Why can’t horses run on asphalt, tarmac and paved roads?

Horses can’t run on asphalt, tarmac, and paved roads since it can hurt their bare feet. Walking or trotting on asphalt, tarmac, or pavement is not harmful to horses. If you plan on walking your horse for lengthy periods on hard concrete, he may get painful legs or feet, therefore adequate training is vital. In addition, shod horses have a larger danger of sliding on concrete than barefoot horses while riding at faster speeds.


Can a horse run on the pavement?

Pavement and other hard ground surfaces do not impede horseback riding. In reality, running on a firmer surface is easier than running on a soft surface, such as sand. Running a horse on the pavement, on the other hand, offers many dangers to both the animal and the rider.

When horses run on hard surfaces for extended periods of time, they are in danger of suffering painful and bruised feet, inflamed joints and muscles, and shin splints. On this harsh terrain, their hooves and legs must take all of the hammering and shock. Asphalt does not yield under the weight of a horse, whereas bare ground does.

The second, and more serious, reason to avoid running on pavement is the possibility of your horse slipping and falling while you are on its back. This risk is higher for shod horses since metal horseshoes, especially when wet, may be highly slippery on asphalt. If the horse falls, both the animal and the rider might sustain several injuries.

Does concrete hurt a horse’s feet?

Concrete, like asphalt, is extremely hard. Concrete flooring is used in many stables and stalls because it lasts a long time, prevents muddy areas, and is easy to clean.

Standing on concrete or pavement for extended periods of time can cause foot, leg, and back problems in horses. Standing all day on a hard surface harms their feet and strains their muscles, just like it does for us.

Rubber stall mats are the greatest method to give grip and comfort to concrete surfaces. They can be used in major hallways, stables, and any other place where horses are regularly compelled to stand for extended periods of time.

If your horse needs to stay in a concrete stall for a few days, it is unlikely that he will suffer long-term consequences.

How to tell if my horse has sore feet from hard surfaces?

Horses are quite adept at communicating whether they are uncomfortable or in pain. If you have hurting feet, there are a few signs that will point you in the right direction. Check out the list below to see what to look for.

  • Are they standing in the same place for a longer period of time than usual? This might indicate that they are just weary and want to rest, or that their feet ache and they do not want to walk. They may even be lying down in severe situations.
  • Is there a visible limp and favoring of one or more feet on the horse? This is most likely the most evident sign that anything is awry.
  • Is your horse stumbling more frequently than usual? A minor bruise on the frog of the hoof may not be severe enough to create a visible limp, but walking on a rock or something that pokes the bruise may cause them to stumble.
  • Do they paw at the ground or avoid stepping on it?
  • Does your horse pull back his foot when you softly press on specific regions of the hoof when cleaning it? A typically well-behaved horse is attempting to communicate with you that something hurts.

How can we help our horses walk on hard surfaces?

Horseshoes help a lot, although they’re not the most dependable. It is fairly unusual for horseshoes to fail if the horse is pushed too hard, which can result in immediate hoof injury. Many horse owners rely on shock-absorbing saddle cushions. These pads come in a variety of forms and sizes; some are meant for the heel of the hoof, while others are for the frog area.

Having trouble deciding on the best pad? Fortunately, you can (and should) discuss what is best for your horse with your farrier. Based on the terrain and any pre-existing problems your horse may have, the farrier will make an informed choice. In the end, you’ll most likely use leather or plastic cushions. Leather ones absorb moisture and are intended to give more foot support, whilst plastic ones frequently fill up any gaps.

Pad dependency is something you should constantly be on the lookout for. If your horse has been using pads for an extended period of time, it may be unable to run correctly without them. As a result, it’s best to use pads sparingly and only when necessary. Now and again, I take a vacation from utilizing them.


Finally, it should be obvious by now that horses do not do well when they canter or gallop across difficult terrain. While some horses labor in these circumstances for the majority of their lives, they do so while wearing special shoes and protective gear designed to keep their hooves and legs as healthy as possible.

Avoid allowing your horse to gallop on concrete or tarmac if possible. Even though it may not appear to be so at first, the damage is present and might have long-term consequences if not handled appropriately.

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