My horse is 3 and has never been shod - and I'd like to keep it that way if at all possible.
There really aren't a ton of people in my area who keep their horses barefoot...it's sort of frowned upon. I have had SO many people argue adamantly with me that I am basically an idiot for not wanting my horse shod.
Yesterday I took my horse out to a local state park with horse facilities and trails. It's the second time I've taken her anywhere new and ridden her, and the first time I've ever had her on a trail. We just sort of explored the campsite and looked around at everyone's horses, and then did some brief riding on the gravel link up trail around the campsite. I really just wanted to check out how she does alone (she did great ) and how she deals with distractions from other horses (great as well). I also wanted to check out how she walks on different surfaces.
It seems like she's not a fan of gravel (understandably). She definitely wasn't nasty about it, and she stayed on the trail, but she kept veering towards the woods and wanted to walk right next to the gravel trail. If I would have let her, she definitely would have done that. I should note that Annie (my horse) makes it VERY clear if she's in pain (refuses, stops listening, etc.) She didn't do any of that, just wanted to try to get on the side of the trail every 100 yards or so.
She actually did better on the pavement, which we rode on really briefly. Wasn't in love with it, but didn't dislike it as much as the gravel. I think she tried to leave the paved road maybe once or twice, but I think it may have been because she was really interested in a campsite with people and a dog (she's super curious).
While I was looking around, I made friends with some walker people who said they hate shoes and use boots. She is going to let me try some of hers next weekend if they fit.
I was just wondering if anyone else rides barefoot. Can horses ever trail ride barefoot, or do I need to always need boots on gravel and pavement? We didn't do anything above a walk yesterday, but at times I will want her to gait and even canter on the trail. What do you think?
I am Annie's second owner, and she has never had any known laminitis issues with myself or the previous owner, and she has non-cracked hooves.