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Hoof protection for barefoot horse in dressage
My main riding horse is barefoot, and I would like to keep her that way since I'm working on contracted and underrun heels with her. She still needs hoof boots to ride over gravel or very rough footing. We are going to our first dressage show at the end of October, and I know that the ring has gravel and is difficult for barefoot horses. However, hoof boots are not dressage legal. What options do I have other than to have her shod?
I am surprised a dressage ring would have gravel or be hard enough enough to bother a hoof.
But anyway maybe just for the show you could get some Equithane brand "Superfast" hoof wall rebuilder . It is plastic and comes in a two part tube. You can use to create a bead of the material AROUND the edge of the foot just like a plastic shoe but it is not a shoe and should be legal . If the foot is extremely clean and dry when the product is applied it should stay on for at least a week or so.
As far as I know boots are legal as long as they don't extend above the cornet band.
There is this epoxy shoe stuff that your farrier can also make a "shoe" out of, or go can go with an epona or other similar plastic flexible shoe.
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Yeah, the arena the show is at is not very nice. I was warned about the rocks by other riders. I had heard that the boots weren't legal, even glued on, but a shoe with a cuff is for whatever reason. It would be a lot easier if i could use an Easyboot glue on. I have thought about the Epona shoes before, so I may finally order a set. I wondered how the end up getting shaped to the hoof? They dont have a cuff, so excess shoe could get caught on things. I also saw a product called "sole guard" that is an epoxy based hoof pad meant for use without shoes at the farm supply, so I may try that. Someday my mare is going to have gravel crunching feet!
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Contact the show administrators and find out for sure. Sometimes people pass on the wrong information.
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If they're following USEF rules then you can't use hoof boots, even if they don't go above the coronet band.
From the USEF Dressage Attire & Equipment manual: "Martingales, bit guards, any kind of gadgets (such as bearing, side, running, balancing reins, nasal strips, tongue tied down, etc.), any kind of boots (including “easy-boots”) or bandages (including tail bandages) and any form of blinkers, earmuffs or plugs, nose covers, seat covers, hoods are, under penalty of elimination, strictly forbidden."
I'd be inclined to skip the show, but if you really want to go you could either put shoes on just for this cycle, or ask your farrier about something like glue on shoes?
Putting on shoes, even for a short while, might set back all the progress you have made going barefoot.
Sorry, I know that isn't helpful for the show.
Why don't the dressage rules allow hoof boots? Is it to prevent unnatural action? Sorry I know next to nothing about the rules and regs of dressage.
Yes, Roux, apparently it is seen as an 'unfair advantage' for a horse to work in hoof boots... yes, despite some of the contraptions they are allowed to attach to horse's feet!
I too would be inclined to skip the show, but you might get by with a pour-in 'pad' such as Vettec also have. I don't believe *generally* that shoes applied short term & well should do any real further damage as to 'set back' her rehab though, unless perhaps the horse is also laminitic or such.
Her only hoof problem is slightly contracted and underrun heels. She has made a lot of progress and can handle a few rocks, but she will not be comfortable trotting over a bed of gravel.
I may change my mind about going. I have had several people advise me that this show isn't worth the money and that I should just wait and go to a St. Louis schooling show. This one is attractive because it's 20 miles from my house, but St. Louis would definitely be an overnight trip.
I wanted to add that as far as shoeing, there is the minor issue of not having a regular farrier. I know someone that does passable work, so he may be able to squeeze me in, but I trim her myself.
I think that any dressage ring that has rocks could damage your horse or anyone elses and I would skip the show. I would not be paying money to go do a test in a rocky dressage ring.
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