Barefoot horse in parade? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Question Barefoot horse in parade?

I am considering riding my horse in the Christmas parade, but he is barefoot. I don't really have the money for hoof boots at the moment, and the parade route is about 4 miles long. Suggestions? Will it hurt him, will he slip and slide, will his hooves crack?
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 07:22 PM
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I am riding in the homecoming parade in two days and my horse is barefoot.
In winter when there is snow and ice, I have groundworked with my horse and seen him walk all over ice. He may walk a little slower than usual, but let him because even if he does slip it shouldn't be too bad. I got on my horse bareback with no lead in his small pasture and he walked right over a long sheet of ice. His feet slipped a little here and there, but his bare feet and wlaking was still pretty good and he kept his footing.

I don't think it will be an issue, but I do suggest not going above a trot at least. Me, I wouldn't trot, but if it isn't too icy then it shouldn't be a problem. I don't think it will hurt him, but if you trot for too long at a time he can jar his legs, and it may cause a bit of pain but it not too much.
I don't think his hooves will crack either, but it also depends on how his feet are over all. Some horses feet crack on grass and horses like mine will never crack a hoof.

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 07:47 PM
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What kind of history do you have with this horse barefoot on pavement? That should tell you your answers.
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 07:49 PM
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When I rode drill team my horse was always barefoot. I felt like the pavement was too slick w/ shoes and I never liked those studded shoes.

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post #5 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 07:54 PM
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My mare ride the roads barefoot, given her feet are SOLID, but she's never had a soreness problem. The roads are solid, yeah but they're not rocky.
I don't see a problem if you're just walking/trotting.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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It won't be icy AT ALL, he has not been on pavement much to my knowledge, his feet chip a lot but they also grow INSANELY fast (he grows a new hoof every 6-7 months), and the farrier said he had feet like iron. I will probably walk the whole thing, as he is older and I don't want to jar him, plus he is very spirited and thinks trotting in a group means gallop off into the distance. He is a bit ouchy on gravel, but I won't be encountering that. I was thinking of getting some equi pak for him.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 08:12 PM
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Every year we take barefoot horses to our halloween parade/trail ride and they do fine on the concrete. In fact the only accident we had was with shod horses slipping and falling. Our farrier (taken that he's an older gentleman in his old ways) tells us if we want to avoid him coming out soon to ride them on the road, it shaves down their feet and keeps them looking neat. Believe it or not when we do take a shod horse to a parade or out on the road (for long distance) my trainer has their shoes pulled before hand so they won't slip. Ours are ouchy on gravel too but if we ride on it for long (which is rare) they never come up lame, it must just be like us walking on rocks. He'll be fine, enjoy yourselves! :)
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 09:24 PM
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We have riden our horses in parades on pavement barefoot they were fine. Even trotted some on pavement never had them slip being barefoot.

Had my horse slip pretty bad on pavement with shoes on though...but never barefoot.We have highway we have to go a short stretch on to get to powerline when we trail ride...have cantered that stretch quit a bit.

Last edited by spirit88; 10-09-2013 at 09:27 PM.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 09:27 PM
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My mare has done six parades this summer and she is barefoot.
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-09-2013, 10:17 PM
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I ride my barefoot mare on pavement all the time. If you have access to a paved road to ride on (without traffic), it would be good if you could ride on the pavement a few times before the parade to get used to the feel (both of you). I agree with other posters that a barefoot horse is much safer on pavement than a shod horse. I'd also like to say that I ride on pavement a certain amount every week to keep my mare's feet tough - especially in winter when her pasture is muddy.
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