Nature including horse habitat

Keeping a herd of horses with different breeds in a natural way, so that horses have access to roughage and exercise 24/7. It sounds like a dream, but we want to show young and old that it is possible for everyone. In the more than 25 years that we have been keeping horses, we, like many other horse owners, have encountered countless challenges. By repeatedly weighing up the impact on nature, the basic needs of the horses, practical management and the required investment, we have come up with a concept that is feasible, affordable and scalable. We have been showing this since 2021 in our nature-inclusive horse habitat at Hulder 10 in Vierlingsbeek (North Brabant).

In a nature-inclusive horse habitat (Equi Habitat), horses are housed in an ecologically responsible manner and in keeping with the landscape. The creator of the Equi Habitat ® concept is VivaConcept from Belgium. The term is derived from Equine (horse) and Habitat (habitat). A better known and broadly similar concept is that of Paddock Paradise.

What is the difference between Equi Habitat and Paddock Paradise?

Paddock Paradise and Equi Habitat are both designed to provide horses with a healthy living environment. The main difference between the two is that paddock paradise focuses on imitating the natural habitat of horses, while equi habitat focuses on integrating horses into the landscape in an ecologically responsible way.

Paddock paradise is a system where horses are kept in an environment designed to mimic their natural behavior. The system consists of a network of trails and paddocks that allow horses to move and graze as they would in the wild. The enormous advantage of a paddock paradise is the preservation of the horse's freedom of movement and choice, while grazing can be offered to a limited extent by closing or opening the pasture. This prevents soil compaction and promotes biodiversity of the meadows.

Equi habitat is a concept designed to integrate horses into the landscape in an ecologically responsible way. At first glance, the concept often looks the same as a paddock paradise, with tracks and lockable meadows. However, this concept is based on the principles of permaculture and takes into account the needs of both horses and the environment. The aim is to create a healthy living environment for horses and the native inhabitants (animals and insects), while at the same time promoting the biodiversity of the landscape.

Equihabitat Hulder 10

We have always collected a lot of information when looking for a solution to one of the challenges. This is how we discovered the benefits of the Equi Habitat Concept and our way of housing horses has grown organically towards that concept. In line with this concept, horses in our Equi Habitat live in a herd with 24/7 freedom of movement through a track system (walking paths), paddock and shelters. There is also a lot of attention to soil life, soil health, biodiversity, other (wild) animal species and the use of sustainable materials.

What will you find in our Equihabitat:

  • 2.5 hectares full of inspiration
  • 5000m2 Equihabitat
  • 1000m2 Browsing Paddock
  • 10 Types of track bottoms
  • 3 Grassland phases
  • Numerous crops and enrichment elements

The Adventure Garden

The idea for The Adventure Garden for our children was created to make outdoor play, with all its advantages, more attractive than screens. Based on the idea that you can share happiness and that you can move forward together, we open The Adventure Garden free of charge at various times, so that more people can enjoy everything that lives and grows here. The walking paths on this part of our private property border, among other things, our Equihabitat and UNESCO heritage De Maasheggen. We hope that The Adventure Garden will guide visitors, young and old, through an educational and inspiring walk. We organize inspiration sessions, workshops and activities and you will find solutions and products from our partners.

What will you find in our Adventure Garden:

  • 750m Adventurous walking route
  • 75m Course equipment
  • 75m Picking garden (Blackberries, Raspberries, Fruit trees)
  • 10m Barefoot Path
  • 2 Covered Picnic Houses
  • Various information signs about the animals and crops

We cordially invite you to join us on an adventure to a nature-inclusive (horse) habitat!