Barefootin' Around the Barrels

Submitted 10-29-08

Just thought I would share our barefoot story!
Two years ago, if anyone had asked me if a barefoot horse could be a successful barrel racing horse, I would have told you it was rare, mostly impossible... I have been a member of the Women's Professional Rodeo Assn for 28 yrs and have trained many nice rodeo barrel horses. My husband Ross Maynard is a pretty darned good farrier, he has shod everything from Zsa Zsa Gabor's Gaited horses, National Champion Minis, to World Champion NFR Barrel & Rope horses.
We moved to AZ from swampy Western Oregon in 2004 and had nothing but hoof problems. In 2005 my own sorrel gelding FastTime started showing "naviculoid" symptoms.  After 2 yrs of therapeutic shoeing, consulting with top vets and farriers, and no improvement, we decided to try NHC. Jeff & Claudia Lors and Melissa Rider were a great help sharing their Barefoot barrel racing experiences and giving encouragement. After much consultation and the guidance of Courtney Vincent we pulled his shoes in Jan 07, and began this barefoot journey.  10 minutes after the first trim with boots, FastTime was moving better than ever. After 4 months, he showed so much improvement that I decided to try all my barrel horses barefooted.
I've received my share and more, of skeptical looks and flack from other rodeo contestants as I warm up my booted horses. I don't compete in boots, but keep use them in rocky rodeo parking lots. We live in AZ where all the arenas have a hardpan under shallow footing, yet I've not had any traction issues, and during 2007 both FastTime and Torch placed at a few rodeos even though they were going thru transition.

LRM Lightning Watch was in training during 2007 and was working nicely. He debuted as a 5 yr old in March 2008.  His 7th race ever, he placed at a PRCA Pro rodeo!  Since then Lightning has won jackpot rodeo barrels, placed at several PRCA Rodeos, and won in Futurities. Because he is young, I decided to focus on the Women's Professional Rodeo Assn. Futurity Division, for 5 yr old, first year barrel horses. We have been chasing points all summer throughout AZ & NM, and are now it's official, Lightning is #1 in the  World Standings WPRA ProFuturity Division!!
We have enough points to secure the title before we ever get to the World Finals in Tulsa in November! 
I completely sold on NHC. Ross is still a farrier, but he incorporates NHC techniques as much as possible in his set up trims. He'll work with any customer who would like to transition their horses to BF.
Feel free to contact us or check our website, we'd love to share barefoot stories!
~Leslie Maynard

These horses were photographed at a local area all speed events show in NE Georgia.

Thoroughbred mare This young mare was deshod just three weeks prior
to this show....she took first place in the cloverleaf and is 
the horse to beat in all the area shows.
This owner became interested in barefooting while observing another horse running barefoot in an earlier show and stated that he was amazed the horse had such good traction.  When it was explained to him that a bare foot self cleans - flinging out the arena sand with every step - and a shod foot tended to stay packed with sand, it was clear to the owner that a barefoot horse would have better, more consistent traction during a race.  He decided to barefoot his mare that day.
Grade gelding This gelding has been barefoot for 2 years and regularly
places in the timed events in all the local area shows.
Paint gelding This young gelding and rider are new to barrel racing,
but he runs sound and surefooted taking a third at this show.
Appaloosa gelding This horse is a trail guide horse trying his hand (foot?)
at barrel racing taking a second and two thirds in
this show.

Submitted August 2007 by "My horses have been barefoot for about 7 years now."Melissa

Barefoot Dressage
Owner/Rider- Deanna Cook
Mystery is a Quarter/Arab cross pony purchased in 1997. He was shod in 1998 when he was four before showing him.  At end of year in 1998, he
placed reserve champion in Introduction to Dressage 
A month after placing in October he came up lame. 
When resetting shoes the farrier noticed red in white line and suspected founder.

This case under construction...more soon!

Mystery - dressage pony

Barefoot Eventing
Owner/Rider-  Ary Rezich, Malta, IL
This 11 year old, barefoot, 15'1 h (on a tall day) Appaloosa  started eventing in USCTA Horse Trials in 1999. That summer competed in and placed in 4 USCTA (region IV) events at Novice Level:
  •   Wayne Dupage Horse Trials
  •   Fox River Valley Pony Club Horse Trials
  •   I.D.C.T.A Horse Trials
  •   Silverwood Farm Fall Horse Trials

  In 2000, moved up to Training Level and placed in 1 Combined Test and completed 2 events.

  •   Fox River Valley Pony Club Combined Test
  •   Fox River Valley Pony Club Horse Trials
  •   Wayne Horse Trials ( The jump picture is from this event)

 Summer 2000,  tried  competitive trail riding. Entered the Rock River Charity Ride in Utica Il. Opted for 15 mile novice division and took 1st place. Ary says it was great. Had plans of competing in a
 25 mile ride at the end of October, but a back injury (Ary) at the end of August ended her competition schedule for this year. Was planning to compete in 3 more USCTA events. 
  Next year........

Ary and Frisco
Ary and Frisco jumping

Owner/Rider- Deane Roberts - Scotland
Barney is an 8 year old, IDXTBX??? We think,15.3 hh, bay, gelding
He started evening in 2002 when he was shoed.
I removed his shoes in the winter and he is doing well.
This year we have bean competing at Pre Novice Level which is about 3 foot in height.
We have all so been competing in Riding club events and have qualified to
go to the National SJ Championships and the National Horse Trials

General Use - or, haven't picked a "career" yet!
Owner/Rider-   Sarah Isherwood - Atkinson, NH 03811
I have owned Daatje, my 4 year old Friesian mare, since she was just 6
months of age. Her hooves have never seen horse shoes, and I am proud to
say she rides 100% sound over ANY terrain. (And I mean any!) Grass, dirt,
asphalt, gravel, down-right rocky trails, you name it, she'll trot all over
it. She has never taken an "ouchy" step. We have been in a few horse shows
this past summer (2004), but she was still young at 3, so we mainly did a
few walk-trot classes and then hit the trails. My mother and I belong to
the Granite State Carriage Horse Association, so we attend many of their
ride/drives. (Mom with her driving mini, and I with Daatje) Daatje
completed the 10 mile loop on her first time out! I plan on competing her a
little in dressage and carriage driving in another year or so, but I'm in no
rush. I just LOVE her! (My favorite thing to do is climb on her in the
paddock bareback and bridleless and just sit there. She thinks it's cool
'cause she gets back scratches......) I plan on doing a little low level
eventing with her too, in the years to come.

Fox Hunt
Owner/Rider-   Mac Braly
Here are a couple of pictures of me and Joey, 16 y/o TB gelding,foxhunting in Oklahoma, barefoot.

Joey has been barefoot since April, 2003. He hunts with Swiss Horse Boots in front if the terrain is difficult or rocky, otherwise with nothing.


[Back]   [Next]   [Home]