In issue 18 Lou Verwey from Capricorn has written an excellent article on the contact of the horse’s hoof and the effect on the different surfaces. If you are planning on building an arena, or you have one, it is very important on what surface you put down. The proper riding surface should provide softness for the toe to penetrate by roll over and avoid excessive concussion. It should be firm enough to provide the correct shear resistance for all movements. The hoof of the horse makes contact and leaves the riding surface in different speeds and gaits. From a canter that is asymmetrical to a piaffe and passage which is symmetrical the horse should feel secure. Riding on an arena that is either too hard or too soft will result in poor performance, fatigue, injuries of tendons, ligaments and suspensories. This could all shorten the active, athletic career of the horse.
Hoof & Contact
Lou tells us that if the riding surface is too soft the shear resistance will be low which allows the toe to penetrate too deep and will move or give way by push off. The horse has to work harder to generate the propulsion required to carry out its movement with fatigue and diminishing performance, as a result.
If the riding surface is too hard there will be insufficient hoof rotation, chance of sliding and excessive concussion.
This is just a bit of what his extensive knowledge that Lou has and more in the current issue (18) of the magazine out in a store now or you purchase and download your own digital version. Click on this link to download http://baroquehorse.com.au/store-3/issue-18-digital/
For more information you can contact Capricorn Australia http://www.equineproducts.com.au/