A recent study by the University of Glasgow showed the type of arena footing can be a risk factor for lameness in dressage horses. Researchers surveyed registered members of British Dressage to investigate relationships between surface footing characteristics and the likelihood of lameness. They found that woodchips were strongly associated with slipping and sand with tripping. The least problematic surfaces were those that were wax coated and those that were a combination of sand and rubber.
In a recent article on this study, The Horse suggested one explanation for the results is the unevenness of sand and woodchip surfaces, in both wet and dry conditions. Sand Footing and lameness due to uneven footing is something to keep in mind when training with dressage horses.
Horses are more likely to trip on coarse sand because it is easier to lose balance and they are nearly 13 times more likely to slip on woodchips than any other surface, according to the article.
To minimize slipping, tripping and lameness, be sure to train on a wax-coated footing surface like TruStride™ or LiteStride™ by IGK Equestrian. In addition to providing a stable, flexible and resilient riding surface, both footings eliminate dust and the need to water—yet another advantage over sand arenas.
Let IGK Equestrian know how you plan to avoid sand footing and lameness for dressage horses?