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consequences of riding in too deep footing

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  • consequences of riding in too deep footing

    Hello Everyone!
    I'm wondering if anyone could point me towards some research that explains the consequences of riding in footing that is too deep. Obviously I know it isn't a good thing to do, but I'm hoping to learn exactly what the effects are on a horse's tendons/ligaments/muscles/ etc.

  • #2
    Originally posted by PinkBoots View Post
    Hello Everyone!
    I'm wondering if anyone could point me towards some research that explains the consequences of riding in footing that is too deep. Obviously I know it isn't a good thing to do, but I'm hoping to learn exactly what the effects are on a horse's tendons/ligaments/muscles/ etc.
    The bolded isn't necessarily true.

    Eventers (especially those who do/did long format) are well aware of the benefits of varied footing. I'm guessing endurance riders would be as well. Jumping is especially dangerous in deep footing, particularly for a horse who isn't used to it. But what long walks in deep footing can do is help strengthen a horse's soft tissue. Both deep and hard footing taken in gradually increasing amounts are beneficial - and any sudden drastic change in footing can be detrimental.

    (Sorry, I don't have any research to point you to, just horses with blown tendons and ligaments I've known who were galloped out in deep footing when not used to it, and horses who had major stone bruises and other hoof problems when galloped on hard footing when they were not used to it.)
    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.


    • #3
      It entirely depends on the work you're doing, and if by deep you mean "engineered to function in a certain manner", or nasty deep mud.
      "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


      • #4
        I don't know if any research done in the way of studies performed. I believe this is related more to bio-mechanical theory and correlation that has been repeated time and time again.

        And its not that horses can't work, and stay sound, in deep footing (I keep my horses at a reining barn with deep footing, and they are fine along with the 40-50 reining horses! For the first week they walked, only, for 30 minutes daily.), but changing to deep footing from hard footing or having inconsistent footing (the worst) that leads to injury.

        The injury is a consequence of fatigue and not directly caused by the depth of the footing. There are a plethora of human and mammal studies demonstrating the relationship between fatigue and injuries. I recommend searching pubmed.gov as a starting point.

        Think of the last time you went for a run on the beach (unless you don't run, then never mind ). It's exhausts certain muscles until you adapt. This fatigue can lead to damage of the muscles or tendons or the supporting ligaments. It opens the door for damage to occur that would not without the fatigue.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks netg! Perhaps I should clarify- My barn just built a new ring and it is beautiful, however the footing is really worrying me. Its some kind of sand mixture that is very deep, and my horse is an older jr/AO jumper.
          There is talk that the footing will be getting fixed by the BO, but I don't know how soon, or if that will really happen.
          I am currently doing roadwork, which was recommended by my vet to strengthen tendons and help him adjust to the footing. But the combo of his age plus how high we jump and the poor quality of the footing is really concerning me. So I'm looking for research to present to the BO and Trainer to help get the ball rolling on getting this footing fixed!


          • #6
            Not sure what kind of relationship you have with your vet, but could you ask your vet to take a look at the footing and mention something to the BO?


            • #7
              What happens when jumping in deep footing at YR try outs : Your *** hopeful horse bows both his front tendons. So not going into details but lets just say that I won't do more then walk and a little trot in deep footing anymore.


              • #8
                I do my conditioning work in sand footing. It is not packed but sugar sand and it can be deep in places. I walk through the deeper areas and there are some areas that are packed that I do some trot and canter through. I have to say that I will never jump in really loose, soft footing. No freaking way. I am not trying to bow a tendon anytime soon.

                My gallop sets and jumping are done in a grass field.
                I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.


                • #9
                  I was at a Jimmy Wofford clinic last summer and someone asked him this question about footing and he said it depends completely on the horse. He said if the footing is soft or deep he will not run his horses with old soft tissue injuries as they would be vulnerable in those conditions, however he said if he has horses with arthritis type conditions they absolutely love soft or deep footing and do their best in those conditions. And he basically said the converse is true for hard footing. Just FYI


                  • #10
                    Can we get some clarification as to what constitutes "deep" (and maybe even "hard") footing? I recently took a pony to a VERY well known, posh pony hunter barn and was appalled by how deep their footing was. I wouldn't let said pony stay and they were like, ""! I guess I'm fine at current place because we have deep/hard spots all over the arena, LOL, I can pick my poison.