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Artificial footing causing injuries?

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  • Artificial footing causing injuries?

    Maybe this has been discussed but I couldn't find it.
    Has anyone had trouble with artificial footing? My friend is at a very fancy barn. They have this footing inside and outside. Her horse is plagued with constant injuries. Right now he has sore suspensories. My barn has natural footing; sand, and my horses have no problems. Of course we have different programs too, but just wondering how much of it is the footing. Would pads help? I think the footing balls up in the hooves, right? I've also heard the hooves don't have any slide on it, so maybe a bit jarring?
    My friend is extremely high maintenance. She would not be happy at my barn and I don't think I could do that to the owners
    Any one else have experiences like this?
    Lilykoi


    Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

  • #2
    What kind of artificial footing? There are lots of different types. My old barn had ocean sand, plus ground rubber and eurofelt. Loved that footing, very stable yet cushy, never had an injuries with it.

    Old horse slipped and shattered his long and short pasterns in a sand arena...

    Properly maintained footing which is designed for what ever use it is tasked for should not cause injuries.
    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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    • #3
      Are you wondering this merely for your own curiosity?

      Or to say something to your friend about it?

      If it's the second, I would MYOB.
      "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

      Comment


      • #4
        Giddyup, why the snark? Jeez.

        OP: racetracks with Polytrack footing are reportedly causing some increased problems (injuries, respiratory issues).

        As for footings like TravelRight (sp?) etc. in the H/J world, I don't know. There is one indoor belonging to a BNT which has footing that balls up in a BIG way in the horses' hooves (I don't know what the footing is but it's not one with rubber or felt). I can't imagine why anyone would continue to use it when jumping OR flatting their horse with balls of footing protruding from their hooves

        I'm sure there are plusses and minuses to each, and I don't know which are which but others may chime in.
        "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

        Comment


        • #5
          Iride: that's interesting about they polytrack- I was at Keeneland this past weekend and the tour guide was mentioning that they'd had fewer catastrophic incidents since they put in the polytrack. Where did you see that they were causing problems? I'd be interested in seeing the reports.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kmwines01 View Post
            Iride: that's interesting about they polytrack- I was at Keeneland this past weekend and the tour guide was mentioning that they'd had fewer catastrophic incidents since they put in the polytrack. Where did you see that they were causing problems? I'd be interested in seeing the reports.
            Here's just one:

            http://www.thehorse.com/Print.aspx?ID=8777
            "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

            Comment


            • #7
              On the subject of Polytrack:
              At racetracks with this type of synthetic footing, there has been a decline in catastrophic injuries: these are the career-ending, news-making, horrific type injuries. However, the instance of smaller, soft-tissue injuries (think suspensories, check ligaments, bows and strains) are way up. It would be interesting to have an extensive study done to determine why. As of right now, we have the data, but we don't know what is causing it.

              This is something to look out for when buying an OTTB. It was definitely something I considered. The mare I bought finished racing just as the track she was at for most of the year switched from dirt to polytrack. She walked away from her racing career sound. The track vet told me I was very lucky to get one that was still from the days of dirt tracks, he said they were typically sounder.

              As far as H/J footing goes, I have only ridden on various types of sand and all-weather footings, with the exception of the indoor at the barn I am currently at. It is composed of coarse sand and bits of shredded tire. It is extremely dusty, very slippery, and is always coming away to expose the base, even in the areas where it is 4" deep.

              My farrier absolutely hates any type of rubber footing, be it chewed up Nike tennis shoes, or shredded tires. He says it has a very negative effect on feet and can therefore cause lameness. He reports that at one of the barns he shoes, every ring is done in this type of footing, and that those horses also collectively have the worst feet of any of the barns he shoes. He told me to stop riding in the indoor, that riding through a little bit of slop in the outdoor all-weather was better. When I did that, my mare's feet did improve. *shrug* I don't know whether that's some sort of old-timer attitude or what, but I'm not willing to risk my horse to find out. The next time he comes out to shoe my horse I'll have to ask him exactly why he doesn't like it.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks everyone (I'm ignoring Giddyup)
                I don't know the type of footing they have but it is in the indoor and outdoor rings. I think it is the kind that balls up in their hooves.
                We both use the same farrier and I will see what he says.
                She really wants to stay at that barn, they have great service and that's what she needs. But the vet bills just keep coming.
                Who know, maybe its the horse. But when he goes to Florida and is with a trainer who has sand and grass, he just does not have the problems. He rarely shows, just winters there, so the footing at WEF doesn't really affect him.
                Lilykoi


                Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well in addition to footing does horse just work and stand in? Does horse ever get worked on varying terrains? Even with racehorses and poly track vs sand. No variance in terrain along with always going left on a flat surface isn't ideal. And the art of getting and keeping horses fit for the rigors of racing is a dying art. Working horses on various surfaces, keeping in mind fitness, turnout on various ground, and the ability to be aware of what type of work and how much can be done on the various surfaces all play a big part beyond just what surface is used.

                  Terri
                  COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                  "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How are the rest of the horses at this facility?
                    Some horses are just more prone to injury than others.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                      How are the rest of the horses at this facility?
                      Some horses are just more prone to injury than others.
                      Exactly! If other horses are having problems I would be concerned.
                      I ride my horses on different types of footing and can feel when the footing is not comfortable for the horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's interesting how the slightest difference in the SAME footing can even show up in how my horse goes. For example, on grass my horse is super comfy. But if there's any unevenness to the grass ground I can feel his 'flat tire'.
                        "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not being snarky. Sorry if you took it that way.

                          You said your friend is at a very fancy barn & she is extremely high maintenance so you don't want her at your barn. That sounded snarky to me. What you didn't mention is what actual type of footing is being used. Or if there are other lame horses at the same barn.

                          It could be the footing, it could be the work program, it could be the farrier, it could be the way her horse is designed, it could be a whole lot of things making her horse have sore suspensories.

                          But I still say I would mind my own business. Asking a shared farrier about somebody else's horse & why it's having lameness issues isn't right. That's why I asked if it was for your own curiosity/learning/education. General questions about footing & such is great. Asking point blank if the footing at XYZ Barn is what is making Friend's horse lame is not.
                          "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The first time I rode on a mixture of sand, shredded rubber and wood grinds it was amazing. My horse even moved better.

                            I am not clear also of the exact footing you are talking about but some of the nicest surfaces to ride on are artificial.

                            I think too deep or too shallow is what causes issues IMHO.
                            Live in the sunshine.
                            Swim in the sea.
                            Drink the wild air.

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                            • #15
                              Too many variables involved and no where near enough specific information to form a judgement here.

                              Oh, don't put the farrier (or vet) on the spot by asking for specifics on somebody else's problems with their horse or opinion of another farms program and facilities. You wouldn't want them sharing what may or may not be wrong with yours behind you back either. Highly unprofessional and unethical for them do do so.

                              Ask friend what farrier says about her horse and let her chose what to share.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My trainer said that she has talked to a number of the top performance vets around here about the "european" footing and soundness and the vets said that they were seeing more weird tweaks/lower leg problems than they used to with the increased amount of barns having that footing.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  This I don't understand. The European surfaces causing more issues. My mare jumped on quite a few different surfaces including grass. Have had no issues. But she trained on a variety of surfaces, was turned out on every surface without boots. They have to learn to take care of themselves. Riding in fields up and down hills, road work, ect. If you ride in the same ring and don't do any conditioning outside the ring you probably will have issues. They can't cope with the unexpected.

                                  Terri
                                  COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                  "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ElisLove View Post
                                    My trainer said that she has talked to a number of the top performance vets around here about the "european" footing and soundness and the vets said that they were seeing more weird tweaks/lower leg problems than they used to with the increased amount of barns having that footing.
                                    Agreed.......and my trainer has said the same thing after vet appt's to find out why some of our horses are suddenly sore/lame after these shows! I'm wondering if it's because, one ring in particular, doesn't seem to work the ring like it should be (kept watered and flat dragged after every so many horses!)?
                                    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have the opposite experience, after moving to a barn with 'european' footing (travelright), my horse moved better and was much sounder. The difference in the horse was significant.

                                      That being said, a lot of people install GGT footing and don't maintain it well. It needs to be very wet to work well, I think in some applications the use is not aware of how wet.
                                      Eclipse, I think that is the case at a certain show you are refereing to, they don't water it enough and it's so dry in Calgary that it just doesn't perform as intended.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Lilykoi View Post
                                        But when he goes to Florida and is with a trainer who has sand and grass, he just does not have the problems. He rarely shows, just winters there, so the footing at WEF doesn't really affect him.
                                        The footing @ WEF is sand with shredded felt--very nice footing, of course.
                                        Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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