Trotting on pavement? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Trotting on pavement?

So, now that my ring and paddock are both unrideable (ice, ice, and more ice along with some rock hard snow) I've been looking for alternatives to keep my horses in shape. One is my 9 yr old Arabian that I am training from the start (she was a pasture pet for the first 8 years), and the other is my 24 yr old Arabian who I just want to keep somewhat in shape because in the past year his altheticism has declined enough to make me worry. We do have a trailer, but can only trailer over to an indoor sporadically because of the cost and the road conditions. Also, the older horse really won't/can't ride in a ring anymore, so this really isn't a solution for him. Up until now I have been able to continue my training despite the weather, but it is now officially too dangerous to ride.

But, we do live on a dead end road connected to another dead end road. I am also a strong runner, so I thought up the idea that I could run with them (on leads) up and down the road for exercise. Once they get used to it I could even put my side reins on my younger horse so that she can develop her back and neck more. The only problem is that it is pavement. Since I wouldn't be on them, do you think they would be ok to do this a couple times a week? I have front Old Mac boots for both of them so I could put those on for a little extra cushon...maybe even buy/make some pads to put in them to absorb even more impact. I'm just looking for some opinions on whether this would cause more harm than good. Thank you!
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post #2 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 03:33 PM
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I dont know how good it is for their joints. I am no expert! I will be watching this thread to learn more,though. Thanks for posting!
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post #3 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 08:24 PM
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I live in Florida, so I don't know about the ice and snow, but if your ring has ice and snow doesn't the road have it also. I know enough to know that the roads have a crew come and clear the roads and salt them but I would be scared that they would be to wet to trot on. My team is driven on pavement (barefoot) alot, but I don't trot if its wet, due it being slick and the wet mixed with oil that has been dripped on the road from cars don't mix.
If you want to just walk or ride them at a walk, I don't see a problem, but I wouldn't trot them. Just my opinion and as they say everybody has one.
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post #4 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 08:43 PM
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I often walk horses on the road and it has no impact on them. I do short bursts of trotting on the road, and it doesn't seem to hurt them but honestly I don't know. I'm no expert. I see people trotting (riding) on the road and I don't know how their horses go, but personally I think short bursts of trot probably wouldn't hurt them.
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post #5 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Gidji View Post
I often walk horses on the road and it has no impact on them. I do short bursts of trotting on the road, and it doesn't seem to hurt them but honestly I don't know. I'm no expert. I see people trotting (riding) on the road and I don't know how their horses go, but personally I think short bursts of trot probably wouldn't hurt them.
I do this too. We live on a paved road cornered by a dirt one. To go one direction I have to take the paved road. Vida seems to like going at a faster gait on the paved road and I've never noticed any adverse affects. She is barefoot and although I have hoof boots I've never used them on the pavement.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #6 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 09:10 PM
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I walk, trot, canter, and gallop down paved and gravel roads all the time and it's never been a problem. Of course, my mare is shod. I think your horses would be fine though.

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post #7 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 09:20 PM
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A small amount of trotting would be fine. Doing it the right way, your horse can actually benefit from it and it will help condition them. Just be sure you are barefoot and if you do have shod horses put studs or borium on them for traction.

I know a lot of police horses are trotted on pavement for conditioning.

"Anything forced or misunderstood can never be beautiful." -Xenophon

Last edited by KristinJ; 12-26-2009 at 09:22 PM. Reason: edit
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 10:06 PM
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All our mares are barefoot and I do a lot of road riding. Asphalt actually has some cushion to it under the weight of a horse and doesn't bother them at all. Above the walk, though, just remember that although the surface is typically rough, they can't dig into it to get the traction/drive that they do on dirt, and it can be a little slippery when wet.

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post #9 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 10:16 PM
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I would be worried about traction, hooves and pavement don't go together very well... I had a horse jump a fence and run into the middle of a paved road with me on him and his feet came out from under him... I still have no idea how he kept from going down, but I never rode that crazy s.o.b. again...

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post #10 of 25 Old 12-26-2009, 10:21 PM
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If they're barefoot, then trotting on pavement is actually good for them. 15-20 minutes on pavement with a barefoot horse will help strengthen and harden the feet, and encourage more compact growth.

BAREfeet on pavement have GREAT traction. I have never had a barefoot horse slip on asphalt, and rarely on concrete. Shod horses are the ones you have to watch out for on man-made surfaces.

If they have shoes, then using some boots might be a good idea, though you shouldn't need pads.
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