barefoot dressage? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Question barefoot dressage?

I know nothing about this except that my trainer has been saying it's not a good idea. Would love to not have to pay for shoes. I do go on trail a lot and the New England rocks are lethal but I've been told boots are an option. Once again, I know no knowledge on this apart from the theory that while shoes protect feet, they also weaken the bare foot in the long run, and that gradually riding a horse barefoot will strengthen its feet. Thoughts? Give me anything you've got.

Juliane Dykiel
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post #2 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 01:03 AM
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Everything you said is right, barefoot is definitely my preference, with boots when on our nasty New England trails! I don't see why you couldn't use boots for your dressage work, I don't know what level you compete but they may not be allowed at some shows. You could shoe them a month or so before your showing season if you have to, but if you're just doing dressage for fun around the barn, boots should work!
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post #3 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 01:16 AM
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I know several horses that do dressage barefoot and they are absolutely fine. Besides, shoes limit the natural movement and circulation of the hoof, sometimes even numbing them, thus some people like them, because then the hooves are less likely to become ouchy. Hence the idea that shoes "protect feet". Barefoot definitely calls for more attention and care, but it is worth it.

That said, I respect people who have chosen to shoe their horses and do not intend to start a barefoot vs shoed war here. :)

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post #4 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 01:17 AM
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Hoof boots are not allowed in dressage competition, but if you pick the surfaces well you shouldn't need them anyway.
I plan on keeping my young warmblood barefoot for as long as possible, he has great feet and I'd rather keep shoes off them. There is no rule that you NEED shoes on a dressage horse.
Just bare in mind that not every horse is a candidate for barefoot. Some do need shoes to be ridden regularly or they become sore.
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post #5 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 01:30 AM
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Of course you can do dressage bare. But if your horse does need hoof protection for certain surfaces, unfortunately EFI rules say you can't compete in boots ~ supposedly an unfair advantage or some rot. You could always shoe just for comps.
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post #6 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saranda View Post
I know several horses that do dressage barefoot and they are absolutely fine. Besides, shoes limit the natural movement and circulation of the hoof, sometimes even numbing them, thus some people like them, because then the hooves are less likely to become ouchy. Hence the idea that shoes "protect feet". Barefoot definitely calls for more attention and care, but it is worth it.

That said, I respect people who have chosen to shoe their horses and do not intend to start a barefoot vs shoed war here. :)
I think you should moderate yourself on this very wrong and uneducated statement .
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post #7 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 08:12 AM
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Would you please elaborate to explain in details why it is wrong and uneducated? It would do more good than just saying that somebody is wrong. And, if I AM wrong, I am always happy to learn, but for now I believe in what is best for my horse and respect others who have different opinions. :)

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post #8 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Cotton View Post
I think you should moderate yourself on this very wrong and uneducated statement .
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It'd probably be best to stay on topic. "Can a horse do dressage barefoot".
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post #9 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 08:15 AM
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And, just to contribute to the topic with a personal example - a friend of mine showed in a level II dressage test with her barefoot horse just two days ago. The horse is sound and did well in the test, as any other horse with healthy hooves.

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post #10 of 33 Old 08-06-2012, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
Hoof boots are not allowed in dressage competition, but if you pick the surfaces well you shouldn't need them anyway.
I plan on keeping my young warmblood barefoot for as long as possible, he has great feet and I'd rather keep shoes off them. There is no rule that you NEED shoes on a dressage horse.
Just bare in mind that not every horse is a candidate for barefoot. Some do need shoes to be ridden regularly or they become sore.
What are your plans with your warmblood? What level are you guys going to if your plan is dressage? I'd love to know more about how you take care of his feet. Do you use boots or hoof dressing? How often do you get his feet trimmed?
I'm very grateful for your feedback!

Juliane Dykiel
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