Opinions on barefoot horses?
What do you guys think of going barefoot with competition horses? All the horses I've worked with, and the one I have owned have always had shoes.
I like the idea of barefoot horses, but I think there are certain situations where a horse should have shoes. I think horses that pull carts in asphalt regualrly, and horses who do sliding stops should wear shoes. Do you know of any horse with healthy hooves that does either of those barefoot?
What about jumpers? it seems like something like if the horse was properly adjusted, the horse would do just fine. Then again, horses don't normally jump 4ft unless asked by a rider, therefore the evolution of their hooves may not be suited to that, no matter how healthy their hooves are.
Do you know of any top level competition horses that go barefoot?
What are your opinions?
I've just transitioned my FEI dressage horse to barefoot. He has hi/lo syndrome and his front feet are quite mismatched.
He has had front shows since he was 4 years old and hinds since he was 7.
It was tough to transition him because he does not have the best feet (they chip very easily) but now that he is on his fifth trim cycle he is doing quite well. Come outdoor competition season I am thinking I will need to get hoof boots to be on strange properties without chipping his feet badly, and my farrier has also talked to me about putting a polymer on his feet (Like Flextrax or Eqitrax) but we will see - this year will be an experiment and hopefully it goes well. I want to wait on the boots because his feet are really changing - I should post pictures actually.
We've also talked about polyurethane shoes but the brand my farrier wants to use on my horse is not carried in his size. So we are barefoot for now!
Ugh, don't even get me started. People want to put shoes on their yearlings these days because they are so over-worked.
Absolutely. Not. Going. To. Happen.
I always keep my horses as barefoot for as long as they can, but sometimes when they are older and they are being worked for peak performance, shoes help them stop being ouchy. We don't have the cushy dirt at home, so in the summer the ground can get pretty hard. Plus, at shows you are dealing more than just with the arena dirt; sometimes you are walking your horse around on concrete a lot more than you realize.
Also, some sports require them for performance, like sliding plates on reiners. If you had to slide without plates, I can imagine it would be really painful for the animal.
Well my horse isn't top level, but will be competing on the same ground as the rest of them! He's a reiner and has very good big solid feet.....so I'm lucky with that! The only reason I put shoes on are sliding plates on the back, can't slide without them. Otherwise I'd leave him bare foot all the time.
Jumping is a little different because of the ground. If you're on grass you will need shoes so you can put studs in to stop slipping and aid gripping, I'd guess the same applies to eventers as well. Someone more involved with that sport may be able to elude in more detail:wink:
Yes jumping on grass and eventing you do need to cork the horse up - I'm wondering is there any barefoot or poly shoe option that offers corking? I've just looked at a few of the "barefoot shoe" options and none seem to offer corking - although some do have better traction - I wonder if this is enough for a jumper/eventer?
I have now been informed on how to properly transition a horse, and would love to do it with my.next horse. Just wondering, if I were to get a yearling who has.never been in shoes, would I have to do anything special to adjust him to be barefoot? I'm assuming I wouldn't have to since he has never had shoes to.mess up his hooves. Correct me if I am wrong.
Sorry about the excessive punctuation. The space bar on my phone is too small haha.
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