I am new to studs and was wondering what everyone else is using to block the holes. My farrier used cotton, which was worthless as I had to dig cotton and dirt out of the holes. Then I tried these: http://www.smartpakequine.com/easy-plugs-1647p , better than cotton but some came out and they didn't protect the threads very well so I tried the blanks that came in my kit that screw in with an Allen wrench. I have yet to take these out and see how they work but was wondering what you all are using.
I've used the foam plugs for over 10 years. My farrier used them, and would give me his leftover stencils. I have dozens of them stockpiled, and I cut them up to make new plugs. Brand new, there are 100 plugs per pack...if you take time to cut up the stencil, you can get another 50 or so.
The foam plugs rarely fall out and are simple to remove with a horseshoe nail or pointy awl. The holes stay pretty clean, a spritz of WD-40 and spin with the tap is quick and easy. Sometimes you can re-use the plugs once, if they hold their shape.
I used the metal blanks for my first set of shoes with studs...never again! If you misplace the allen wrench, you're in trouble. If you don't use studs often, and forget to turn the blanks occasionally, they will get stuck. Not a good thing to discover on xc morning! I'd rather have empty, dirt-filled stud holes than use metal blanks.
I don't use anything, just use a horseshoe nail or an awl tool to pick the dirt out, then WD40 and tap before putting studs in.
Glad I'm not the only one who does this! Honestly I've never had an issue. I will sometimes clean them out the night before and stuff with cotton and Vaseline. Only in the muddiest conditions have they come out.
I often don't plug them with anything. Every once in a while, I might clean them out the night before a competition or xc schooling and pack the plug holes with the cheap cotton plugs but honestly, I'm pretty fast at putting in studs so it doesn't really matter. I'll use plugs also if I'm putting in studs for muliple days (put the plugs in when I take out the studs on the first day--again, just the cheap cotton plugs).
Yes...cleaning them out with a large horseshoe nail...WD40 if they are really bad, clean with the tap, put the stud in and you are good to go. Typically takes me less than 5 minutes to do all four feet.
** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **
Typically takes me less than 5 minutes to do all four feet.
Do you want to come groom for me?
I am pretty quick but prefer having plugs. Currently like the pre-oiled cotton ones from BoB - purchased them against my wishes last time I ran out - and was happily surprised at how nice they were to work with.
I used to swear by the little rubber ones (not the BOB ones with the holes in them, didn't like them). But started to hate them as when they don't want to come out, they are a real pain - rip up your knuckles trying to get them out.
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
I've seen a couple of cases of bad bruising and eventual abscesses from leaving stud holes empty. Admittedly it's rare, but dirt can get up there and create a bunch of pressure against the heel, and a friend's horse ended up sidelined for 6 weeks as a result last year. I've also had a tiny pebble embed itself in a non-plugged hole resulting in the farrier having to remove the shoe to get the pebble out (this was after one of my stud plugs fell out in between shows at home).
My farrier uses rubber plugs after he drills and taps. They seem to stay in well for the long haul, and are relatively easy to get it when it's show time. Regardless of what you use, though, you're always going to have that first-day-at-the-show experience of digging out dirt and whatever you've been using to plug the hole.
At shows I use oil impregnated cotton plugs. If you twist them in with the threads, they stay in really well and are easy to get out, and they keep the threads clean and slick. I've also left them in the shoes between shows and had an easy enough time getting them back out 3-4 weeks later. The oiled ones are far far better than plain old cotton.
To get plugs out I use this stud hole cleaner , and then use the wire brush side to clean them out. I very rarely have to use my tap for anything.
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
Leave mine empty, clean out and use the cotton plugs before a show. Like BFNE I add WD-40 if the plugs are dry. Have never had a problem. I am slightly slower now with ponies - it's harder on my back to stay bent over, but I can usually get them done in about five minutes.
I will never ever again use the metal screw in plugs. I hate them with a passion!When I was riding a horse for someone else, they preferred to use them, but unless they were taken out every few days and WD-40'd they were hell to get out. I had one particularly frustrating pre-xc experience where I could not get them out and it was stripping the holes in the plugs and ruining the allen wrench. Combined with pre-xc nerves I was frustrated to the point of tears. Luckily it was on a front shoe that I couldn't get one out so I just ran her in back studs and left the front stud-less. That and the time the farrier rasped over the stud and locked it in was enough for me to vow to never use them. Luckily the mare was super good for studs and would stand patiently, even when I wouldn't have blamed her for getting sick of holding her foot up that long!
It is easy enough to clean, WD-40 and tap the holes that I just don't think it's necessary to keep them as clean as the metal holes theoretically do. I prefer the rubber plugs but usually have at least one or two fall out since I'm not great at checking them daily. But even with having to do more cleaning of the holes, it is still so much faster than the metal plugs for me! I've used the cotton and foam, and find they pack down into the shoe and while they're fairly easy to get out, I don't think it's much more effective than leaving them bare! But if they were changed every day or so they might work well!
Here's my perspective on stud holes: they're part of your overall system, so they should be routinely quality checked. I used to groom for a friend whose farrier, I was convinced, either couldn't tap/thread a stud hole for all the eggs in Germany. No matter how I cleaned/oiled/re-tapped, I almost never could get the studs in flush - they always tended to screw in crooked or wouldn't thread all the way down. Since I didn't have this issue with my own horses, I made a lot of mental notes and learned the hard way that if the stud won't screw down flush DO NOT USE A STUD. She was, however, a plug user and until that point, I hadn't been. Combined with the challenges of getting the studs in correctly on her horses, as well as nail-picking the dirt from my own horses, I decided to begin cleaning/oiling the threads in my horse's shoes at least once per week, if not twice. It's a pretty simple process, I'd just keep the tap and a wrench/oil/small stud in my grooming box, and would make sure I could screw the stud in, then unscrew it before put the hoof down.
I also began using the hollow rubber plugs from BoB, which I really liked, but have also had success with cotton and machine oil.
When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.
I like cotton pre-oiled Plug-its best. My daughter and her pals convinced me to try the plastic/rubber ones with threads and I'm not wild about them. My farrier begged me not to use WD-40 on stud holes but rather 3 in 1 oil. 3 in 1 is waaay better. When I take them out, I scrub my studs with a really fine wire brush or toothbrush then put a drop or 2 of 3 in 1 on the threads. Perfect.
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.