Friday, November 2, 2018

Why is mud a problem for horseback riding?

- Mud sucks in horses feet and rips off their horseshoes. When horseshoes are removed improperly sometimes they can tear a chunk of the hoof wall with them causing damage to the hoof.
- Strain from pulling feet out of mud can cause pulled tendons and ligaments
- Horses can sprain their fetlocks and other joints when they slip in the mud
- Grit in the mud can scrape horses' fetlocks. These scrapes during wet weather and ongoing muddy conditions are prone to fungal and bacterial infections that can scab and become very painful (commonly known as 'Scratches').

- Muddy riding is a slow and painful drudge through the muck on an obviously unhappy mount. Our rule of thumb is that if a guide doesn't want to be paid to do it, we don't want people to have to pay to do it.
- Riding through mud is a rough ride as the horse strains to get through the deep muck. This rocky roller coaster can be disconcerting for novice riders.
- While horses rarely slip and fall, there's added risk of slipping in the mud. Even if the horse does not fall a good slip could possibly unseat a rider.
- Horses naturally tend to avoid mud puddles and try to walk around them. While experienced riders can keep them walking straight through the mud pits, it may be harder for a novice rider to keep them on the trail. The result is some "trail creativity" and even some bruised knees from the trees.

- Continued use of a muddy trail results in muddy spots becoming wider, deeper and longer with ongoing use.
- Damage to trails caused from mud often cannot be repaired without excavation help ranging from a simple shovel to skidsteer and gravel.

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