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OneMoreTime
Apr. 8, 2009, 09:58 PM
We are going to a week-long "A" show this summer & I'm wondering what your opinions are about aluminum vs. steel shoes for shows. My OTTB is usually in Natrual Balance steel shoes on all 4. Should we go with the aluminum NBs in front only, all around, stay in steel? Any opinions & experiences will be most welcome.

Thanks!

Sebastian
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:01 PM
This will be a long and heated debate... :winkgrin:

IME, it makes no difference.
Seb :)

eqrider1234
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:12 PM
Whats really popular now and what really helps your horse to transform into a 200k hack winner is to take the shoes off for the flat class and put them back on for the jumping, doing this one or two times a day for the two or three days that the show lasts ;)

sorry I couldnt help it, My horse goes in some form of steel shoes that they use on racehorses because they dont oxidize?? and they are light like the aluminum.. can you tell i just nod my head and act like im paying attention when my farrier talks:cool:

*Bounce*
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:15 PM
Aluminum is popular among the "A" crowd because they are lighter and help the horse move better then when they have the weight of the steel shoes. However, they wear out so quickly that others prefer the length of having the steel shoe. My horse has always done better with aluminum, but whatever works the best for your horse is what I would go with.

watcher
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:20 PM
Irrelevant unless he's (potentially) the hack winner. :)

heartinrye
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:38 PM
I wouldn't start switching shoes right before show season...

gottagrey
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:41 PM
Totally agree w/ last post - I would do what is best for your horse's feet. If your horse is an awesome mover chances are the shoes will help a smidge but it's not like going to take a so-so mover to a hack winner. I have a large ISH - he wore aluminum shoes because that's what the farrier used- period. he didn't have the greatest pasture at the time and even w/ Farrier's Formula etc his feet were in pretty lousy shape. Moved to a different barn - better pasture, no Farrier's Formula - steel shoes cause that's what the new farrier uses - and guess what - w/in 6 months his feet never looked better. My horse is an okay mover - will place in a hack class -usually but not always - would he place higher if he had aluminum probably not. Would I rather have his feet in better shape - you betcha:)

Alterrain
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:11 PM
all hunters should be aluminums. unless its the worst mover in the world (in which case, don't hack.)

OneMoreTime
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:13 PM
I'm not concerned about placings in the hack or elsewhere - he's a very nice mover, but if we're going to pin in a class that's just a bonus. I'm most interested in what is best for his feet & legs over 5 days of showing. He is very big (17 hh) & has a hard time lying down in most "show" stalls. Last year, by the last day he was quite sore & we actually scratched out of several classes. So, is there a difference in how alum. vs. steel helps wear & tear on the body?

Thanks!

lonewolf
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:18 PM
If you don't care about hack placings, go with the steel your horse is comfortable with. They tend to be more supportive (at least according to my farrier).

If you do care about the hack, go with aluminums.

Jumper6252
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:29 PM
My horse wears steel shoes in the winter because of his snow shoes. But in the summer he wears aluminums because they're lighter so he moves better.

PlantersPunch
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:45 PM
I'm most interested in what is best for his feet & legs over 5 days of showing. He is very big (17 hh) & has a hard time lying down in most "show" stalls. Last year, by the last day he was quite sore & we actually scratched out of several classes. So, is there a difference in how alum. vs. steel helps wear & tear on the body?

Thanks!

I know this wasn't really part of the question, but if I were you I would save the money you would spend on aluminums and put it towards getting a stall and a half at the show. Its usually only an extra $100 or so but the hard part is usually trying to find someone to take the other half. I did this last year for my jumper and felt like he was much happier (which he showed by sprawling out completely once we had converted the stall)

woodhillsmanhattan
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:50 PM
I really have never seen the difference last more than the first 2-3 days after the shoes are put on.

Mukluk
Apr. 9, 2009, 12:31 AM
Perhaps they should level the playing field here. How about the aluminum shoe class and the steel shoe class?

dghunter
Apr. 9, 2009, 12:39 AM
My horse goes in aluminum shoes in the front because trainer thought it would help him move a smidge better without some knee action (or something to that effect, this was awhile ago now) so we switched and it worked :yes: However, horse paws in cross ties sometimes and wears them down :mad: He has steel shoes in the back. I believe our TB has steel shoes all around. I'm another one that just nods when the farrier tells me something like that. He does a wonderful job and our leg vet adores the way he shoes so I stay out of it and just do this :yes: :lol:

Bella'sMom
Apr. 9, 2009, 08:07 AM
My mare had always been in steel. The beginning of show season last year we switched to aluminum. She did place a little better in the hack classes (competitive local shows - and she will never be the hack winner) BUT, she started losing her nice forward momentum over fences. It wasn't that she was really "backing off" but her nice forward, happy way of going just wasn't there. She was just not HAPPY going around. (vague description, I know but I could tell something was not right) I had our acupuncturist/massage person (who is a licensed vet) look at her and she said she thought the aluminum shoes were not offering her enough support (she is a large bodied TB). We put her back in steel shoes and voila! She is her old, happy, forward, delightful self. She was in aluminum for several months so if you just switch for one show it might not impact him too much (but I do agree, I wouldn't go switching things around right before a big show). That is my experience - it depends on the horse.

steelbak
Apr. 9, 2009, 08:21 AM
Natural Balance shoes are great. He may move a little better with aluminum, but a big horse is capable of warping and wearing aluminum quickly. So if your happy with the way he moves, stay with the steel NB shoes. If you want to try to get a little flatter knee for the show then aluminum would be worth trying. Either way, no worries!

merrygoround
Apr. 9, 2009, 08:59 AM
sorry I couldnt help it, My horse goes in some form of steel shoes that they use on racehorses because they dont oxidize?? and they are light like the aluminum.. can you tell i just nod my head and act like im paying attention when my farrier talks:cool:

Probably titanium.

monalisa
Apr. 9, 2009, 09:20 AM
My mare is currently in steel shoes. For the past few years I have put her in steel for the winter and then switched for the show season. IMHO, she moves the same in steel and wins just as many hack classes in steel as she does in aluminum. As someone already said, unless your horse is the hack winner and you are chasing points, I don't think it matters.

Blondie22
Apr. 9, 2009, 11:05 AM
I have an A/A hunter. While not the hack winner, horse COULD pick up a prize in a 25+ class IF horse is in aluminum shoes. With steel shoes - forget it. Horse clomps around like a beast!

OneMoreTime
Apr. 9, 2009, 01:09 PM
I know this wasn't really part of the question, but if I were you I would save the money you would spend on aluminums and put it towards getting a stall and a half at the show. Its usually only an extra $100 or so but the hard part is usually trying to find someone to take the other half. I did this last year for my jumper and felt like he was much happier (which he showed by sprawling out completely once we had converted the stall)

Thanks! This is a great idea. I had thought about just getting 2 stalls (if it was possible to join them into one big one), but if this is possible, I know that there are at least 2 other "big" horses from my barn going - maybe one of them would like to split that extra space.

Jsalem
Apr. 9, 2009, 01:36 PM
In my experience aluminum shoes absolutely improve the movement of a hunter. I'm amazed at the folks here who say that they don't. Having said that, perhaps your horse's feet just won't tolerate them. Some horses pull the aluminums too readily. Some horse's feet break up too much in them. In that case, you need to suck it up and go in steel. Some horses aren't going to get a hack prize no matter what you do, so it's just not worth the small extra expense to put them in aluminum. But alumimum shoes are very, very common in the hunter ring for a reason.

KnKShowmom
Apr. 9, 2009, 02:12 PM
I saw an improvement when we switched to aluminums up front but had to buy a new pair every 6 weeks and his feet did not look as good as they do in steel. (plus it made the farrier cranky - he hates aluminum shoes)

If your horse gets sore up front during a long show, I would stay with steel for the support - can't win the hack if he isn't in it!

Seven-up
Apr. 9, 2009, 08:50 PM
Sounds like the shoes don't have anything to do with it. Go for the bigger stall.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Apr. 9, 2009, 09:33 PM
My horse has never gotten a hack prize, aside from the season he went in aluminum shoes. Unfortunately, this also meant farrier visits every 3-4 weeks, as he's incredibly heavy, and had a fair amount of wear on his toes.

At this stage in my life (almost college graduate, getting married, parents allotted horse care finances to my fiancee), I cannot afford new shoes every 3 weeks. So he goes in steel and moves like a sewing machine. He doesn't seem less happy for it. And to be honest, neither am I. He might actually jump better in steel, to think of it...

Punkie
Apr. 10, 2009, 03:42 AM
All of my hunters go in aluminums up front and steels behind. They are all high placers/winners in the hack and we try to keep it that way :). I have never had a problem using half and half (I do use steels all around in the winter when they're not in FLA or showing), but that's definitely a question for someone who knows your horse and his/her feet. I have also considered using Supracor pads to add cushion and help with suspension, but it's only an idea we've been toying with. That might be a consideration for a horse that gets sore, but again, run it by your farrier. Good luck!

LockeMeadows
Apr. 10, 2009, 04:45 AM
My Oldenburg is a daisy stomper with steel, so she stays in aluminums. It's worth the cost. After shows or when horses are stabled at the show, their hooves are packed each night. That may help with your guy's soreness.

Summit Springs Farm
Apr. 10, 2009, 02:56 PM
All mine that show are in aluminum, and they are large WB's and they don't wear out any quicker than steel and their feet are fine. I also don't notice any difference when riding them. My farrier charges $15 more that's not much in our horsey world, so the cost is not a problem.

Treasmare2
Apr. 10, 2009, 07:53 PM
My guy is not a bad mover and can and does get hack prizes. I found he moved better in them but he is such a big horse he wore them out quickly and they didn't do his feet any favors.:(