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Footing question?

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  • Footing question?

    So we've priced out redoing our 2 arenas with the latest greatest in footing and once I stopped choking over the initial outlay, I got to thinking...

    If you have the new footing (say the polymer sand with all the add ins & extras) can you forego having your horse shod? Assuming good feet, proper angles, farrier is on board. Out of the 20 that are in work currently 5 have front shoes, 1 is shod on all 4, so it is not a huge savings - but even penny counts and monthly shoeing does add up over the years of training an FEI horse.

    Just trying to figure if the costs would even out over time, many horses, etc...
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  • #2
    Not sure if they have made improvements to the polymer coated sand, but know of the few people who installed it here that didn't mind taking a huge loss to get it out. I would say they hated the stuff... I have noticed more people still sticking to Nike and rubber despite having the $$$. One local covered arena has the Eurofelt and is very nice, but needs to still be watered to keep it that way. I liked the price of GGT, but I just got the Kiser Edge which doesn't work for that type of material. I think even at Steffen's place it is sand and rubber, Marie Meyer's is Nike, Leslie Morse has the Eurofelt in her small court, but generally seems to use the public arena which is just sand.

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    • #3
      I will be going with the Sand/Nike mix as my understanding is that the newest types of footing require more watering to keep the fibre and felt mixed in and they have too little shear which means that the feet don't move at all on it. I've heard of horses having soundness issues because of this.

      Ok the OP's question: I don't see why dressage horses should not be able to be barefoot. However, if you show then they will also have to deal with poor footing sometimes. It depends ..... as usual

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      • #4
        Originally posted by candico View Post
        Not sure if they have made improvements to the polymer coated sand, but know of the few people who installed it here that didn't mind taking a huge loss to get it out. I would say they hated the stuff... I have noticed more people still sticking to Nike and rubber despite having the $$$. One local covered arena has the Eurofelt and is very nice, but needs to still be watered to keep it that way. I liked the price of GGT, but I just got the Kiser Edge which doesn't work for that type of material. I think even at Steffen's place it is sand and rubber, Marie Meyer's is Nike, Leslie Morse has the Eurofelt in her small court, but generally seems to use the public arena which is just sand.
        Yup, spoke with ABI a few days ago and the conversation ended quickly after I mentioned that I have GGT
        I wasn't always a Smurf
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        The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Ok, Ok. I get it. The polymer coated sand is not the way to go. But if anyone has replaced their existing sand/whatever footing with whatever you feel is the BEST newest footing - have you been able to save some/any/no money in regards to the farrier bill?

          That was my question.

          And I know footing is like the weather and farmers - it is never 'right' for everyone. Aaaaand if they are going to show on stone dust, shoes will be needed. At least up front.
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          • #6
            It depends on the hoof and the level of the horse and their level of obsession with a consistent sensation in the medium and extended gaits.
            I'd factor 30% could ditch the shoes during the off season.
            www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tasker View Post
              So we've priced out redoing our 2 arenas with the latest greatest in footing and once I stopped choking over the initial outlay, I got to thinking...

              If you have the new footing (say the polymer sand with all the add ins & extras) can you forego having your horse shod? Assuming good feet, proper angles, farrier is on board. Out of the 20 that are in work currently 5 have front shoes, 1 is shod on all 4, so it is not a huge savings - but even penny counts and monthly shoeing does add up over the years of training an FEI horse.

              Just trying to figure if the costs would even out over time, many horses, etc...
              No opinions on the footing, but kudos to you that you have so few shoes on your horses! That says some great things about your breeding program in addition to your management IMO. I'm sad to say my TB now has 4 shoes, as the more collected work was showing his hooves simply couldn't hold up without. Thankfully the other two are still barefoot.
              Originally posted by Silverbridge
              If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tasker View Post
                Ok, Ok. I get it. The polymer coated sand is not the way to go.
                I adore my polymer coated sand, from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces. I don't see a savings in my farrier bill, in that they're only on the surface for an hour a day tops, but I do see a savings in management time - even with 20 horses on it a day, 6 days a week, it simply gets dragged twice a week, and never watered.
                spriesersporthorse.com | farm on Facebook | me on Facebook | blog

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thank you Lauren. Much appreciate the input on time saving! Do you have the surface both indoors and outside?

                  Thanks netg - we're a tad OCD about good feet and avoiding high maintenance hooves especially when it comes to breeding. No foot, no horse sort of logic... My 4 shoe guy does fine when we're having a dry stretch (like this spring) but I can't let the weather dictate his workload/intensity. FWIW we actually opted to not breed one of our GP mares years ago as she was a nightmare - produced very little hoof (her 6 month growth was a normal horse's 6 week growth) no matter what supplement she was on. As the farrier said - she did not process her amino acids properly! Having dealt with that nightmare , I'll do what I can to avoid it.

                  In any case, lots to think about! Thanks!
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                  • #10
                    There may have been developments in coated sand, but it was THE WORST thing ever when I saw it used. Horrid to ride in for footing, and had no real 'grip'. AWFUL.

                    Any footing is abrasive because we are working figures on curved lines. I like nice footing, like the euro stuff, and adore leather (not available much any more).
                    I.D.E.A. yoda

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=Cluck;6229560]I will be going with the Sand/Nike mix as my understanding is that the newest types of footing require more watering to keep the fibre and felt mixed in and they have too little shear which means that the feet don't move at all on it. I've heard of horses having soundness issues because of this.
                      [QUOTE]


                      Hi Cluck. Every type of footing requires water for it to bind to some degree, unless you are lucky enough to have the footing Lauren has. That sounds awesome!

                      All of the Sand/Nike arenas I have ridden in required frequent watering and grooming because the Nike is considerably lighter than sand and would sift to the top of the footing. Not sure if anyone has ever had it mix in and stay there? The amount of sheer likely has to do with the type of sand. Partical size, shape (angular or round), how much sand.

                      How much is the Nike and what are you getting it from?

                      My weird mix of footing has received accolades by dressage and jumper riders who love riding on it, and a few have came off, and bounced (including me)! I have been told I have the best footing they have ridden on in my area. (Really? blushing). I have redone my footing maybe 6 times in my outdoor, and this is by far the best mix I have come up with (I have had it for 6 years). It is my own made up mix of carpet fiber shreds, paper pulp, sand, and rubber in both my indoor and outdoor. People look at it and think its Nike - nope. Once I got it mixed in correctly, the fiber has never migrated to the top of the footing. The footing much more stable than plain old sand. Minimal dust. Yes I do water it.

                      The paper pulp is dairy quality (dairies use it as bedding, there is also a company who makes animal bedding pellets out of it). It cost $50 per huge truck load (no joke - because there used to be a paper mill not far from me), and I put just 2 loads in my bigger than dressage court outdoor.

                      I really should try to get some pics so you can see what I'm talking about ....

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                      • #12
                        I will probably use Footings Unlimited for the Nike additive. My arena is an indoor so easier in some ways than an outdoor. I forget the cost but one phone call would get you a fairly accurate estimate. I do remember it being quite reasonable and less than I expected.

                        Yes I am fully aware that all footing needs some watering and those that don't would not have the stability and 'cush' that I am looking for.

                        I do plan to water but don't want to have to do it every day as it will just be me riding 2 horses.

                        I also plan to use MgCl flakes to help hold water and draw it from our humid air in the summer.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                          There may have been developments in coated sand, but it was THE WORST thing ever when I saw it used. Horrid to ride in for footing, and had no real 'grip'. AWFUL.
                          Not mine. I have two students who put in a coated sand that was awful, but it's not the same as my stuff. www.attwoodequestriansurfaces.com

                          Originally posted by Tasker View Post
                          Thank you Lauren. Much appreciate the input on time saving! Do you have the surface both indoors and outside?
                          Just inside. My outdoor is sand to mimic show conditions as much as possible. They do move differently (better) in my indoor, and I didn't want them to have such a shock when they went offsite. I make sure we do lots of crosstraining as we approach show season.
                          spriesersporthorse.com | farm on Facebook | me on Facebook | blog

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                          • #14
                            Re farrier savings - what about when you go out to show and clinic? I find footing varies significantly by facility, so even if you have perfect footing at home, you have to be prepared for whatever the host locations have too...

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