Barefoot horses compete in high-level dressage

Posted: December 7th, 2007, by Melanie Merrow

Impulsion Covergirl“When I first began to learn about barefoot I was very interested, seeing the obvious benefits to the horse’s health and overall well being, however I was unsure that it was appropriate for a performance horse who has to compete on grass and needs a secure footing.”In October 2002 I competed at the Northland Dressage Champs with my big, 17.1hh mare (she won Novice champion) shod and with studs in her back feet. She went well but slipped a little with her front feet, leading me to think that to be totally secure I would need studs both front and back. As I find studs a real nuisance to put in and out I thought “Well, I might just take her shoes right off and see what happens. “Since then we have not looked back. In most conditions, wet and dry I have found her to be more secure with no shoes on grass than she was with them. We competed barefoot for the rest of the season and she finished 6th nationally in the Matthews Hanoverians Novice Accumulator. I recommend to all my friends to ‘lose the shoes’.”