The Performance Bare Foot Horse

The bare foot horse is becoming a force to be reckoned with in many different disciplines of equitation. This page shows just a small selection of the hundreds of barefoot horses successfully competing in sports such as racing, endurance, eventing and dressage. These performance barefoot horses serve to prove that bare foot works and is a viable option for every horse, not just backyard owners who trail ride once or twice a week.

International Show Jumping

Here photos of three of Sandra Carreira's horses competing in the 5 year old class at the International Atlantic Tour in Vilamoura this year (2013).

She bred these three horses and they live outside and have never had shoes on.

At the International show jumping competition last March, they spent the whole month on all kind of surfaces - from the best (in the arenas) to the worst near the stables (many stones like you see in the photo below).

Despite the abrasive surfaces, the hooves grew so much that they had to be trimmed every week.

Sandra hopes seeing these photos will help somebody to decide not to shoe a young horse in the beginning of it's working life.

Dressage

British Olympian Emma Hindle bagged a double victory with Diamond Hit and Wie Weltmeyer (Wally) at the international CDIO in Saumur, France in 2005, both horses competed bare foot. Hindle says "The experiences I've had riding without shoes is unbelievable. Three years ago Wally had a problem after one shoeing, so we wanted to see how he did without them. Since then, we've taken off for three months in winter and put them back on for the shows. This year we decided to keep them off and I think it's brilliant."

Astrid Appels of Eurodressage said, "The suppleness with which Hindle's horses moved in Saumur was remarkable. Both Diamond Hit and Wie Weltmeyer bounced off the ground striding with confidence. The secret to this power and rhythm in her horses is the fact that they wear no shoes."

For more about barefoot dressage horses visit: www.eurodressage.com

Endurance

Darolyn Butler first experienced the benefits of a bare foot horse back in September 2000. She had been competing in a 100 miler when her horse pulled out at 80 miles. The next day he started showing signs of laminitis so she rushed him to the best vet hospital in Texas. But despite the best care they could offer for 2 weeks (including heart bar shoes) the horse was abscessing and worsening. Darolyn started researching alternatives on the internet and stumbled across the bare foot methods. By January 2001 her horse was sound and they were back competing, coming close to winning his 2nd race and winning his 3rd. Since then she has converted her entire barn of 50 horses to bare foot.

For more information on endurance riding with a bare foot horse visit: www.horseridingfun.com

Eventing

Kendall Victorine DeRoo and her son Tyler of Bristol, Winconsin started experimenting with the bare foot trim back in 2002. They took the shoes off seven of their horses including Royal Code who went on to complete two novice events and four training events with placings of 7th, 6th, 4th and 1st. In September, just seven months after going bare foot they moved up to prelim level. In June 2003 they won their division of the Prelim Level at the Fox River Valley Pony Club Horse Trails, Barrington, IL and placed in six other Prelim events throughout the season.

For the full story and photos of Royal Code in action visit: www.naturalhorsetrim.com

Working Bare Foot Horses

Mounted Patrols
In Houston, TX, Las Vegas, NV, and Tampa, FL mounted patrols are very proud barefoot trim advocates. Greg Sokoloski, trainer of the Houston MP horses and certified trimmer (through Martha Olivo / United Horsemanship ), reports, "Before barefooting, we were seeing tripping, stumbling, bad abscessing, tendon and back problems, and very poor hoof quality with shoes. What is amazing is all those conditions have stopped. It is incredible to see the medical logs, and see the months of various medical conditions -- then no entries after barefooting."

He says the horses have much better traction and also noticed improved overall conformation - if the Mounted Patrol that walks on pavement all day in one of the largest cities in the U.S. has their horses barefoot, your horse can be too!

Driving

There are also many people who drive with bare foot horses. Find more information about driving horses at: www.discover-horse-carriage-driving.com


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