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Jumping and hoof protection (or not?)

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  • Jumping and hoof protection (or not?)

    Does anyone show barefoot- if so how high are you jumping?
    Does anyone ride with hoof boots (including for jumping?)- Are they allowed in competitions?
    If hoof boots are not allowed in competitions, would you consider using hoof boots if they were?

    I am just curious. Have a barefoot mare and would like to keep her that way if possible. She is green and we only jump a little usually small jumps say 18" every so often 2 foot. At this point, only jumping at a trot.

    Thanks in advance for contributing to the discussion.

  • #2
    My now retired horse has been barefoot for all but one month of the 9 years I've owned him. We competed in everything from the children's hunters to the high child adult jumpers.

    When we moved up to the 3'6" my trainer had us put shoes on him. A few weeks later he went from being a horse I had to steady down the lines to fit them in to a horse that was adding 3 strides everywhere. We quickly pulled them off again and hes been happy every since. Still sound, jumps, gallops on trails, etc at the age of 21.

    I have no clue if hoof boots are allowed but if your horse is okay without shoes I don't see a reason to put them on. I'm sure you'll know when/if they need shoes.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a huge thing about shoes on horses who show. (I think this comes from QH days..)

      I always put at least fronts on when we go off property. I have always had my horses on a farm with soft sand and clay, not a whole lot of gravel, my theory is that if you go to a show that has a really rocky drive around the arenas etc then I want my horses comfortable. I have shown many a places that are gravel except the arena, that's a lot of walking on gravel for a horse that is not use to it.

      It was also recommended by my farrier to put hind shoes on him if I show above 3'3".

      At home on the soft sand I have jumped 4' with out shoes and no problems.

      I think the shows are my own peace of mind.

      As far as the boots... meh... I've never been a fan I think they are a pain in the rear! I also don't know if they are allowed, I don't think they would be considered conventional in the hunters....

      Comment


      • #4
        In my experience, ponies that show are more likely to be barefoot than horses. Many ponies and some horses have only front shoes. My horse has all four and I never gave it much thought until recently because of the economy, and I started to doubt the necessity of the hind shoes, since my horse and I only do schooling jumpers.
        "If we we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane, if we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane." ~Jimmy Buffet
        "Pursuing the life of my high-riding heroes I burned up my childhood days..."-Willie Nelson

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        • #5
          I have a 14 hand QH. We have been jumping for about 2 years now, starting with cross-rails and now go anywhere from 2 to 2'9 at home. We jump 2-3 times a week, and then we just hack another 1-2 days. We only do about 3 local shows a year and my trainer only takes us to the shows with good footing, so that has not been an issue for us.
          My blog: Journeys in Riding

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          • #6
            I show my pony up to 2'9" and he has always been barefoot. Never had any issues. He has good, hard feet.
            "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong

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            • #7
              My 2 are barefoot - a 3 year old Appendix and a 11 year old TB. Obviously the 3 year old isn't jumping...

              My thoughts are that if the conditions you show under are like those at home (sand, grass, with/without gravel), you can show barefoot. Only exception in my mind would be if you were competing in a discipline where extra traction (jumpers, eventing) would be essential.

              I have had and known of a few barefooters who have shown up to 3'3" and trail ridden at home as well. Depends on the horse...

              Comment


              • #8
                Hoof boots aren't allowed, but even if they weren't expressly ILLEGAL, they'd still be unconventional equipment and thus subject to penalty (at least in the hunters) and so, I'd be likely to find another solution.
                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've got a jumper turned hunter who has been barefoot for 4 years and has shown up to 4' without problems. He's normally a 3'6 horse and is quite sound and happy with no shoes. He's got great feet and it saves on farrier bills!
                  Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                  My equine soulmate
                  Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

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                  • #10
                    I'm all for barefoot with most pleasure horses. But regardless of footing if you are going to jump then you need, at least front shoes. Remember 80% of a horses weight is on the front feet. However, any horse that is TB or part TB should always, always, especially as they get older, have at least front shoes, regardless of discipline. TB's have a thinner hoof wall, sorry but that's just the way they are bred, and therefore need to have extra protection to stop hoof shatter. Any other horse should, as they get older, be left to the discretion of your vet or qualified Farrier.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My daughter showed her large pony in the rated pony divisions without shoes and had no problems. Grass or sand made no difference. My daughter also showed a horse for a lady at our barn in the 3'3" modified hunters and in some 3'3" equitation classes. This horse also was barefoot. There are also several at the barn with only front shoes on. I guess it depends on the horse and what kind of feet they have.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A friend of mine had an OTTB with horrible feet. She couldn't keep shoes on him, so one winter, she left him barefoot. By spring, his feet were pretty tough, and she just didn't want to start that shoeing and losing them again. When it came time to event (Training Level), she just put 4 boots on him for CC day. He had lost all 4 by half way around the course, finished barefoot, did stadium barefoot that afternoon, and never wore shoes again.

                        I also evented my old QH/App barefoot at Novice Level, and all of my Warmbloods are barefoot.

                        I wanted to add that I am not a "barefoot advocate", but with good feet, and the horse is not having a problem, no reason to shoe. If you are working at a higher level, and need to improve confidence in the horse's stride, or his feet seem to be stinging a bit, and backing him off from fences, then I would shoe. The other reason would be jumping on short grass, when very dry - slippery, and best to use studs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've had plenty of OTTB's who went their whole career with me barefoot, shown up to 3'6 with zero problem. I've also had the other extreme where the OTTB or QH had to have shoes or they were dead lame because of being sensitive and sore. It depends on what the horse actually needs and what you & farrier decide.
                          "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

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                          • #14
                            If your horse can handle being barefoot on all footing I don't see why it really matters and there are horses out there that do just fine without any shoes. Boots worry me because the only ones i have any experience with are the old easy boots that were clunky that I wouldn't want to jump a horse in. I know there are better boots out there now. I see it as your horse either can do their job without shoes or they can't, and if they can't then put shoes on them.
                            http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

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                            • #15
                              I have a feeling more people are going to be looking at this question, in an effort to economize. Shoes are a big percentage of the annual cost of keeping a horse.

                              And honestly, the 'high end' shoers have set their prices uncomfortably high. $375 to $400 every 4 to 5 weeks really adds up to a huge expense.

                              I have a few who will remain barefoot for quite a bit longer than normal this year; I should be able to render an opinion about it within a few months.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I was talking to my farrier about this the other day. I've got a 14.1 QH who's never needed shoes, and when I asked my farrier about what he'd need when we began jumping, he said to play it by ear. The only concerns he had would be traction if it's particularly slippery grass (in which case chances are I might not show anyway, because I don't like that footing) or extra wear in sand, but he probably won't show enough in it to be a problem.
                                "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                                Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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                                • #17
                                  My horse shows in the 3' hunters and equitation with hind shoes only. He has great feet and is never sore, even on gravel.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I put shoes on everything regardless of whether it needs it or not. In the long run you are protecting your investment. If you are jumping a lot even if it is only 18" you should put them on. If your horse lands on a stone, shoes could be the determining factor of lame or not.
                                    As for boots, I would not take a horse into the ring with boots on. It looks tacky and if i were the judge i would not be too impressed in the hunter ring. If it is jumpers i dont see why they would not be allowed but i also dont think they are very safe. also how well do those boots keep your horses angles aligned?
                                    Last edited by huntjumpguy; Mar. 29, 2009, 10:33 PM. Reason: Typo

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by huntjumpguy View Post
                                      I put shoes on everything regardless of whether it needs it or not. In the long run you are protecting your investment. If you are jumping a lot even if it is only 18" you should put them on. If your horse lands on a stone, shoes could be the determining factor of lame or not.
                                      i have known many horses with shoes on that get stone bruises. i dont think that having a shoe on will protect the horse any differently than not having a shoe on if it lands on a rock. either the horse will bruise or he will not. and as a matter of fact, the sole gets tougher when you do not have shoes on. the foot develops a callous just like kids who run around all summer without shoes vs having tender feet at the start of the summer because you had worn shoes all winter.
                                      i always had shoes on my horses. just because a horse being ridden needed shoes. after experiencing a horse with really bad feet, i have always made sure i bought horses with good feet. i think my old horses probably could have done without shoes but no one ever did this.
                                      my current horse has never had shoes on. he is a warmblood with really good feet. i am trying to continue on the shoeless route! i love it! i didnt have to worry last summer about him stomping his shoes on and taking along with it half the foot (like so many of my friends horses) and i dont have to worry in the winter about him losing shoes in the mud.
                                      i ride him in sand rings, i have ridden him on rocky trails, i walk him down the gravel driveway to and from the paddock. i am now jumping him 2.3ft. so far he has been just fine. if i find him shortening his step or feeling gimpy i have no problems putting shoes on, but i really hope that day will not come!
                                      a friend of mine in canada won reserve champion at the trilliums in the adult hunters (3ft) her horse is barefoot. and he showed at lots of places on grass on route to the championships.
                                      there is alot of info that the foot expands and contracts better without shoes and therefore its better for the feet.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by TSWJB View Post
                                        i have known many horses with shoes on that get stone bruises. i dont think that having a shoe on will protect the horse any differently than not having a shoe on if it lands on a rock. either the horse will bruise or he will not. and as a matter of fact, the sole gets tougher when you do not have shoes on. the foot develops a callous just like kids who run around all summer without shoes vs having tender feet at the start of the summer because you had worn shoes all winter.
                                        i always had shoes on my horses. just because a horse being ridden needed shoes. after experiencing a horse with really bad feet, i have always made sure i bought horses with good feet. i think my old horses probably could have done without shoes but no one ever did this.
                                        my current horse has never had shoes on. he is a warmblood with really good feet. i am trying to continue on the shoeless route! i love it! i didnt have to worry last summer about him stomping his shoes on and taking along with it half the foot (like so many of my friends horses) and i dont have to worry in the winter about him losing shoes in the mud.
                                        i ride him in sand rings, i have ridden him on rocky trails, i walk him down the gravel driveway to and from the paddock. i am now jumping him 2.3ft. so far he has been just fine. if i find him shortening his step or feeling gimpy i have no problems putting shoes on, but i really hope that day will not come!
                                        a friend of mine in canada won reserve champion at the trilliums in the adult hunters (3ft) her horse is barefoot. and he showed at lots of places on grass on route to the championships.
                                        there is alot of info that the foot expands and contracts better without shoes and therefore its better for the feet.
                                        Yes I think barefoot has many advantages. My girl is growing out a few odd things from her racing days. I use the boots on trail rides that include rocks/stones however I eventually hope that her feet will be all good and she can just be barefoot. Boots offer good protection but they are a bit more trouble to put on, do look a bit dorky, and unfortunately, my girl has pulled her easyboot epic boot off the gaiter twice when galloping fast (like super speedy). Maybe we wouldn't go quite that fast in xc? Otherwise the boots stay on great. She has really nice feet (amazing for an OTTB).

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