DIY Pony Trainers


How can you force someone to walk on their toes (I know, I know, it's really the balls of their feet for most pony boots, but "toes" sounds better) with only items on hand at the average barn?

This was the question I was asking myself as I was writing out a story/fantasy where someone (me, please) is transformed into a human pony at a barn. Obviously they wouldn't have specialty pony boots for people, but most barns I've ridden at do have soaking/medicine boots (e.g. the Davis boot). While this would give a hoof-like appearence when put over someone's foot, it wouldn't force them to walk on their toes.

However, you could put something hard along their foot and up to their ankle. Pony point trainers do this with a stiff piece of leather buckled around the foot, but if you only care about functionality, a piece of steel would do. As I thought about it, I realized that long steel bolts or screws should do the trick if taped tightly against the leg.

Well, once I had a solution that I thought would work, I just had to try it. You know, for research purposes.

Turns out, it does work. Now that I know it works, I figured I should share it. So, here's my hacked together solution to turn someone's feet into horse hooves and keep them on their toes with basic supplies you could find at a barn.

All you'll need are a couple hoof soaking boots, some duct tape, four (you could make do with 2, one per leg, but two per leg works better) 8" long bolts (shorter if your pony has smaller feet), and a couple polo wraps (these are optional, but they make the final hoof look better (and add a bit more security) - I used pink polos here because that was part of the story I was writing):

Supplies needed for diy hoof boot for one leg

Supplies you'll need for one leg.

With all your supplies gathered, force extension of the soon-to-be-pony's foot:

Force extension of the potenial ponys foot

Force your subject to extend his foot.

Place the 8 inch long bolts along his foot with one end just behind the toes, which should put the other end below his ankles. Tape them in place securely, so they are tight against his skin along his skin (for the demo photo, I taped them tightly at both ends, but you will probably wish to secure them even more by wrapping duct tape along the entire length of the bolts). If the bolts are long enough and securely taped in place, they will prevent him from unflexing his foot:

Place bolts with one end slightly before the toes and tape securely in place against the skin all the way up to the other end of the bolts

Place the bolts with one end and inch or two before the toes, and tape securely in place so they are flush against the skin as much as possible.

Put his forcibly extended foot into the soaking boot:

Insert or force the foot with taped bolt into the soaking boot

With his foot forced into flexion by the taped bolt, place it into the hoof soaking boot to give it more hoof-like shape.

Secure the boot to his foot with the velcro strap and then wrap the polo over the boot, then up and back down his leg for added security and to yield a more aesthetically pleasing hoof:

Secure the hoof boot strap and wrap the polo along the boot and up his leg.

Tighten the strap of the hoof soaking boot then use the polo wrap to both further secure the boot in place and make the leg more hoof-like.

Now repeat this on his other foot, and your pony now has hooves and must walk with his heels up!

These do indeed work quite well if the boot is properly sized and the bolts are long enough and secured well to the extended foot and lower leg.