This page shows some examples of working barefoot horses.
Trigger is my own horse. He is an 10 year old cob cross, and a barefoot dressage horse. He is currently graded medium, with 203 British Dressage points. He regularly wins and is seldom out of the top 3. He has qualified for every regional dressage final he has been aimed at, his highest placing at a final being 2nd in the elementary freestyle at the 2010 North West Winter final. These achievements are all the better considering he didn't cost the usual £20,000 plus that dressage horses are selling for these days. Trigger was originally bred for the meat trade, but was brought over to the UK from France as an unbroken 3 year old, and we bought him at Holmfirth market (a small weekly market in Yorkshire) for the modest sum of £1,100. He has never been shod and his healthy bare feet give his paces the spring and elevation which is essential to be competitive against the big moving warmbloods.
"Star will be 15 in the New Year, and has been barefoot for 3 years. She is a Coloured Native (Dales X coloured cob) and competes in unaffiliated dressage and showing classes. Next year we will be entering Veteran classes as well as coloured and cob classes, plus having a go at Novice dressage. She also hacks out and her favourite ride is to the The Gallops, where she lives out her fantasies of being a racehorse!
She is a 'stone cruncher' and is surefooted and sound on rough and pebbly ground and tarmac. She was also noticeabley more surefooted during last years icy winter conditions than the horses on the yard who were shod." Janet Chapple.
Floras case study can be seen on the case studies page. She has sidebone and had been lame for 12 months prior to natural hoof care. Here are some photos showing what she has been doing since going barefoot a year ago.
"Quinn is a 6 year old Frisian gelding. He was supposed to go in front of the carriage - but never accommodated with it. He is a great riding horse. We do a lot of hacking out and a bit of dressage training aiming to follow some of the "classical dressage" rider's philosophy (e.g. Dominique Barbier). Quinn goes barefoot all year on any ground. I can ride out on long hacks including road work (long trots), very stony bridleways - really all sorts of ground and he is absolutly fine with it!! :)) Also, I am not concerned any longer about "slipping" as barefoo feels so much safer on all type of grounds." Miriam Whittman.
THE LEE FAMILYS HORSES.
"The horses get ridden 5-6 times a week, a mixture of road work, flat and jump schooling and competing. We are competing in SJ, WH, Dressage, XC and unaffliated ODE's. Currently competing at 75-85cm XC and SJ, and schooling up to 1m, Dillon (top right) has only been jumping for 4 months. We are also doing Prelim and Novice Dressage, frequently with scores over 70%. Saffron (top and bottom left) was doing an Elementary test in the picture, also frequently getting scores over 70% at prelim and novice. I'm building Dillon up to hopefully do some affiliated eventing next year BE80 and BE90 classes. Kerzal (bottom right) must have been barefoot for at least 2 years now, when he's on the road his hooves are so hard it sounds like he actually has shoes on! We have no issues with slipping on wet ground, in fact they seem to slip less than the horses with shoes on. " Yvette Lee.
Jake is a 12 year old thoroughbred cross shire, standing 17.2hh. Jake has never been shod. He has competed in British Dressage up to medium level, gaining 145 points and qualifying for regional finals at novice and elementary levels. He then turned his hoof to showing, qualifying in ridden hunter classes for HOYS and RIHS. He also enjoys jumping and hacking. He has never needed boots.
What about the myth that Thoroughbreds can’t go barefoot? A racehorse until the age of 6, now 9 years old, Telly came out of shoes 12 months ago. He hacks out, does fun rides and schools in the arena and fields. He wears hoofboots for roadwork.
Mr Patch is a 13 year old ISH who has been barefoot for almost four years. He's a RC allrounder who'll turn his hoof to anything, regulary doing farm rides, hacking out on the roads, going XC, showjumping, doing a nice dressage test and enjoying a blast on the beach He'll be representing our RC at the area eventing qualifiers next month . He's great over most surfaces and wears boots if we're going over very stoney ground. Traction has never been an issue for him be it on a notoriously slippery road or galloping around an XC course, he's very balanced, sure footed and aware of where his feet are.
April is a 15.2hh, 5 year old part bred arab. She hunts, showjumps, events and hacks on the roads, all without shoes or boots. Foot perfect and fearless, traction is never a problem on the hunting field.
Archie is a 9 year old, 13hh cob. He was shod at 5 years but has been barefoot ever since. I always wonder why people shoe cobs in the first place, as they have such strong healthy feet. Archie hacks, hunts, showjumps and events over any surface.
Wilson is a 10 year old 14.2hh gelding. He is the complete all rounder. A talented showjumper, regularly winning intermediate and open jumping classes. He is also an excellent dressage pony, regulary winning at Prelim and Novice. He works on any surface without the need for boots.
Prada is a 10 year old hannovarian mare. She is an experienced event horse. She went barefoot for the first time in her life 2 weeks before this photo was taken. She continues to jump double clears and her initially sceptical rider reports that she slips far less than other competitors who have shoes and studs.
APSLEY END POLO CLUB.
The club has 20 barefoot ponies on its team. They won the end of season Silverleys Survivors tournament, and have won several other tournaments too at different levels. Being barefoot just doesn't put them at any disadvantage and they play in all conditions, including torrential rain. They are trimmed by Adi Pratt and Sarah Swallow. Photos by Marc Falber.
2005 CDIO Saumur
Ambitious Emma Hindle Bags Double Victory at CDIO Saumur
May 4, 2005
At the international CDIO in Saumur, France, British Olympian Emma Hindle bagged a double victory and a second place in the small tour aboard her Oldenburg stallion Diamond Hit. With her Olympic partner Wie Weltmeyer she placed fourth twice in the big tour, achieving 71.950% in the Kur to Music.
With twenty-eight riders in the running for the trophy, Hindle faced tough competition in the small tour. In spite of that, her 8-year old licensed breeding stallion Diamond Hit (by Don Schufro x Ramino) was up to the task and the pair outclassed all with a 68.850% earning Prix St Georges ride. In the Intermediaire I they reigned again with 67.350%. For the Kur to Music, Hindle borrowed Sarah Millis’ musical freestyle and with much improvisation and good riding skills she steered her stud to a 70.550% score. They place second in the kur and were only 0.225% adrift from the winning mark of 70.775% attained by Belgian Sophie Baetens-van Lent on the Hanoverian mare Dark Diamant.
“I’m very happy with him [Diamond Hit]. It was only his second competition at Prix St Georges level, so I’m very satisfied,” Hindle said.
In the CDIO big tour, Hindle proved to be the anchor for the British team by being the top ranking Brit in fourth place in the Grand Prix. The Hanoverian licensed stallion Wie Weltmeyer (by Weltmeyer x Dynamo) moved with more expression and power than ever and scored 68.875%. The British team was 30 points short of a bronze medal in the nations’ cup in Saumur.
Laura Bechtolsheimer scored 65.417% (17th) on Douglas Dorsey, Jane Bredin 64.000% (22nd) with Lucky Star and Henriette Anderson got 62.792% (26th) with Astonish, totalling 4759 points with the team. In the Kur to Music, Hindle notched 71.950% with her “Earth, Wind & Fire” freestyle and placed fourth, while the class was won by the Russian Alexandra Korelova on Balagur.
For Hindle and Wie Weltmeyer the season kicked off well in sunny Saumur, especially because her horse exceeded her expectations being in such great form. “Wally” made his first show ring appearance since the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where he injured himself by pulling a muscle in the front leg.
Hindle got the chestnut gelding completely fit again giving him a long break and the dynamic duo only lacked some fine-tuning in their rides in order to ace the leader board. “He was really fresh,” Hindle commented. “I just need to come out and ride him again, so that we build up routine.”
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. “The experiences I’ve had riding without shoes is unbelievable,” Hindle explained. “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.” Praising her farrier Erwin Zimmermann for doing a superb job trimming her horses’ hooves, Hindle claimed that a horse moves best without shoes. “Like everyone else I thought a horse needed shoes, but they aren’t born with shoes on,” she joked.
Based at Brookhouse Stud in Ehrbach, Germany, Hindle has been training with German Jurgen Koschel for the past two years. “He really improved my riding by working on the Grand Prix movements and by making me concentrate in the arena. He taught me not to focus on the wrong things that happen, but to focus on my mind and ride a good test.”
Hindle has five international shows coming up on her 2005 show schedule at which she will compete Diamond Hit, Lancet, Lillemarkens Arkibald and Wie Weltmeyer. Her goal for this year is to qualify for the British team for the 2005 European Championships in Moscow. “I will try to qualify, but my biggest hope is that all horses stay fit and healthy at the moment. I am as ambitious as anyone else. I want to get better at shows and I’ll go from there,” Hindle said.
Article and Photo copyrighted: Astrid Appels - wwww.eurodressage.com.
No reproduction allowed without permission.