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Barefoot Eventing?

This is a discussion on Barefoot Eventing? within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Dangers of riding barefoot
  • Barefoot event horse

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    03-16-2012, 08:30 PM
  #11
Trained
The Horse's Hoof: Barefoot Eventing

These horses don't seem to be having problems.
     
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    03-16-2012, 09:50 PM
  #12
Green Broke
Thanks MyBoyPuck! I have heard that dirt on dirt is the best traction... I just really want this to work out but still be safe and comfortable.

To be honest, I have never galloped her yet. Just keeping everything calm and cool for a while. This summer, though! I sure hope lack of shoes doesn't make her faster!! I am very excited to try her XC. The only time I did was when she was underweight and undermuscled when I went to try her out. A lot has changed since then!

I evented my pony BN barefoot and she was good, but she is a beast! I know that most slap shoes on TB's because "they have bad feet, why risk it?" But I really want to go barefoot. My farrier used to event, so she knows how important it is to be safe, and I trust her.

Thanks and I am glad to hear from another barefoot eventer!
     
    03-16-2012, 09:57 PM
  #13
Trained
Yeah, the speed thing was surprise for me. The first TB trainer who figures is out will make a fortune racing on turf. I don't know if my horse was faster so much as covering more ground across our biggest field. Since my horse has been shoeless, he can reach much more under himself and now has a bigger stride as a result. Bigger stride + same speed = getting across field faster.
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    03-19-2012, 01:12 AM
  #14
Foal
The problem is not "eventing barefoot" ever, I'm sure on a nice day that any horse that is accustom to being barefoot can event barefoot, even over rocks. It's those days when it's raining cats and dogs and the thick grass that makes up the cross country field is drenched and turning into a form of slick mud/grass that a hoot can't dig into properly. When your horse is barefoot your only option is to scratch. It's dangerous to ride a horse without studs in conditions like that. They can't dig in and get traction because their hooves won't get deep enough in.

Now when the horse is rocking studs that give them up to an extra inch spike down into the ground to grab at the solid soil beneath the mud and slick grass, they can still ride the course and the possible $600 dollars they spent on their weekend won't be lost.

Granted, I've seen all kinds of horses slip out on courses, studded, barefoot, and just plain shod. It's horrifying, but it seems to be more likely with horses without studs (in general, barefoot and plain shod). I'd never ride my pony out at a competitive novice level course without studs (even just little road studs). I also think it's stupid to be competing above there without studs in, as long as your farrier knows how to shoe a horse properly, shoes aren't going to hurt, and do provide some extra traction and impact support. And you can't drill and tap a barefoot horse.
     
    03-19-2012, 03:55 PM
  #15
Super Moderator
I have evented all over the country. In Florida, you have mostly sandy/loam footing and going barefoot might not be too bad. However, I can remember, when we did the long format, when you trotted miles along roads that had gravel mixed with the sand. I sure wouldn't want a barefoot horse trotting for miles on that gravel.

Along the east coast you had lots of clay (Slicker than frog snot on a glass doorknob), and rocky terrain. Without caulks for traction and protection from the rocks I would worry.

Out west, all around area IX, there was more rock and slick footing.


So, for beginner novice, I am sure it would be OK as the distances and time are moderate. But I still wouldn't do it, personally.
     
    03-19-2012, 05:34 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Thank you.

Allison- The XC courses where I am are mostly field, and in the woods the footing is amazing. One of the recognized events here actually had some arena footing put in before and after jumps. I wouldn't even consider it on gravelly/slippery footing.
     
    03-19-2012, 05:39 PM
  #17
Trained
I would think long and hard about Allisons advice. I know next to nothing about eventing but Allison is as close to an expert as we have on this forum. If I was an eventer and Allison offered advice I'd take it.
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    03-19-2012, 08:33 PM
  #18
Weanling
Roxy is barefoot and we're hoping to compete BN this year. I've done a good amount of xc schooling with her up through novice level and never had a single problem. However, Roxy has great feet and my farrier said he wouldn't even dream of ever putting shoes on her no matter what I use her for. I also won't compete her in poor conditions. I love competing, but no amount of money is worth putting my horse and myself at serious risk in my opinion. The place that I usually compete at it almost entirely a field with the exception of one gravel road area and a water complex though, so hard footing usually isn't too big a deal.

I'd say that if your horse has good feet and you aren't planning on jumping too big or in really bad conditions, you should be fine. But just my two cents. :)
     
    03-19-2012, 09:52 PM
  #19
Foal
My TB is barefoot for Training level eventing. Never had any problems with it. :)
     
    03-19-2012, 10:20 PM
  #20
Green Broke
My 11 yr old Paint mare has always been barefoot and has been Eventing at the low levels for 3 yrs, going BN this year like you never had an issue with her, even in some pretty wet conditions! Now that said, what works for one horse may not for another...mine has rock hard hooves and they're fairly wide/big for her 14.1 hand frame so maybe that helps with traction? Maybe the way they're shaped? I don't know, but she's never slipped on a xc course and we school and/or show every weekend in the summer, along with lots of hunter paces and we even went fox hunting last year which was a blast!!

So can it be done at the modest levels? Sure! Buuuut depends on the horse!! Most have shoes for a reason.
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