Paddock footing

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Paddock footing

This is a discussion on Paddock footing within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
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    09-25-2012, 07:15 PM
Paddock footing


So I've been looking to change my horse's paddock footing. I think I'm going with pea gravel.

Problem? Pea gravel in my area is not really pea gravel, its angular. So I found a small amount of what is rounded stones, much like true pea gravel, but it is smaller than 3/8. Thinking of mixing this with the angular pea gravel to give traction.

Will these smaller rocks pose a problem?
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    09-26-2012, 01:07 AM
For the purpose of drainage or for the benefit of their hooves?

If there were no pea-gravel available I would put down a footing of larger rounded stones (small egg size), lock them in place w a little of the "small pea gravel" you mentioned and then add a lot of it on top. It would drain well and have no "angles". :)
    09-26-2012, 02:35 AM
For the benefit of his hooves! Hence posting in this subforum!

There is no danger of the smaller stuff to the feet?
    09-26-2012, 03:14 AM
Haha..I meant, for the "toughening" benefit or limiting the exposure of their feet to urine.

No illeffects that I am aware of, which others may disagree with....but my horses (then 3) lived on "gritty sand" (about +1/8 -3/8" mesh) for years w absolutely no problem.
    09-26-2012, 10:18 PM
To toughen his feet. He arrived with beautiful hard feet, but his hogfuel paddock is slowly wrecking them, so wanna stop this before his feet get too soft. He's barefoot and always has been
    09-26-2012, 10:34 PM
You mean shavings? There is no telling what the organic acids are in shavings, or at what levels and they get "soggy" spots. They smell nice, though. I would think the gravel/sand would be much better for both toughening and eliminating "contact" w unknowns. That's my feeling. Gritty sand/gravel will shake out of an apple picker, too. :)
    09-26-2012, 10:58 PM
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A friend of mine has her horses paddocks in just Sand. They are all barefoot and the sand seems to work really well in keeping their feet dry. The stalls are in rubber matts with a wee bit of sand on top, like a half inch only. The horse have daily access to a pasture, though.
    09-27-2012, 12:20 AM
The hogfuel we use is mostly cedar wood chips. Kinda like garden mulch.

Sand worries me due to the risk of sand colic.
    09-27-2012, 01:03 AM
Originally Posted by teamfire    
The hogfuel we use is mostly cedar wood chips. Kinda like garden mulch.

Sand worries me due to the risk of sand colic.
Oh, interesting term - "hogfeed". I don't use wood products for bedding, but a lot of folks do. I don't understand why it would deteriorate his hooves.

The risk of sand colic is real anytime a horse eats off of sand. All of my horses have eaten off of sand for years at a time b/c of the pieces they throw/drop out of their feeders. They eat alfalfa, grass hay, and beet pulp and very little grain. I have never had one sand colic. However, I have known several people that had horses that did - and they gave them psyllium as a preventive measure! It is puzzling...why their's did and mine never did/have. I am guessing it is due to diet.

I personally will not feed my horses in a closed paddock unless I absolutely have to. But, didn't say it was "closed". :)

A horse should not spend a lot of time in a paddock. Can't he go outside and play?
    09-27-2012, 01:54 AM
Well, I do know that cedar is fairly acidic itself. But he used to come from a place with varied and rocky terrain... to where now everything is super soft footing, except for the trails. My farrier said she sees this a lot in our barn.

His place is not ideal. The facility is in the middle of a public park, so there are no pastures. He is taken outside everyday, though. We have some outdoor rings so I take him out for turnout to play with the other horses.

Mine only gets timothy hay, a tiny bit of beet pulp and a ration balancer. So perhaps sand wouldn't be a huge issue. He never drags his hay outside anyways. Choices choices...

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