Sand or Grass?

Published on 18 July 2023 at 18:39

Everyday, when I put my horses in the field I always change them between grass field and sand fields. I consider myself lucky as I have the possibility to decided and alternate them as in my stable we have both options.

You might wondering how I decide for one instead of the other, well, here I can give you some explanations !

Sand fields and grass fields are two different types of surfaces commonly used in horse management and equestrian facilities. Each type of field has its own set of characteristics, benefits, and considerations.

Let's explore the differences and benefits of each:


1. Sand Field for Horses:

A sand field is an area covered with a layer of sand, usually mixed with a stabilizing agent like rubber or fiber, to create a suitable surface for horses.

   - Benefits:

 a. Hoof health: Sand fields provide a firm but forgiving surface that can help promote good hoof health by allowing some natural movement and cushioning for the hooves.

b. Drainage: Properly constructed sand fields offer excellent drainage, which can be beneficial in areas with heavy rainfall, reducing the risk of mud-related issues.

c. Exercise and training: Sand fields offer a consistent surface for training and exercising horses, making it easier to maintain a regular fitness program.

d. Low maintenance: Sand fields generally require less maintenance compared to grass fields, especially in terms of mowing and fertilizing.

 - Considerations:

a. Dust: Sand fields can produce dust, which may be a concern for horses with respiratory issues. Regular watering or the use of dust control products can mitigate this problem.

b. Footing quality: The quality of the footing depends on the sand's composition and the maintenance of the field. it is important to keep it leveled


2. Grass Field for Horses:

A grass field is a natural pasture or an area planted with suitable horse-friendly grasses for grazing and exercise.

 - Benefits:

a. Natural grazing: Grass fields allow horses to engage in natural grazing behavior, promoting digestive health and overall well-being.

b. Cushioning: Well-maintained grass fields offer a soft and cushioned surface, which can be gentler on the joints and hooves of the horses.

c. Environmental enrichment: Horses in grass fields have the opportunity for environmental enrichment, as they can roam, graze, and interact more naturally.

d. Aesthetic appeal: Many horse owners find grass fields more visually appealing compared to sand fields.


- Considerations:

a. Grazing management: Proper grazing management is essential to avoid overgrazing, maintain grass quality, and prevent pasture-related health issues in horses.

b. Mud and drainage: Grass fields can become muddy and slippery, especially in wet conditions, potentially leading to hoof problems.

c. Maintenance: Grass fields require regular mowing, weed control, and fertilization to ensure the pasture remains healthy and safe for the horses.


In summary, the choice between a sand field and a grass field for horses depends on various factors, including the location, climate, horse's specific needs, and the intended use of the area. Some horse owners may opt for a combination of both surfaces, providing a mix of grazing and exercise opportunities with a well-maintained sand arena and more intensive activities. Ultimately, the goal is to create a safe and comfortable environment for the horses to thrive.

Which one do you prefer to use then ?



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