How fast is too fast? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation How fast is too fast?

How fast is too fast on the road (pavement)? Walk, trot, canter? Where do you draw the line? And why?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 11:06 PM
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I haven't cantered on the street before so, I draw the line at trotting across the street. I'd like to hear what others have to say. I mean I guess it wouldn't hurt but, I wouldn't
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 11:11 PM
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it depends on how conditioned they are for road work. i usually start with just walk for a couple weeks and then move on to trotting. by fall i have all my horses cantering [sometimes faster] down the road. i dont do this everyday, not even close, but i hunt my horses so they need to be conditioned for riding on roads. you just have to be careful not to pull up to fast or try to turn to sharp [throw your horse off balance] so they dont slip on the road, especially if they have shoes.

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 11:17 PM
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Road founder comes to mind along with road rash.
I think a walk or maybe a short trot is OK, to cross a road quickly. I can think of no reason I would run a horse on pavement
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 11:21 PM
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I don't think anything than a short, slow trot is okay. Definitely no faster on pavement!!! I mean.. it hurts ME to run on the road.. not to mention a 1200 + pound animal cantering down the hard road.

Silver Serenade
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 12:14 AM
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Shoes would make it more likely for them to slip and dramatically increase the concussion going to their legs and joints, which if done repeatedly could contribute to arthritis later on. I probably wouldn't do more than a trot if my horse was shod, and not for a long distance.

A barefoot horse on the other hand would have better traction and the hoof would be able to expand and absorb some of the shock, reducing the amount of concussion that reaches the legs and joints. I would be much more comfortable trotting on a barefoot horse, but I still don't know if I would canter.

The horse's condition should also be considered. A more fit horse will have stronger tendons, muscles, and even bones that help it to hold up better. I wouldn't take a horse that wasn't used to it and make him run down a road. But, if your horse is fit, I wouldn't see any harm in doing it occasionally, but it isn't something I would want to do daily.

"Horses donít have hard mouths, they have hard, stiff bodies. The softer you can get the horse through his body, the softer he will be in your hands." Clinton Anderson

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 12:18 AM
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I never canter on the roads, The percussive force of cantering on the roads can lead to all sorts of injuries and problems. I have show horses and a splint can litteraly knock thousands off thier value.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 01:58 AM
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Pretty much what everyone else has said. In the past, I have done quick canters on pavement with shod horses, but now I know better and won't repeat my mistake. In addition to the risk of a shod horse slipping or a barefoot horse tearing up its hooves, there's also the potential for road founder or long term joint / concussive force issues.
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