sydneyinboston said: I'm suppose to be helping my BO research what footing would be best for barefooted horses, is there anything you know of or would recommend? We have playground sand currently and she is just transferring her new horse to barefoot. She is thinking about crum foot?
Hey I’m so sorry it’s taken so long to post this! It seems to have gotten lost in the bottom of my drafts folder. :c
Transitioning is exciting and nerve wracking. I have two boarders that are transitioning this week, so I’m going through something similar right now. If they’re really bad playground sand is an okay surface to start them on, after a couple of weeks you can probably try them on something a bit more challenging.
For barefoot, the trick is to keep your horse on a surface that is just as if not more challenging than the one you plan to work them on. The stimulation that happens to the back of the foot, specifically the digital cushion, is what’s going to grow them a stronger foot.
So while the ideal is to have a variety of different types of footing that they must go through, the one you want them standing on the most is something like pea gravel:
This drains well and stays deep enough that they can dig their toes into it and let the frog and bars have a more supporting function.
I’m not sure what crum foot is, but if it’s similar to this it should work.
Aside from that, I keep my own guys on a track of hard packed dirt with a high clay content, so it’s smooth and has very little give. Then there are areas of bedrock and larger stone where I put most of my feeding stations and bury the salt/minerals like this one:
It’s hard to get a hold of decent pea gravel in my area without paying an arm and a leg for it, but I’m hoping to get a shipment to put around some of the new feeding stations that are going up this fall.
I also deliberately let my water overflow to create a mud bath for their feet. The water table here is usually high, even in the midst of summer, so I can get away with it. But having somewhere they can soak their feet helps them to soften them for trimming.