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First Posted March 8, 2009Jul 25, 2010

Choosing Horse-Friendly Surface Materials

"Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads and Campgrounds
Chapter 6--Choosing Horse-Friendly Surface Materials
Although horses and mules are sure-footed in the wild, surfaces need to be considered when developing trails and recreation sites. How well stock can walk on a surface depends on the degree of slope and traction, the horseshoes they are wearing, the distance they must travel, and the surface material itself.

Surface Options
When choosing surface materials, consider how comfortable and safe the surface is for the users and how well the material will stand up to the major forces that affect the surface's life:

  • Compaction--the force pressing the material down, usually human, animal, and motorized users
  • Displacement--the force moving material sideways
  • Erosion--the forces of wind and water
  • All surface materials have advantages and disadvantages. For example, many materials present slipping hazards, especially when they are wet, snowy, or icy.

Whatever the choice, make sure the materials are appropriate for the regional climate and the level of development. For equestrian use, materials should compact to a firm, slip-resistant surface that can withstand the impact of horseshoes. Paved surfaces provide little traction for horseshoes, and are rarely suitable. If possible, choose a surface material that produces minimal dust and whose color blends with the native soil. Sometimes making the surfaces a slightly different color helps users distinguish between areas, such as recreation site roads and parking spaces or parking pads..."

Follow the link below to read the rest of the excellent article.

Choosing Horse-Friendly Surface Materials


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