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This is a discussion on Footing within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Arena footing deep loose
  • Riding horse on hard footing

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    09-10-2011, 09:46 PM

I recently moved my horse (last week) to a barn with an indoor arena; where we used to be it was all outdoor riding and the ground was quite hard. I was wondering if I need to take any precautions, boots or introducing him slowly, to the new sand footing in the arena?

I rode in there today and lunged him before hand. He tripped while lunging and I noticed he seemed to be picking his feet higher so he doesn't trip again, it was odd riding him today as he's more springy on sand for some reason.

Any advice? I have SMBs I could use if it's necessary.
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    09-10-2011, 10:33 PM
It wouldn't hurt to boot him. If the footing is deeper he will be working a bit harder. Though if he's already in good shape it shouldn't be much of an issue.
    09-11-2011, 12:39 AM
Agree with MH, you can boot him for peace of mind and it couldn't possibly hurt but if you give him a few minutes, he should be able to adjust himself just fine.

I took 2 horses to an indoor arena for the first time a couple of days ago. These horses had never been ridden in plowed ground or sand, always hard dirt or brushy pastures, and after being given a few minutes to accustom themselves, they did just fine in the deep dirt. Trotted and loped them around for around an hour each, spins and rollbacks too and they didn't have any problem at all.
    09-11-2011, 11:32 AM
I wonder if people could explain more broadly how to know if footing is "good" or not. I ride at a place with a sand indoor, and recently a small outdoor ring was installed, also with sand. However, no one uses it because word on the street is that it is "too deep" and could put unnecessary strain on the horses' legs. To my uneducated eye, it doesn't seem any different from what's in the indoor, and we have this beautiful outdoor going unused in the pleasant fall weather. What is the rule of thumb for what's ok to ride in, and what sort of feel would help you tell apart good vs. bad?
    09-11-2011, 05:57 PM
I think the rule of thumb for anything in the english disciplines is the "loose" stuff on top should be no deeper than 2"s.
    09-11-2011, 06:36 PM
Thanks everyone, I free lunged him today and booted him just in case. He seems fine with the footing. Watching him canter was a bit of an ordeal though so i'm glad I wasn't riding him; he took off too fast and slipped when he turned the corner, to right himself he did a massive buck and head toss thing. I think i'll make our warm ups nice and long with lots of walking until he's completely comfortable with the new place.

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