The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2004
    Location
    Fort Campbell, KY/TN
    Posts
    357

    Default Barefoot or former barefoot eventers @ Prelim and up . . .

    Anybody know of any horses eventing barefoot at prelim or above? I am curious about how they made the choice between barefoot or studs. If you evented barefoot was there a certain point that you put shoes and studs on? What prompted that decision?
    I have a barefoot horse- he has FANTASTIC feet- and we did our first prelim in Oct 08 with no issues, but I am being advised that at some point i will need studs. There are so many benefits to being barefoot- his gaits improved dramatically when his shoes came off 3 years ago, better blood flow to his lower limbs, no lose/lost shoe situations to deal with, and definitely less expensive but i don't want to enter into this decision lightly nor do i want to risk my horse's well being.

    I want to know if anyone has been in my position and can offer any advice.
    Right now my plan is to compete barefoot at Pinetop and Chatt Hills and then put studs on for the rest of the season and compare results, way of going, etc.

    Did someone run barefoot at Kentucky**** last year? I heard a rumor, not sure of the validity, but i am curious all the same, can anyone verify?
    Lisa

    Founder of the *Barefoot Eventers Clique*

    Happiness is a state of mind according to how you look at things.. and whether or not you have a sound horse!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    182

    Default

    in the good ole days, bruce davidson would not shoe a horse at all until they went preliminary. that said, the training regiment for a typical bruce horse in the late 70's until...well probably now...included fairly intensive jumping (he would foxhunt the young ones 1-2 times per week barefoot). with the reputation of the cheshire hounds, i would say that would suffice to be equal to most preliminary events.

    he did it to build up strong limbs...so a little different rationale than you, however, the strategy seemed to work pretty well. i'd say you are probably pretty good, you'll just have to balance more and probably waste a few seconds in the deep going...otherwise you should be ok.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 1, 2008
    Posts
    60

    Default

    I have competed up to prelim barefoot, but with a irish horse with amazing feet. He had been barefoot his entire life and evented with ralph hill to training level barefoot. He did pinetop, poplar, fence, jumping branch all barefoot but eventually I did put shoes on him it was hard to keep his feet up especially during the summer (his 1 white hoof always chipped) and I was always worried about footing and slipping. I havn't noticed too much of a difference with him with shoes, but it gives me peace of mind and options when the footing isn't so great.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,628

    Default

    Several years ago I was stabled at event next to BNT/BNR Tiffany Loudon (now Meetz I think.) I didn't and don't know her at all, but I noted on the first day that both of her horses were barefoot even the one going Preliminary. I asked her about it and she said she didn't put shoes on until the horse let her know he needed them. But the same as the OP she found they had such great feet without shoes that she even pulled them on all her horses in the winter and thought it did a great deal of good.

    The next day she and her Prelim horse fell on XC. Dewey, wet morning and his back feet slipped out from under him on a strong turn into a fence and they went down hard. She came back to the barn and said he just told her it was time and that she was rethinking no shoes on Preliminary on general purposes.

    I think this was at Pine Top which has incredible footing so it was just a case of being slick on the surface of the grass. As good as the grip gets on a barefoot horse I tend to think once you get to Preliminary some of the turning demand and the morning dew is more likely better negotiated with studs. Although I too like to keep my young horses barefoot if I can.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2004
    Location
    Fort Campbell, KY/TN
    Posts
    357

    Default

    I can see having options when the footing is less than ideal but i don't like the idea of using honking big bullets either- that has its own risks.
    Dante's feet don't chip at all anymore, for the last 2 years his feet have been almost perfect so i think that it is abnormal for his feet be able to hold up to all the work and maintain hoof integrity. He doesn't need shoes so that makes the decision harder, because the question is does he need studs? and how do i know if he needs them? sigh. . . .
    just read subk's post- that would be a huge sign perhaps that studs would be good. i would like to avoid that situation, so i don't want to miss the smaller signs indicating that he needs more traction, but studs don't guarantee that your horse won't fall either though, there in lies a quandry.
    Lisa

    Founder of the *Barefoot Eventers Clique*

    Happiness is a state of mind according to how you look at things.. and whether or not you have a sound horse!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,628

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nc_eventer View Post
    He doesn't need shoes so that makes the decision harder, because the question is does he need studs? and how do i know if he needs them? sigh. . . .
    Sometimes you just have to ask yourself what you personally can sleep with at night. Me? I think slipping barefoot and falling or loosing confidence while on course is more likely than hurting himself with studs in. But then I don't sleep in your bed. :wink:



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by raave05 View Post
    in the good ole days, bruce davidson would not shoe a horse at all until they went preliminary. that said, the training regiment for a typical bruce horse in the late 70's until...well probably now...included fairly intensive jumping (he would foxhunt the young ones 1-2 times per week barefoot). with the reputation of the cheshire hounds, i would say that would suffice to be equal to most preliminary events.

    he did it to build up strong limbs...so a little different rationale than you, however, the strategy seemed to work pretty well. i'd say you are probably pretty good, you'll just have to balance more and probably waste a few seconds in the deep going...otherwise you should be ok.
    He still doesn't with some! hahaha. His farrier was telling us his rationale the other day. Some are still barefoot behind at the bigger levels too... so I hear. Hey, It's Bruce man... clearly it works But not everyone rides like Bruce...



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2001
    Posts
    6,722

    Default

    Above Prelim, there have been a few barefoot horses but they are the rare exception. I know I haven't seen one at any of my competitions lately.

    At Intermediate and above there is too much risk in having a horse slip, especially at speed. I feel that studs (I use nothing bigger than small turfs in back and roads up front, even in heavy footing), give my horse confidence in his stability especially in the approach and getaway. And that is hugely important when the fences are big and complex. The last thing at those levels is your horse to slip out at a fence. Talk about a confidence breaker.

    Reed



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Posts
    5,724

    Default

    Well, my mare just bumped up to Prelim last fall (she is coming 11 this year), has never been shod, and has fantastic feet. I figure if it aint broke, don't fix it!

    She has great traction, is *very* surefooted, and never slips (unless the footing is greasy mud, in which case I don't ride her in it. I wouldn't run her on grass under those conditions anyway, or do x-country! That would be when I would opt to scratch, and might choose to scratch even if she *were* drilled and tapped all around, and wearing huge mud bullets! Just not worth the risk to me, since we are lucky enough--in Area 2--to have lots of HTs to choose from.)

    I think she's a bit of an anomoly , since everyone is always flabbergasted when they find out she's barefoot (and she's done 2 years at T, plus schooled P questions at different venues at least 10 times, under a variety of conditions, before I bumped her up. She is just very careful and balanced by nature, and I really can't take any credit; I surely am not Bruce D! )

    I think it just depends on the horse, IOW, and they WILL let you know if what you're doing is not working for them...
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
    Posts
    5,022

    Default

    I rode a sure-footed one at Prelim barefoot. He had grown up in the bush and was built like a tank. In fact we won a Training level HT in massive rain/mud because we were the only ones to make the time. The only reason we put on shoes was because I took a lesson with my coach's coach, who was aghast and said you couldn't ask a horse to do Prelim without shoes & the option of studs. We figured it would be rude to show up to another lesson unshod after that.

    I rode in another rain/mud fest at Prelim with shoes & studs, and we did slip once or twice - but perhaps that was the faster speed, or a different type of soil/mud, or maybe I wasn't riding as strongly because I knew I had studs in?
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2007
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    214

    Default

    My intermediate pony was barefoot until halfway through his first season at prelim. He is incredibly surefooted and sturdy, but at prelim (for me) it was def time for shoes and the extra hold studs provide, especially in Area II galloping up and down hills ( let alone the turning combinations). But I think your horse will tell you what he needs (or what will help you sleep the night before xc )



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,997

    Default

    The other issue to consider is your conditioning footing. I use dirt roads which can be rocky when things dry out and the risk of a stone bruise it too much to not use pads and shoes. But that's NH for you.

    Another thing - the next step up from barefoot is not "big honkin' studs". Use only as necessary!

    Some horses need more traction than others because of physical ability. Some don't care if they slip a little, some care a lot.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2002
    Location
    Prospect, ME
    Posts
    4,565

    Default

    As Hilary said, footing is key.

    Almost all the horses went barefoot in FL, regardless of what level they were going. Coming back north, more required shoes because the footing isn't nearly as nice at many events.
    -Jessica



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2004
    Location
    Fort Campbell, KY/TN
    Posts
    357

    Default

    i really appreciate everyone's input- thank you.
    what specifically made you switch to studs? did your horse feel stiff in the shoulder when jumping, did he slip or slide around a turn, what were the small signs that indicated it was time for a change?
    Lisa

    Founder of the *Barefoot Eventers Clique*

    Happiness is a state of mind according to how you look at things.. and whether or not you have a sound horse!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    575

    Default

    I ran my horse barefoot behind for his first 2-3 prelims because we couldn't get him shod behind with out tranq. and he had good feet. I never put studs on upfront if I don't have them behind so he was just fine and a couple of the events were pretty muddy.

    I think it depends on the horse mostly, but I could see my self being hesitant to go for time and coming back earlier for turning questions if I wasn't confident in my horse's ability to turn.

    If you live somewhere like Southern Pines and event around there then go for it. If you live in the midwest where the ground gets really hard in the summer and then really slick when it rains then you may end up wanting the shoes.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,628

    Default

    One other thing I'd add that you might not think of if you haven't done much riding at Preliminary and that's the scheduling. Most events where P is the highest division running will run it first, which means there is a much better possibility you're going to run in dew. Wet grass on top of a little bit harder turf might be the worst conditions to be stud-less



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,997

    Default

    When my horse is unsure/slipping I feel their whole body is tight and less responsive. Not the fluid forwardness you are supposed to feel. This happens whereve they are slipping - out on the trail, in the dressage ring, right before that giant table off a tight turn.

    Do you live in a climate where you sometimes get ice on the ground? How do you walk when you're worried you're going to slip? All tense & tight and worried. That's how the horse feels under you. Not just "stiff in the left shoulder" type of thing.

    (if you don't live in such a climate, find a rink and go ice skating - you'll get the picture pronto)



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2001
    Location
    Lexington, KY--GO BIG BLUE!!
    Posts
    3,324

    Default

    With regards to "Save my poor precious bare feet! They look wonderful and I don't want to lose them!", I know where you are coming from.

    For the last 3 winters, I've pulled my mare's shoes in Oct/Nov. After two months barefoot, her feet look AMAZING. The chips and cracks grow out, her wall hardens, sole thickens, strong and tough. My farrier and I dread the day we put the shoes back on, but it is NECESSARY. I will not school Prelim+ xc without studs... I *might* consider it on awesome footing like FL or Pine Top, but Subk's story scares me. I'd never do it on normal (non-sandy) turf. I've seen too many horses slip without studs, and at Prelim+ the jumps are too big, too technical to recover safely.

    So, each spring 3wks before my first event (usually Jan/Feb, Mar this yr), the shoes (with stud holes) go back on. I mourn for a day or two () but I get over it... my mare doesn't seem to care one way or the other. Her feet hold up well, until the long dry summer catches up in August/Sept. By then, "the end" is in sight and I look forward to pulling her shoes again in October. She'll be a little tender for 3 wks, coinciding with her vacation-time, and then back to work barefoot.

    My point is: yes, studs are necessary. Until they find a way to screw studs into bare feet , ya gotta go with the shoes. But, never fear, your beautiful healthy bare feet will return as soon as you let them.
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein

    ~AJ~



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2004
    Location
    Fort Campbell, KY/TN
    Posts
    357

    Default

    Eventer AJ- is the tree weeks enough time for your horse to adjust to wearing studs and shoes again? does she even notice a difference?
    thanks for everyone's help!
    Lisa

    Founder of the *Barefoot Eventers Clique*

    Happiness is a state of mind according to how you look at things.. and whether or not you have a sound horse!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2001
    Location
    Lexington, KY--GO BIG BLUE!!
    Posts
    3,324

    Default

    Three weeks is plenty of time... She usually needs no "adjustment" period. I just like to have a couple weekends (w/ studs!) available to school xc before my event.
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein

    ~AJ~



Similar Threads

  1. Going barefoot?
    By Marengo in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: May. 30, 2011, 09:44 PM
  2. New to barefoot
    By cnvh in forum Off Course
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Jul. 21, 2010, 11:15 AM
  3. I want to join the Barefoot Eventers Clique
    By Just Walter in forum Eventing
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: Dec. 19, 2009, 12:19 PM
  4. Barefoot Maybe?
    By J.D. in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Oct. 27, 2008, 12:19 AM
  5. Replies: 233
    Last Post: Sep. 8, 2006, 11:34 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness