Well, I'd just like to know how fast it is sensible and safe to ride on quiet bitumen roads. I've heard it can be bad for horses legs but is it less so if you gradually work them up to it? I'd like to know as I've been doing more and more road work with my mare and I don't want to risk hurting her. I ride on the grassy verges whenever possible but this is only about 50% or less of the time. I ride her at a moderate trot on bitumen roads - what does everyone else think?
Well, I was told that you shouldn't go faster than a walk on concrete because it is hard and doesn't absorb impact and anything faster than the walk has too much impact and puts too much shock and stress on the horses legs.
I think tarmac (which is like asphalt) is a more cushioned surface and bitumen is harder.
In either case it can jar a horse's joints particularly at any gait faster then a walk. What many riders who have to use the roads extensively do is to have pads put on under their horse's shoes. What they also do is have borium welded on their shoes for traction.