In England, tradition dictates that foxhunting horses be turned out in the spring and brought in during late summer, when they are summarily trotted on tarred roads in a process known as "legging up" in preparation for the season to begin in the fall. Ouch.

In Amish communities, retrofitted Standardbreds trot for miles each day, barely missing a beat. When they do miss a beat, or two, or three, you might find them in the local horse auction the following week. Ouch.



Some horses make their livings by working on hard surfaces every day. Many of today’s horses are "arena-ites," raised in small pastures and exercised in circles on the lunge line. Without their leg gear, they look naked and vulnerable. And maybe they are.

At a stonedust racing surface like The Meadowlands in New Jersey, it’s not unusual for a horseshoe on a Standardbred to break in two. Remember, that’s even without a rider’s weight. Ouch.

On a busy city street in downtown Boston, a police horse steps on an unsteady ma