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Arena footing balling up in shoes - how to prevent?

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  • Arena footing balling up in shoes - how to prevent?

    Looking for suggestions...

    My gelding has Halvorson Egg Bar shoes (which make a full circle around his hoof, rather than the normal "U"). They are great for him, but I'm having trouble with the arena footing. Whenever I ride and the arena has been recently groomed (so it's fluffy, a little moist, and feels nice - the footing is a combo of sand & dirt), the shoes fill up with packed footing making a big ball. After 1/2 the ride, I have to stop & pick out his feet. Otherwise, he starts going "lame" (solved instantly once the footing is out), since he is "teetering" on the ball and the shoe isn't really reaching the ground.

    We added full pads to his shoes, which does help. However, the footing is still balling up and it makes him really uncomfortable. On days when the arena is drier & the footing is packed more, it's not an issue at all. The shoes still fill with footing, but they never ball-up like when the footing is fluffy/moist.

    I've heard that spraying Pam or Crisco in shoes helps prevent SNOW from balling up in shoes - and some folks suggest wiping on Vaseline. I will probably try those options, but not sure the footing will fall off the same as snow would...

    Any thoughts / suggestions / experiences with arena footing (vs snow)? Thanks, folks!

  • #2
    I would put full bubble snow pads on. My horse has them for the winter with the added benefit that the fine fluffy arena footing doesn't wad up in his feet. At all.

    Here's a pic of how the arena footing where I am, which is shredded leather, doesn't ball up. After riding indoors, this is what it looked like, and you can see the type of pad I mean:


    Its in the album "Airborne Playing" a misnomer, because it turned out to be only an album of his recent shoeing with bubble pads. You can look through and see the type of pad I mean.

    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


    • #3
      I've never had luck with vaseline/crisco/pam. The effect lasts great for a full five minutes. Snow pads aren't a bad idea, but they probably wouldn't work with the full pads the horse already has...though I'm confused, if the horse has full pads what is the footing balling up in? I don't know your horse's issues, but what if instead of traditional pads your farrier used equi-pak?


      • #4
        Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
        I don't know your horse's issues, but what if instead of traditional pads your farrier used equi-pak?
        This was what I was thinking, where they fill with the clear equi-pak to the ground, rather than having a plastic/leather pad under the shoe. We've also done this same thing using the black sole-guard material for pads -- it lasts better in our wet weather than the regular clear stuff. You wouldn't have anywhere for the footing to ball up that way, but not sure that will work with full eggbar shoes (will there be a gap at the back?). I'd also be a little worried that the change in padding might not make his feet happy either (might be like having the footing packed in there), but depends what his issue is and sometimes it is worth a try anyway.