Here’s an interesting article about an owner who went the barefoot route after her horse developed severe White Line disease. Competing on a barefoot horse is almost unheard of for a show hunter. However, given that they are almost always on groomed footing, I would think that more people might follow suit.
10 thoughts on “Barefoot show hunter bucks the trend”
I know of one trainer who swears that horses simply CANNOT jump without shoes on. This seems to be a pretty widespread belief. I’m glad that this woman was brave enough to do what was right for her horse and buck that trend.
Well, no one told my horse that! I jump barefoot all the time. I do put boots on him when out hunting because the territories are rocky. But in a ring? He much happier without shoes (and has been barefoot now for a year).
Growing up in a lesson barn, I was always taught that horses with sensitive feet need shoes, the rest don’t. I guess thats the best way to look at it when there are 40-some school horses!
When I started showing “A” hunters I had to start shoeing my mare because I was docked points in the show ring! My mare was injured permanently shortly after, and my next horse I didn’t show hunters.
@Shannon I had no idea that people believed that. How does a myth like that even start?
The COTH people leave me befuddled all the time. I’m a barefoot/booted endurance rider, and the thought that anyone thinks a horse can’t jump ON SOFT GROUND without shoes just boggles my mind. My horse – and many others! – can do 30-50 miles of rocks and hardpacked sand totally bare at a trot and canter. Of course horses can jump barefoot. I know successful barefoot foxhunters.
Still, I’m glad to see someone is brave enough and lucky enough to compete successfully in hunters barefoot.
Hmm, I wrote that wrong. It wasn’t that he thought horses physically can’t jump without shoes but that he’d never have barefoot jumpers because they need the shoes for traction and to avoid injury or some such.
Both of my horses are barefoot and will stay that way, so obviously I disagree with him.
As the owner of Tall, Dark, and Handsome (Zephyr) I was quite happy to read the comments on the COTH article and horses jumping barefoot. Hunters is such a “traditional” sport that we’ve always been a rarity. I’ve even had judges tell me I was cruel to force him to perform in this condition. At one point, I just stopped mentioning that he was barefoot as I was worried some judges might score him poorly due to this. You just never know in the Hunter world. Well the cat is out of the bag and now my hope is that our story will inspire others to refine their horses’ diets, find a good natural trimmer, and take the plunge. Thanks for posting the COTH article – Georgette
I thought it was a great story and needed to be shared. No one (including me) thought my TB gelding could go barefoot either. A year later, his feet look better than ever!
keep on showing them Georgette! we need more publicity for barefoot as many people just assume horses NEED shoes. Not a horse on the planet was born with them…so it is quite a silly assumption. Looking forward to more pics of you and your lovely boy.
Heidi – If you aren’t already, please join my company FB page and you can see some recent posts from a show. He’s 16, still barefoot and still going strong in the hunter ring.