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Re: [RC] Barefoot horses & pavement - heidi

Regarding  the pavement issue Kari is having with her horse, Doimas does
the same thing  when the pavement is smooth.  He doesn't like those
little sharp stones along the  side of the road. I try to look at things
from my horse's perspective. He  walks where it feels the most

This is very true, and particularly for a barefoot horse that has any
thinning of the sole.  The immediate comfort is what the horse reacts
to--he doesn't factor in such things as repeated concussion causing soft
tissue damage in the future, or excess wear that might also cause future
discomfort.  He looks at the here and now--and the pavement is in his eyes
often the more viable choice.

FWIW, I like doing some riding on hard roads (I avoid pavement, but more
for the traffic, as we have a good hard county road that serves the same
purpose) as a part of my LSD training, as it helps to toughen up the soft
tissues and helps the bone remodeling.  One doesn't want to do this at
speed in the beginning, but with a green horse, hours and hours of WALKING
on such surfaces will do wonders.  I really admired the horses in Europe
that conditioned regularly on pavement and cobblestones and then went on
to compete on same--I rode a horse on his first endurance ride (120k, or
75 miles) in Bremen, Germany, several years ago, and nearly the entire
ride was on pavement or cobblestones.  But he had been conditioned on such
surfaces in Denmark, and never had a problem with it.  I was sure a lot
more freaked out by it than he was!



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[RC] Barefoot horses & pavement, WRSINOSKY