Could arena footing be causing sore feet?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Could arena footing be causing sore feet??

I have only had my horse about six weeks. She is a 10-year-old QH mare and she has never needed shoes. Everyone always comments on what great feet she has..including vet/farrier. She passed all soundness checks with flying colors. I don't jump her. Only flat work in the arena.

The only place I ride her currently is the indoor arena which is a mixture of some kind of hard bark chip material. The bark chips pieces are somewhat large and hard and mixed with a dusty sawdust-looking material. Sorry but I don't know what you would call the footing exactly!

I have noticed that occasionally she will stumble when I trot her and it seems like she is not moving out like she should. Could be laziness because she can get very lazy..esp in the arena..but it is not all the time. only happens occasionally.

I am wondering if the footing could be hurting her? Unfortunately, I have no other place to ride her to test my theory. (I am moving her next month due to lack of riding space)..but for now I have to deal with it. Since it only happens once in awhile, I don't know if I can blame the arena.

Wondering if the large wood chip type of footing can cause soreness in barefoot horses? Some of the wood pieces are quite large and have never seen footing like this before.. although I'm new to horses in this part of the country (NW).
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:11 PM
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I certainly would imagine so...? I've never seen the kind of footing that your talking about so I can't say for sure but anything is possible.

Have you seen other horses do the same thing? Or is it just your mare? Does she have shoes on?

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post #3 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CLaPorte432 View Post
I certainly would imagine so...? I've never seen the kind of footing that your talking about so I can't say for sure but anything is possible.

Have you seen other horses do the same thing? Or is it just your mare? Does she have shoes on?

She does not wear shoes and never has in her ten years. I don't think anyone else has this issue but I also think most other horse there do wear shoes.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:17 PM
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It sounds a bit like hog fuel footing. Generally only used in an indoor arena around here (also nw) because of our lovely weather. I've never heard of horses having issues with it, I've actually used it in a muddy area of one of our pastures to help soak up some of the excess water, my barefoot horses are on it all the time when we have it in there and have been fine. That's not to say that its not possible that it could cause a problem, but I wouldn't really think so, especially if tripping is the issue, not apparent tenderness, and its only intermittent...
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:27 PM
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Hmm, it sounds like it could be hogs fuel, but maybe a lower quality version of it? We have sand in our indoor arena, but hogs fuel in the "dry" paddocks and in the outdoor arena. I've never had a problem with the wood bits in it being large or hard, even in the summer when it's not sopping wet :P

This is what our's looks like (from Google images, not my barn!)

Is that what yours looks like?
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:41 PM
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Stumbling does not necessarily equate with sore feet. Can you ride her anywhere else at all, just to see how she does on other footing?
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 08:52 PM
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That or she's just being lazy about picking up her feet. How is she on uneven footing or if you lunge her.. does she have any poles she can work over?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 09:09 PM
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My gelding will stumble on concrete when there are occasional large rocks and same in an arena that is somewhat rocky. So I could see if it could cause her a bit of discomfort. It could just be enough to cause a quick misstep here and there but not otherwise affect them. For comparison you could try lunging your horse in a pasture or lawn.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-17-2012, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the tips everyone. I'm gonna see if I can get her on different footing. Very limited places to ride beside arena. Thank you everyone....
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