is more than skin deep” JUNE/JULY 2013 Miniature Horse World 77 I see many exhibitors at shows walking or trotting their Miniatures on pavement. Is this safe or bad for my horse? Tiz A Miniature Horse Farm Barnstead, NH • 603-435-7351 • website: www.tizminihorses.com email: email@example.com Bear Branch Painted Feather 30” stallion- Homozygous for pinto Q Questions & Answers Questions & Answers There are a few things to consider if you are exercising your horse on a hardpacked surface, asphalt in particular. A The hard surface creates a considerable amount of concussion throughout your horse’s lower limbs and joints, not just his feet. The effect of such shock waves in the foot is known to be associated with an increased risk of lameness, especially in the navicular structures. Also, the extensive blood vessel network within the hoof (the laminae) is subject to bruising from impact. In an extreme case, bruising might extend beyond a single spot and end up encompassing the entire foot. This is often what is referred to as road founder. Development of this kind of mechanically induced concussion laminitis is different from what is seen with metabolic or endocrine induced laminitis. Horses with thin or flat soles are more at risk of incurring concussion founder when exercised on hard, unforgiving surfaces. A horse traveling barefoot on a blacktop road may also slip and lose its footing. Injuries from a fall can be as mild a sprain from a slip to a serious fall with catastrophic injuries. One way you might address this is with hoof coverings of some kind. Hoof boots are available in a multitude of sizes and should be available with the Miniature horse in mind. All things considered most horses should not be made to travel on hard surfaces for any extended period of time without foot coverings, and never faster than at a walk.
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