Working On Concrete

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Working On Concrete

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  • Trot on concrete
  • Horse with shoes on concrete

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    07-06-2012, 05:41 PM
Working On Concrete

Is it damaging to work a horse at a walk, a trot, and a canter on concrete? If so why and are there measures to reduce shock?
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    07-06-2012, 05:55 PM
Shoes/ full coverage booties would allow more tolerence- But then you run the risk of slipping/skidding. Honestly all around not the best Idea, though.

Any particular reason you have to ride on concrete?

EDIT: It is damaging to ride on concrete- If it werent appearent =)
    07-06-2012, 05:59 PM
Concrete has no give, like earth does. So it's quite stressful/impacting on the horse's tendons/ligaments and joints, etc.

So you need to slowly condition the horse to walking on the concrete.. but I would NOT trot or canter or anything else.

Stick to softer ground.
Corporal likes this.
    07-06-2012, 06:17 PM
Super Moderator
riding on concrete

In the UK we have to mostly ride on hard roads as we don't have the easy access to so much open space - it just isn't there. There are areas of forest & common land where riding is permitted and bridle paths across farm land but other than that it is roadwork which is a mix of tarmac, concrete and grit on top of hard surface which to me was the worst for unshod feet. You get your horses legs gradually hardened off in a fitness programme, trotting is fine but cantering not advised. A horse with good feet will cope unshod cope with smooth hard surfaces if you are a considerate rider and don't expect to do too much mileage, otherwise shoes are better for the horse and on slippery roads its best/safest to also have road studs.
Golden Horse and Foxhunter like this.
    07-07-2012, 12:50 PM
It is easy to slide on rodes with shoes. My friend's horse started to misbehave while riding on the road and he almost went down on the concrete. His shoes were making sparks in the road as he tried to stay upright.
Seriously wouldn't recommend using shoes on concrete. You also have no brakes on concrete even barefoot, so I'd stick to walking.
Obviously the concussion causes issues with the horse so try and walk next to the road.
If you're going to be doing a lot of road riding, get hoof boots. I'd suggest Easyboots. ( You still can't run in them, but the horses won't slip as much because rubber has more traction on the concrete.
Corporal likes this.
    07-07-2012, 01:02 PM
A horse should be able to walk and trot on concrete without to much problem, why do we think that they will be damaged when we do it all the time?

There are some benefits to a hard surface, it doesn't move, so you can work on getting and maintaining a steady rhythm, no hidden gopher holes to fall down etc etc.

As Jaydee says in the UK it is common place to ride on hard surface, we just don't go for speed, and nice walk, and a good working trot, no cantering or racing.

I think a horse should be able to handle a mix of surfaces, some do better than others in a particular environment, so listen to your horse, condition them to new surfaces slowly, and if they are really unhappy, rethink.
Foxhunter, Blaze and jaydee like this.
    07-07-2012, 01:05 PM
I think walking is fine on it. I boarded my horse for years in Vancouver and we walked on the roads every day with no ill effects. Her shoes probably wore down a little faster than the otherwise would have, but that's about it.
I did trot the odd time too, but wouldn't really want to do much fast work. I know my knees start to hurt if I run too much on concrete, I imagine it's the same for horses.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
    07-09-2012, 10:09 AM
Super Moderator
riding on hard surfaces

Originally Posted by Kootenay    
I think walking is fine on it. I boarded my horse for years in Vancouver and we walked on the roads every day with no ill effects. Her shoes probably wore down a little faster than the otherwise would have, but that's about it.
I did trot the odd time too, but wouldn't really want to do much fast work. I know my knees start to hurt if I run too much on concrete, I imagine it's the same for horses.
Provided you put in the right amount of work in a fitness programme there is no reason why trotting on the roads will hurt a sound horse, its what the horses used to do in the days before vehicles were used to transport everything from place to place, they would be working day in day out, carriage horses frequently trotted everywhere.
We had a pony that worked on roads all his life with plenty of trotting, he showjumped, competed working hunter & became a hunter for real when he was in his 20's, he died in his late 30's and never had a lump or bump on his legs or a days unsoundness
    07-09-2012, 10:16 AM
Its ok to walk and trot on hard surfaces! But only walk for the first 3 weeks/ first month to allow the legs to condition themselves. After that, introduce trotting.

Some trainers and eventers actually start their fittening programmes riding on the roads to harden up the horses limbs. It helps make the legs stronger so the horses are less likely to damage themselves across country/ show jumping.
jaydee likes this.
    07-09-2012, 02:37 PM
I use Easyboots for my driving mare because we primarily drive on asphalt and concrete as well. They are made of a rubbery material and when wearing them she is a whole new horse. I decided to keep her barefoot but her feet were wearing a lot from driving her on the road 5 or so miles a couple times a week. They give a lot more than shoes on concrete would. They are meant for rocky trails or just for horses with sensitive feet but for the price they are worth it. I would see no problem with walking/trotting on the road but cantering seems just plain dangerous. Here is the website; Easyboot Trail | The world's easiest hoof boot.

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