much research and watching your wonderful DVD on designing a horse barn, I decided
to put down 4 inches of 3/8 minus round washed pea gravel in my mare's paddock
It has been excellent footing, however
last week my mare went quite lame and the farrier found a tiny piece of the gravel
embedded very deep next to her frog towards the heal. My farrier told me afterwards
that he thinks the footing is "very dangerous" and it should not be
used without several inches of sand on top. My farrier is very good and has been
trusted by everyone in the area for 40 years. I keep my mare's feet picked clean,
but this little rock was so deep we couldn't reach it without digging into the
I just cannot imagine you recommending
anything that was in any way dangerous for horsekeeping so my question is this:
In our new facility we are putting in sacrifice paddocks and I had been planning
on surfacing them in the same gravel however now I have doubts.
this a freak accident? Is pea gravel the best footing or would you recommend something
Thank you very much for your time,
Pea gravel varies greatly according
to locale, I can't see yours, but 3/8-round pea gravel generally poses no danger
for a turnout pen or we wouldn't recommend it.
is indeed a freak accident as you suggest as in all the years we have used it,
recommended it, we have never heard of such an incident.
there are many instances of horses (whether they live on pasture, in a sawdust
bedded stall or in a pen) getting gravel imbedded in the clefts, white line and
other areas of the hoof when the hooves are too soft or when the hoof has a problem
like thrush, deep clefts, white line disease etc. My husband, Richard Klimesh,
has been a farrier for many years and has much experience with hooves and together
we feel hooves that are kept clean and dry are the healthiest and that pea gravel
is the best all-weather surface for drainage and hoof health.
can be a real danger when used in living areas where horses are fed because of
the almost certain ingestion of the sand and the high probability of sand colic.
The only time we recommend sand is when a horse has been or is laminitic and the
veterinarian suggests it for the horse's comfort.
locale and level of management requires different choices of fences, of footing,
bedding and so on. So whether you choose to cover over the pea gravel with sand
(which is something I would never do) or use pea gravel or another footing in
your sacrifice pen will depend on sub-surface drainage, the health of your horse's
hooves, and other factors which I could not know.