Hello Dr. Deb. Several years ago I wrote in because I had bought a farm that had Fescue and clover growing in the pasture. You suggested, instead of reseeding, to build a track around it. This I have done and it works beautifully. The track is 1 mile around and between 15 and 150 feet wide.
The ground here is hilly and mostly Carolina clay, which is hard when it is dry, but slippery mud when it is wet. While I did build the track in such a way to minimize erosion, this land and climate makes it nearly impossible to avoid. I have small areas of sand, pea gravel, and river rock along the track, and the horses walk it frequently. Sand works well and is easy to keep clean so I have considered making these areas bigger. I have also considered putting down something called crusher run (or gravel dust).
I had a horse recently get a bit lame and before we realized what was causing it (a clubbed foot not trimmed correctly) we thought it was ringbone. With x-rays and proper trimming the horse is now doing well. But I read what you wrote about sand and the unstable nature of it increasing the likelihood of ringbone. I'm wondering if you think crusher run will also be less than ideal. It does pack down some, though, so perhaps it is okay?
Do you have a suggestion for better footing that I can put down as I need to? I've read what has been written about footing in arenas, but can't find much about footing that they actually live on. If it has been discussed, I would appreciate being pointed in that direction.
Thank you so much for the information on this site.