Well the obvious straight answer to us here in the barefoot world is YES!
But perhaps if you are contemplating taking your horse barefoot, you might be being put off from doing so because you are worried you won’t be able to carry on doing all the fun things you could do (or maybe ‘were’ doing) in shoes.
It is a rather bizarre notion that the completely accepted normal in the horse world is horses wearing shoes (or at least it ‘used’ to be). People shoe their horses because they feel that the shoes will give support, traction, protection and some even believe it gives their horse comfort. Well I’m not going to go into details about the multitude of problems shoes cause in this post, which of course out weigh any potential benefit there might have once been, but rather focus on all the positive examples of owners competing, hacking, trekking, eventing, doing dressage, endurance, western….and of course JUMPING their horses barefoot or booted.
Owners who truly believe that their horse needs shoes for jumping will tell you that it is ‘safer’ for a horse, they will be able to corner with more traction, land better, jump higher….the list goes on…but truly, if you are someone who believes this, then all I can say to you is you have never jumped around a course, whether indoors or outdoors, show jumping, cross country or eventing, on a sound, healthy barefoot horse.
Lets take one example (we have so many examples in the mag), a lady called Holly Coetzee, who jumps her horses regularly in competition, not only barefoot but bitless too. Holly has featured many times in our magazine and is an ambassador for what can truly be achieved with horses who were previously written off as no-hopers, taking them to winning heights over and over. Holly featured on the front of Issue 18 and Issue 14 and says inside:
“My boy was a superstar at the FBMA international showjumping cup in Abu Dhabi….with a clear including the Joker in the 1.10m accumulator class on day one…..Interesting to note we were competing on GRASS with guess what…? NO SHOES!! Every other horse was fully studded up. Food for thought eh?”
Holly sends us regular updates and we have one coming up in Issue 20 out on November 1st (pre-orders available very soon). Holly is just one example of so many owners we feature in the magazine every single issue, who are able to carry on and do more and often far better than ever before, barefoot. Not only is Holly doing well with her own horses, she’s such a shining example that she’s encouraging more to join her and compete alongside her & her horses, all barefoot and mostly bitless!
But what about booted? Can horses jump in boots? Won’t they come off, get in the way, cause the horse to slip, create more problems? Again perhaps the only way to allay all these fears is to feature people who are jumping barefoot in all different kinds of boots and again succeeding. These owners want to shout about it from the rooftops because so many others who think that nothing is better than shoes can’t believe (and often WON’T believe it’s possible).
In issue 15 rider Ingvild Surdal, from Norway, who rides her horse in Equine Fusions in both dressage and eventing tells us how she chose to keep her horses barefoot and booted because she experiences very little in the way of injuries on her horses as well as many other positive benefits, such as improved circulation in the feet which improves overall health of the horse.
Some of you are familiar with one couple we often feature in photos, Carl and his horse Pegasus who jump wearing Cavallo hoof boots…this talented pair prove without a shadow of a doubt that horses who jump in boots have absolutely no problem at all.
If you check out our Competing Update feature which appears in most of our issues (see the contents of each issue on the mag website to find out), you will see lots and lots of examples of owners jumping barefoot and booted, with both horse and rider truly loving what they are doing.
On a final note, Issue 20 we have and interview with 3 ladies all who jump in Scoot hoof boots. Some fabulous pictures and great content, so watch this space for pre-orders to make sure you don’t miss that issue.
And one more final final note…our printed issues are very popular so if you want to be absolutely sure to receive a printed copy of the mag, the best way is to subscribe as you will always have a printed copy reserved for you…otherwise it’s take your chances or of course alternatively read the mags online – they look awesome on the net too!
p.s. here are the links to the issues we have mentioned in this post:
Click here for Issue 14
Click here for Issue 15
Click here for Issue 18