Jumping barefoot? - help ASAP - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Jumping barefoot? - help ASAP

My boy had his shoes taken off a little while back, and I spent a little while jumping him barefoot on grass. Nothing bigger than 2 feet... other than those few times we raised the bar to 2'9... but that was only once or twice.
And then we were told that he would go lame and that we were killing his feet/legs by doing this.

He has good feet, for the most part, but is a little bit chipped. We're getting his shoes put back on later in the week, but my big concern is the show coming up next Sunday and the total lack of prep we have done! I've only ever showed him to two feet, and this time around we're going 2'6 and I want to get him used to the bright 'scary' jumps (he's still really green), but is it really killing his feet?
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post #2 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 02:14 AM
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Don't worry at what you might call a lack of prep jumping, the secret to a successfull showjumping comp is schooling. What wins or makes a good round is what you do between the fences.

Your horse knows how to jump, it dosen't matter if you don't jump for a day, a week or a year - your horse will still remember how to get over the fences.

Actually it might not be a bad idea to get into the habit of NOT jumping a week or so leading up to a competition as your horse might get bored if you jump him to much. Many of the top grand prix horses are not schooled over fences at all, they just jump at competitions.

A perfect example of what I'm trying to say was an 11yr old mare I bought , she had been used all her life as a farm cart horse and had never been jumped at all yet here she is clearing 1.4m with ease , and i'd only worked her for about 1 month before this photo was taken.
Olga (363).jpg

As for the scary jumps you can still lead your horse round them so he can get a good look , it's even possible to lay coloured poles on the floor and make him walk over them. It won't matter if they are 6 inches or 2Ft 6 inches - he will look at them the same.

Last edited by Nutty Saddler; 07-05-2009 at 02:17 AM.
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post #3 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Haha I suppose, although at said show it will only ever be his second time EVER jumping a course and he tends to get very sloppy after taking breaks. Silly boy. Although he'll probably do fine... now we just have to work on unloading and standing still when there are lots of other exciting horses and people around!
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post #4 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 02:29 AM
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We have a welsh D who hasn't jumped for about 3 years ( he has degenerative hock disease so he can't jump anymore ) , but when the jumps go up at he's ' let me at them ' . I could take him round 3' tomorrow without any probs ( except it'd kill him )

Good luck with the show
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post #5 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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I'd still like to get some more opinions on jumping barefoot!
Should I get all four shoes back on, or just the front two!?
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post #6 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 07:30 AM
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I have been jumping pretty successfully barefoot with my boys on grass/sand arenas barefoot with no issues. Unless your pony has issues like cracks or chunks missing, he should be fine.
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post #7 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 09:10 AM
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Sandie has always been barefoot and we've been jumping for about 3 months now (she's green to it as well!)...as long as your horse's feet are not terribly chipped and he's not showing signs of sore tootsies, I think you should be okay, esp. just until your show. I always defer to a vet or farrier though for the best advice! My farrier has been watching Sandie's feet for me and he promised to let me know if he believes she ever needs shoes...but so far, so good! I also feed her a hoof supplement that seems to really help, and she has naturally strong feet so that helps as well obviously!

Good luck at your show by the way!

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
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post #8 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 11:58 AM
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My horses are barefoot, two of them jump and they have never went lame from it. One of them is an old TB that I rescued and he has the worst hooves I've EVER seen. We use this stuff called Hoof Heal, it helps make the hoof stronger and helps prevent chipping (and it really works). Its only like $10 and it last a while.
Its better for the horses overall to have them barefoot, that's how they are in the wild and wild horses jump too. Just make sure that you do something to get your horses hooves stronger and your fine!

Hope I helped!
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post #9 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 12:45 PM
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My horse is a TB and she is barefoot. I jump her 2 foot up to 2"9 w/o shoes. Her hooves sometimes to do get a little rough on the edges, but she has never been lame or had any tenderness. We have a sand arena. If I decide to really make her a hunter show horse I will probably get at least her front hooves done but I don't think I will for now. I rely on my farrier to let me know if the horse needs shoes. But you can def jump w/o shoes.
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post #10 of 33 Old 07-05-2009, 01:44 PM
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Shoes on a jumping horse is a case by case basis. I know some who are just fine without shoes, I know some who can barely canter without them. So you pulled his shoes and rode him around and he was perfectly sound? And you've been riding him and his feet have held up, he has enough traction, and he's still sound? If that's the case I doubt he's going to all of a sudden fall apart! If it was hurting him he would have let you know by now. if the chipping gets progressively worse, yes, I would wait to jump him but if it's just minor sounds like you're just fine going barefoot.

The hardest thing for a green horse to learn when they're learning how to jump is where to put their legs, how to maintain a steady rhythm, how to maintain a straight line, how to stay balanced in the corners, etc. All these things you can work on with really small fences. -if you're worried about jumping him bigger without shoes. Make them pretty scary and practice at a smaller height. Once he learns how to jump and is desensitized to scary things, raising the fences will not be a big deal at all.
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