Rancho del Paso horse boarding stables and equestrian facilities have been built to U.S. standards--generous size stalls and paddocks, quality materials, safe and secure, and easy to use...in addition to being beautiful and luxurious. Over three-quarters of a million dollars has been invested to date in constructing these facilities for 10 lucky horses and their riders -- most of the horses in the stables are the owners' Peruvian Pasos, but we have a few boarders as well.
This year we undertook a major rehab project for the pastures at RDP - we brought in 33 truckloads of garden soil, and then spread fertilizers, compost and soil pH amendments on the pastures, and harrowed it all in. It took a lot of work! and cost over 81,000 pesos, but it was worth it. The RDP pastures are lush, green oases with no weeds and the bare spots are all overgrown with grass now (Family motto: "Oh, no, we don't spoil our horses!").
Grazing in the arena - stables in background
Ten 12' x 12' stalls, open, airy, well-lit, well-drained, thick bedding, feed and hay container off the ground, 2 water buckets. Half of these stalls are dedicated to the owners' horses, and half are available for boarders.
Attached 12' x 22' private paddock for each stall
Three grassy turnout areas with safe metal fencing, water troughs (cleaned weekly) with automated water dispensers, sun shelters with salt blocks. Turnouts are watered all winter long to keep the grass green for good forage. The horses' turnout time is scheduled and rotated to keep the pastures green and healthy.
Feed room is 15' x 45' to store a full year's worth of quality hay
Boarders' lounge has a guest bath, sink for cleaning tack, and a fridge and microwave. The 15' x 20' tack room has individual storage for each stall, well lit and well ventilated. 6 car parking area inside the secured, and automated entry gate.
90' x 125' walled riding arena has a gravel base for drainage topped with a 10" layer of soil and sand, regularly-mowed grass on top of that to limit dust and puddles.
30' Round pen with sprinklers to cut the dust
Dedicated horse wash area, and vet stocks.
Regularly scheduled worming (with worming paste imported from the U.S.) is included in the horse's board.
On site trainer available for training or working your horse (for a fee).
Every pasture has shade and water - and a view of the lake!
Horses grazing in RDP pastures (Hacienda Alta 1 in the background).
Boarders side of the tack room
Owners side of the tack room
Lounge - fridge and sink
White board and bathroom
Parking Lot at the Stables
CLICK HERE to see More Pictures....... mostly of the equestrian facilities but a few of Hacienda Alta
For more detail on the stable design and layout, go to theARENA & STABLES page
Miles of quiet, level dirt, roads easily accessible from the Rancho -- seeTRAIL PAGE
Rancho del Paso is named after the owners' Peruvian Paso horses. Peruvians are known for their incredibly "Paso Llano" smooth ride, coupled with the flashy movements of their front legs ("termino"). Here is a video to demonstrate that gait to you. This is our Peruvian stallion Soñador.
We continue to make progress fixing the high alkalinity of the water in this part of Mexico. It seems to be an endemic issue in the local water supplies – we’ve tested our well, the SIMAPA water, and a truckload of water brought in from a water supplier in Tlajomulco. They all tested off the top of the charts for pH and alkalinity.
The Rancho has its own well, and we have an 18-unit solar array to provide the electricity needed to pump irrigation water to the pastures during dry season. With the additional challenge of pumping enough water to keep grass growing in the pastures over the past 2 extremely dry years, we've just added 6 more solar panels (for a total of 24) to our barn's solar array.
Last year we added a filter to our well water which cleans out the mud in the water – it’s nice to have clear water in the taps in the house and the barn but it didn’t change the alkalinity.
We’ve been adding small amounts of phosphoric acid to main underground water storage tank. It has helped a lot; pH has gone from 9+ to 7-8
We’ve added a little alfalfa to the horses' mid-day snack, as the vet said that would help buffer alkalinity in the stomach (not all horses get alfala; its too much for some of them diet wise)
We already offer a supplement of ½ cup / day of mixed chia and ground flax seeds; which in addition to the Omega-3 and other health benefits, also buffers alkalinity
Each horse is fed ground chaff (solvado) along with their twice-daily grain, in order to make sure they are getting enough fiber in their diet. We have switched from the more common wheat chaff to OAT chaff, which offers a better phosphorus/calcium ratio for the horses.
Our first class farrier migrated to the United States, where he can earn MUCH more money. We have a good basic farrier who lives nearby, and can come on a day's notice ifwhen needed..
The other day I made a comment about our horses enjoying chowing down on green grass every day, and someone challenged me “We’re in the middle of the dry season! How could you possibly have any green grass?” That made me realize how absolutely fanatical (heck, beyond crazy) we are about maintaining green grass year ‘round for the horses. We feel there are incredible psychological benefits from horses being able to move around freely, in the company of other horses. But there are also nutritional benefits from fresh green forage, in particular the vitamins which are lost when grass is dried into hay.
Yes, there can be danger in green grass for insulin resistant horses, overweight horses, and horses that do not get enough exercise. We’ve planted a forage grass, Estrella Africanus, which is not high in sugar; and we keep our horses on a low starch, high fiber diet. Nonetheless, there are a couple of horses in our barn who wear grazing muzzles for the initial months of the rainy season, when the grass is growing so green and sweet.
So, what all do we do with our pastures, to keep them green? We only have 2 ½ acres of pasture, for the 10 horses in our stables, so we can afford to do some intensive pasture management. There are a variety of approaches we take:
Water – We have our own deep well (185 meters deep), and we water the pastures 5 days a week during dry season. We have an extensive network of underground piping which carries water out to some fairly massive sprinklers. This all takes constant maintenance, and a tremendous amount of electricity to pump the water from the well to the sprinklers – we have 24 solar electric panels installed on the barn roof to provide the power needed.
pH – Both the soil and the water here are tremendously alkaline here, off the top of the scale. We’ve started spending 2000-3000 pesos a month to augment our water supply with phosphoric acid. This brings the water’s pH down to 7.8 or 7.9, and the pastures and gardens have really perked up. We also spread either ammonium sulfate or powdered sulfur on the pastures several times a year, to ameliorate the soil alkalinity.
Fertilizing and Harrowing – Pastures are fertilized and harrowed several times a year.
Mowing – Over the full growing season the Estrella Africanus grass grows tall and eventually becomes dry stalks – the horses won’t eat this, so we cut the tall grass down.
Weeding – It’s a constant struggle to maintain a pure grass pasture, we hand-weed each pasture several times a year.
Limiting grazing time – During dry season, horses are allocated 2 – 3 hours a day of grazing time, in selected small groups. They get more time in pasture during the rainy season but if the pastures are muddy, they don’t go out, as their hooves would quickly destroy the grass roots.
Yup, it’s a lot of time, trouble and expense to go to – but it is so worth it, to see the horses happily cavorting or munching in pasture.
Black and White pasture -- Lily, Melaza, Meinke and Kerrie Bell out in pasture