I don't have a problem w/ jumping small barefoot. I do have concerns for horse and rider alike jumping big w/o shoes.
This is more of what I was wondering. I know it may sound painfully ignorant... but i'm not entirely sure what purpose shoes serve on a horse that is ridden in soft footing and lives in clean/soft bedding. I was under the impression that shoes were mainly for horses that live in inclement weather/areas or are worked over hard or unforgiving ground.
What purpose does the shoe serve in regards to jumping big?
Come to think of it... i've never seen a barefoot grand prix horse!
If I were to decide to pull his shoes, it would be for the winter only. Then in the summer he would be back in shoes. He is usually leased from me in the summer, and will likely be shown so I would have him in shoes during that time.
He is jumped twice a week, hacked four days, and ground work one day... year round. But during the summer, he is schooled by my trainer (Thursdays only). She jumps the big stuff. I don't have the heart for much bigger than 3'3" anymore. Haha!
MyBoyPuck, what would be the purpose of keeping shoes in front and pulling the ones in back. This is interesting to me. I've never seen anyone do that.
I don't mind keeping him in shoes. As long as the shoes are being done well, he's happy and sound, and it's really what's the most appropriate for his level of rideability.