My boarding barn's turnout areas have turned into pure skating rinks for the past two weeks. There is really nothing that can be done, but the horses are basically standing on inch thick, hard ice if they choose to be out of their stalls in the run-out areas (stalls are nicely bedded with thick pine shavings over rubber mats).
I'm starting to worry that standing on such a hard, unforgiven surface can't be good for them long-term. Also, the ice isn't just a smooth surface, but full of deep divots from freezing and thawing, so the footing is uneven in addition to hard.
Since I am a worry-wort by nature when it comes to my animals, I convinced myself that my mare was standing unusually parked out today while on the cross-ties. But, when I took her in the arena on soft footing and hand-walked/trotted her out, she was moving fine.
But still- what are the implications of this bad footing on leg health/soundness? Anything? Or, just tell me to stop worrying!