Tips for Training the barefoot Endurance Horse

Jen Clingly of Australia has lots of tips to share about barefoot trimming and getting those gravel crunching hooves ready for endurance. You can visit her website  www.wildabouthooves.com.au for more of her information and techniques.

It all started for her when she bought a young Arabian gelding, Imaj Zamir, as an endurance prospect. He had never been shod and would willingly tackle any terrain. she thought it would be a real shame to shoe him. Still, she wasn't 100% comfortable with the thought of horses running distances of 80kms without shoes on. She has achieved great success with Imaj Zamir, and so she has also taken her 22 year old Standardbred gelding to a barefoot hoof. He had been shod all of his life, suffered reoccuring lameness and has returned to complete soundness and now acts like a 2 year old colt with his new bare hooves.



Jen riding Imaj Zamir barefoot and in Old Mac hoof boots all around.


Jen says, " Hoof boots allow you the opportunity to bridge the gap between conventional horseshoes and high performance barefootedness. If a horse's hooves happen to wear down too much with work, boots are designed to protect the hooves from excessive wear, concussion, and bruising. Old Mac's hoof boots made all of this a reality. They are a valuable addition to my tack room, and I take them to every ride like my lucky pair of undies!"

Jen has several success tips to share:
  • Stay tough no matter the opposition to going barefoot.
  • The role model of a barefoot endurance horse is the wild horse.
  • It takes time in training and conditioning a horse barefoot.
  • Set realistic goals and be flexible.
  • Get to know your horse.
  • Be ever so meticulous with their feet.
  • Use boots and carry them always.
  • Keep your feed simple and use natural horse care.
  • Keep it wild and not too domesticated.
  • Make sure to warm up and warm down.
  • Exposure to hill work for strength.
  • Exposure to rock work to lessen horse hoof problems.
  • Make sure to check hooves often along your training rides.
  • Utilize a confident leader until the horse is totally confident.
  • Use massages and therapy to insure well being for your athletes.
  • Cross training makes for a well rounded horse.

Jen Clingly lives in Golden Valley, Tasmania, Australia. She is an Endurance rider, a professional trimmer, and a lecturer with TAFE Tasmania in the trade certificate 3 "Equine Hoof Care" course. She is also producer of the documentary about wild horses, "Running Naked--From Outback to Racetrack." Please visit her website for a really great information packed adventure in barefoot and Endurance.


Posted by Nancy Fredrick

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