Considering barefoot...

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Considering barefoot...

This is a discussion on Considering barefoot... within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        04-20-2009, 12:39 PM
    Considering barefoot...

    I'm considering going barefoot on my two MFT geldings in the long run. Any recomendations on getting started? Are barefoot horses aloud in the show ring, or are shoes required?

    I'm looking to do Showmanship, halter, Western walk/trot, trail, maybe some speed events later on.
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        04-20-2009, 12:42 PM
    ABSOLUTELY they are allowed in the show ring! If you have an active show season coming up I would wait until after. They tend to get a little ouchy while they learn to "feel" their feet again. You could use boots for training to help that but Im pretty sure those are not allowed in competition. I took my horse's shoes off for good 1 1/2 years ago and have never looked back.
        04-20-2009, 12:45 PM
    If they have decently good feet with no past issues than go for it! My arab mare went barefoot most of her career until she was avidly jumping. Only then did she need shoes on the front to help with bruising. I've dealt with too many horses who needed shoes that I am now insanely jealous of people who have horses with the ability to go barefoot lol.
        04-20-2009, 04:37 PM
    Your farrier will be able to give you the best advice. He can tell you if your horses' feet are thin-walled and brittle or tough and sturdy. If they aren't thin-walled and prone to chips and cracking, I agree, go for it! Barefeet are definitely allowed in shows as well. Just be aware though, that if you are doing a lot of showing/riding, especially if on hard surfaces, the hooves are going to wear down easily. Make sure to get frequent trimming (about every 5-6 weeks or when needed). Some horses are a bit more sensitive, so as a precaution let your horses get used to their barefeet before doing any hard riding (usually after a few days is fine).

    Hope this helps!
        04-20-2009, 05:13 PM
    Thanks for all the great replies ^^ I will definitely be talking to the farrier, Loki and Red both need to be trimmed anyways ^^
        04-20-2009, 05:51 PM
    I tried to have my mares go bare foot- one did great the other was ouchy ALL the time and I felt bad for her so she is in shoes... so if it works go for it but make sure to keep up on your trims :)
        04-20-2009, 10:23 PM
    From all the posts I've read here, from what I've seen on horses around here, from clinics I've been to -- the most important thing is the quality of the trim --your regular farrier may or may not be the right person to go to for barefoot work. Ask around -- who else is barefoot around you? What do they like/not like about their trimmer? How have their horses transitioned?

    Also, generally speaking, a barefoot trim makes the hooves stronger. So even if your horses have cracks, chipping etc... go for the barefoot. Chipping, for example, is generally a sign of a hoof being too long so it's trying to "fix" itself.

    I don't know what the rules are in competitions, but I can't recall anyone ever saying they HAD to have shoes in the shows.

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