Beware buckling frozen soil - The Horse Owner's Resource

Beware buckling frozen soil

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When winter temperatures fluctuate, keep an eye out for hazards that may suddenly appear in your horse’s pasture. A phenomenon called “frost heave” occurs when the ground expands as it freezes, lifting the soil and any objects it might contain. With each subsequent freeze, those objects---rocks, nails, even old farm machinery buried for years---are brought closer to the surface and eventually break through. 

On older properties especially, a large amount of debris can emerge with each thaw, posing a serious risk of injury to the horses kept in those areas. 

If you have a paddock that is notorious for the appearance of mystery items all winter, it may have previously been a dumping ground, filled over decades with metal, glass and other debris. The safest option is to keep horses off such areas, but if that’s not feasible, you’ll need to be extra vigilant about checking for hazards during the winter months. 

This article was originally published the February 2016 issue, Volume #473 of EQUUS magazine


This article was originally published the February 2016 issue, Volume #473 of EQUUS magazine