Barefoot Eventing? - Page 9

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Barefoot Eventing?

This is a discussion on Barefoot Eventing? within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category

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    07-11-2012, 07:34 PM
Being barefoot is much better for the horse and her hooves! Even with jumping, going barefoot allows the hoof to expand and contract properly, allowing it to absorb shock better. I say go for it!
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    07-13-2012, 11:36 AM
Originally Posted by VanillaBean    
As far as I know, hoof boots are illegal for competition.

Can someone tell me where this information is coming from? I have read the rules backwards and forwards and have found, yes, boots are illegal for the dressage phase but I can't find anything about cross country or show jumping.

In fact, I emailed USEA asking if hoof boots were legal to use in xcountry/show jumping and the response I got back was: Prohibited for dressage, rules don't clarify for xcountry/show jumping. Which actually didn't answer my question... :)

I don't want to get into the debate on whether or not it is safe or advisable, I'm just very curious and there seems to be a ton of conflicting information on the web.
    07-13-2012, 11:39 AM
I would take the "rules don't clarify" to mean to take it on a show by show basis and ask the organizer beforehand. That way you always have someone official to blame!
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    07-13-2012, 04:12 PM
That makes sense! Thanks, Dancing.
    07-27-2012, 08:35 AM
My sister and brother have been Eventing their horses barefoot for years without any issues! My sister is currently competing at Training Level and my brother at Novice (they are both fixing to move up in the fall). I am currently working toward getting into Eventing with my pony and mustang myself and I intend to keep them barefoot as well:)
    07-29-2012, 02:04 AM
My eventing horse is barefoot!:) my theory is it gives him more balance to have natural feet, but that is only my theory. He's been barefoot his whole life though.
    08-07-2012, 07:30 PM
Hey There,

I, too, am a Beginner Novice eventer (schooling Novice and some Training) and I LOVE the idea of going barefoot. I've done extensive research on the subject and it seems to have a lot of pros.

However, I talked with my vet at length about the subject recently, and he had some interesting things to say. First, he explained that horses have been bred over hundreds of years to be shod (he told me a whole history of hoof evolution starting from Roman war horses needing to be shod to travel over rocky terrain). He said that people love the idea of barefoot trimming, but that the reality is that most of our domestic horses today do not have the same conformation that wild horses had hundreds of years ago. This especially makes sense when you think about the heavier crossbreeds, like warmbloods, that have developed as a direct result of man-made performance oriented breeding.

I also suggest that you get radiographs done of each hoof before going barefoot, because even one degree of inequality (as my horse has in his left front hoof) can cause an incorrect angle. This is particularly relevant to those of us in jumping disciplines, which are highly concussive. Shoeing can, to some extent, correct angles that are off, while this is much more difficult with a simple barefoot trim.

If your horse has clean legs and you've checked with your vet and farrier and gotten the green light, it can't hurt to try (would also save $...yay!). Pay close attention to your horse's way of going before and after the shoes are pulled so watch for small improvements or declines. It will take time for your horse to normalize without shoes, so don't rush it, but after several months if he/she isn't moving the way they used to or seems uncomfortable in any way, then I'd suggest returning to shoes.

As someone with this same dilemma, I also worry about trail riding and x-country schooling barefoot, as the likelihood of a hoof bruise just seems so high. These can take weeks to heal and who wants to be horseless and ground-bound for weeks???

Good luck!
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    08-12-2012, 09:30 PM
Originally Posted by VanillaBean    
Just thought I would give an update...

I am getting Grace shod this Monday. I really thought we could go barefoot, and she seemed fine for a while, but she's really been having some issues. She feels very insecure when riding on grass, almost like she's just waiting for something to be jammed into her hoof. Any rocky areas are making her very ouchy, and even when her hooves are at a nice length, they are splitting.

Thank you all for the help, though! I really did think we could do it. I just want her to be comfortable, and at this point, I think she's be better off with shoes.
Don't think you guys saw her post so I am bringing it back up
    10-04-2012, 01:19 PM
My mare is barefoot and we train Novice. :)

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