I'm interested in hearing from all you barefooters out there:
Do you train barefoot, or booted? Why?
Do you compete barefoot, or booted? Why?
If you boot, do you boot all 4, or just front hooves?
I've got Renegades for the front, and Epics for the back, although I've never actually tried the epics on Arabee yet. Shortly after I purchased the boots, either something changed for Arabee where her feet got tougher, or it was the result of the ground thawing out and getting softer, but she has not needed to use the boots in training since I bought them. She is able to walk and trot with no trouble on gravelly sections of trail, and on gravel roads. Occasionally she finds a loose rock that hits a tender spot, but that is rare, and I only notice it at the walk.
I think I'd like to try competing barefoot, since when I say competing, what I really mean is compLeting....I won't be racing. On the other hand, I am a true newbie, to both barefoot and endurance, so I don't want to put Arabee's hooves at unnecessary risk. I figured for competing I might start barefoot, but carry the Renegades with me and put them on if need be. But, how would I know if I needed to - if she started moving "off"? And at that point, it would probably be too late for the boots to help.
So, any insight into this I'd really appreciate! Thanks!