Another Newbie Question RE: Riding on Asphault With Shoes - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-24-2011, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Another Newbie Question RE: Riding on Asphault With Shoes

I hope this is in the correct place for the subject and I hope I'm not asking too many questions.

Anyway, I understand it is not preferable to ride a horse on asphalt, especially if the horse is wearing shoes and it is especially bad to do anything other than just walking. How much walking on asphalt is TOO much (like how far?). Exactly how dangerous is it (just slowly walking)?

I rode my horse about the length of a football field on my way home yesterday, which is asphalt, and he does have shoes on. We walked very slow. The first 50 yards were probably not necessary because there was some dirt on the side of the road, but the last 50 yards were necessary in order to get home. I was counseled by a neighbor who saw me and said it was very bad.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-24-2011, 08:49 PM
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It isn't so much the concussion on their legs that I worry about (which is what most people complain about). Just walking, they get almost the same amount of concussion from walking on hard-pan or packed dirt. The biggest risk with combining shoes and asphalt is the risk of slipping. Even a slight spook can cause a horse to slip and fall, injuring either themselves or you. So, while it certainly isn't preferable to ride on asphalt with shoes on, sometimes it is unavoidable. The best you can do is avoid it when you can and make sure to go no faster than a walk when you can't.

Over the years, I've ridden a lot of shod horses around town on paved streets and none of them has ever shown up lame because of it. I've had a couple nearly fall on me after they spooked, but none were any the worse for wear after being ridden on asphalt.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-24-2011, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I think she was concerned about the slipping part, which I totally agree with, but I wasn't sure about the effects on the horse's legs, shins, hoofs, etc. I remember when I was little (12 y/o) I was riding with a little friend of mine and we turned off the road onto our driveway, which was concrete, her horse slipped, fell on her, and broke her pelvis. Not a pretty sight. I think I would like it better if my horse was not shod, but he came that way. What are the pros and cons of both ways?
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-24-2011, 08:58 PM
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Funny, my farrier hates the thought of me riding my mare on paved roads without shoes, says it will eat her heel.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-24-2011, 09:58 PM
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I used to live in England, and it is perfectly normal to hack out on the roads with a shod horse. I used to hack out for hours every weekend. I personally believe it strengthens the legs, and I would trot too. Of course never canter.

I don't do it here yet as I have an inexperienced horse and up until recently I did not have anyone to ride with where there was not heavy traffic.

In the horse world (you will find that everyone has strong opinions) and they differ greatly.

The mare I used to hack out, I owned her for 9 years, and she was never once lame. She was also one of those amazing horses that you never call a vet for, other than vaccinations.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-24-2011, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Darla719 View Post
... I think I would like it better if my horse was not shod, but he came that way. What are the pros and cons of both ways?
For travel on asphalt, I might have a small preference for shoeless, but it seems pretty slick to them regardless. In a couple of years we hope to build on a 2 acre lot we have on a dirt road, but until then...I've been known to dismount and lead them for a couple hundred yards of pavement travel. Maybe I'm a wussie, but I'm a wussie who values his pelvis and back!

But the shoe issue isn't asphalt, but the horse. Mine have gone without shoes for 2+ years and are fine, but they aren't used hard (hardly used?) and their corral is very hard soil. My farrier says about half the horses he works with don't need shoes, and the other half do. Depends on the horse's conformation, use, living conditions, etc.
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