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Studs for dummies?

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    Studs for dummies?

    Showed this weekend and really could have used studs for the jumping phases. Mare is a badass and went for it anyways, but it cost us a rail and she's normally really careful. In addition, I don't want to wreck her lion-like confidence if she slips in front of a fence, or during take off.

    I've looked into studs before, but there's a lot of information to swallow and I don't want to accidentally do more harm than good.

    Can someone point me to a thorough resource on studs? What/where/when/how/why and perhaps where to buy it. Thanks in advance!

    This is a good basic look:

    There have been good articles in Practical Horseman and the USEA magazine, too, but I have no idea which ones. And your best resource is probably your trainer if you take lessons with a past or present UL eventer (hopefully you do).

    When is as soon as you need them-- pretty early on if you have a horse with four shoes and do dressage/ showjumping on the grass and the ground gets hard. Even at BN and N it's nice to have the option of studs at least behind. At minimum you should buy a rubber safety tap, a stud hole brush (wood handle with a pointy end and a brush end) WD-40, a magnetic dish, a plastic tackle box with lots of little slots, a bigger toolbox or bag to keep everything in, some kind of stud plugs-- either rubber/foam or cotton, a good quality adjustable wrench, and the studs themselves. Any tack store that caters to eventing (VTO Saddlery, Bit of Britain, probably Smartpak) will have the tap, brush, plugs, and studs, and you can get the rest at Walmart or a hardware store.

    What studs to get and what to use when is a much bigger decision and depends a lot on footing, level, and the horse itself as they definitely can have preferences. I typically use the medium sized studs for most events. Of these I think it is stud O (the medium road stud) on the inside behind and often in front as well. Since it is blunt it makes it less likely the horse will stud itself. On the outside I typically use something like stud M (point/ grass tip) on good to hard ground-- this would be at Prelim and below, if I were showjumping on hard slick grass at Intermediate or higher I might use bigger versions of the same studs. On very wet, sloppy ground I would use stud K (bullet) or similar on the outsides on all four and probably on the inside front, and if I were running at a higher levels, I might use bigger versions of the same shaped studs. If I were hunting and expecting to ride on the road, or doing roadwork, I would use T or G (very small roads) all around.

    Very generally I try not to use more stud than I need-- you want the horse to be able to "slip" a little since no slippage at all increases the strain on the tendons. You can always ask, even if your trainer isn't there most other riders are happy to show you what they are using and make recommendations.


      Original Poster

      Sorry I didnt get back to this sooner!

      thanks for the reply. I'll pick up the book first and give it a read, then try to assemble my kit. Always learning about something new... time to bite the bullet and give this a try!


        This is the best thread I've seen for putting together your stud kit:

        I haven't seen many online stores that carry every item I need, but seems to have most. One little hint: if you are planning on buying the magnetic dish thing, it is WAY cheaper ($4 vs $15 on amazon or home improvement store) to buy one meant for construction workers rather than the ones for horseshoe studs. They are literally the same exact thing with a different label!

        When it comes to which stud to use, I usually pick my selection and then verify it with my trainer before running. One rule of thumb is to stud for the worst terrain you'll see on course. Hopefully you have a trainer who can confirm your stud selections.


          Original Poster

          I don't currently have an eventing based trainer, but I do have people I can run my choices by that would be able to give me feed back.

          We are only doing beginner novice stuff with little plans to move up with this particular horse, so nothing super major to be worried about having a trainer for. I'm not an arena flower anyhow - I'm always trail riding or camping, so riding at a good clip across terrain isn't a big deal for either of us. Eventing just adds the jumps.

          I've contacted a few local and a few not-so-local people, but logistics are complicated.


            This is the BEST stud box ever.


            It is way smaller than a fishing tackle box, which I really like because it holds everything I use, including the magnetic dish (under the compartment tray), two wrenches, safety tap, a mini can of WD-40, Stud Suds, a small rag, hoof pick, and stud plugs.

            And it fits neatly down in my trunk without being a big fat waste of space.


              Like Evilc123 said, you stud to the worst terrain, and as small as you can for that terrain, so it allow some sort of give.

              Try the holes while your horse is being shod. Put your studs in right before the shoes are nailed to your horse so you know they are well done... BTDT, I was pissed at the show.
              Try your studs at home on different grounds, with different sizes.
              Try your studs the day prior the show.
              Clean the holes regularly.

              Studs can be mixed and matched to suit your needs.

              You can put :

              - Studs just in front or just behind
              - 8 studs of the same size
              - 4 smaller studs in front with 4 bigger studs behind
              - smaller studs in the inside hole of the shoes and bigger studs on the outside hole of the shoes

              I concur the usefulness of a magnetic plate.

              A nice little tiny adjustable wrench is priceless.

              A safe tap (big rubber) is now part of my tools because I saw a terrible accident.
              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

              Originally posted by LauraKY
              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.


                Original Poster

                That's a great tip for trying the holes before they get nailed on.

                Thanks everyone for the tips! I'm going to sit down this weekend and order my kit. At the rate it's raining, I'm going to need them asap.


                  Original Poster

                  How many of each type should I have in my kit? How many uses before you need to pitch them, typically?


                    Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                    How many of each type should I have in my kit? How many uses before you need to pitch them, typically?
                    To begin with, I would go with something like that :
                    ***For a visual, check the list of studs shown with letters.*** It’s just a reference, but they have nice information on each ones.

                    8 of short road studs. (U)

                    8 of hard ground small studs. (R)

                    8 short bullet studs for mud.( J or A)

                    6 bigger road studs to mix with other studs (L)

                    4 bigger bullet studs for mud. (K)

                    4 bigger pointy hard ground studs. (D)

                    You’ll be able to mix and match your studs.

                    U all over.

                    UU UU or RU UR or RR RR in front
                    RU UR or RR RR or RR RR in the back.

                    UU UU or JU UJ or JJ JJ in front
                    JU UJ or JJ JJ or JJ JJ in the back

                    Then, you can put smaller studs in front and bigger on hind legs or outside branch.

                    RU UR
                    DL LD

                    Also, I really like « Thread savers » and the « Safety spin tee tap ». Expensive but really worth it.
                    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                    Originally posted by LauraKY
                    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.


                      They last a long time, unless you lose them or wreck the threads. I found that the pointy tipped outside ones I used 90% of the time for good/ hard ground lasted about a season (so 10+ events plus probably 20 lessons/ schools) before they started to get kind of rounded off/ flat (at which point they were still fine to be used on more yielding ground or on the inside.) I think I have had probably one or two come out over the years and have dropped a couple, threaded one, and lost a couple of shoes with studs in them.

                      The most important thing is never to take your stud box into the stall or leave it on the fender of your trailer or anywhere your horse can get its nose in it! Put just the studs you need in the magnetic dish and keep the rest of the kit well out of reach. My mom's horse knocked over her box once in the grass at an event and it was an epic disaster.


                        Order more than you think as you will lose them.,,,lose a shoe with them. I’ve rarely had to throw any 20 years of using studs.

                        Which ones you need depends on your location. Doesn’t matter the level....I put studs in my very green horses as a slip will trash their confidence faster.

                        I use H and R the most but also A and C. You shouldn’t need any bigger for BN but it depends on the horse.

                        eta: G (flat road) is nice to have. I often will put those in at home to trailer to the event, then I can quickly swap out to the bigger/sharper studs at the event. We tend to have more hard ground in our area so the small grass tips I will use all around on the younger horses to help avoid too much slipping.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                          Original Poster

                          Question - does anyone ever use thread "stuff" on these other than a coating of WD 40 to protect threads?

                          Ie, blue loctite to keep studs in, or antiseize (metallic) coating to keep blanks from getting stuck? (understanding not to leave blanks in, just the night before or what have you)

                          Thanks everyone for the tutorial, I feel marginally more confident in this. Gotta try it out at this point, I think. I really appreciate the tips!


                            Original Poster

                            Ok wait one more. Is the nut part of the stud always the same size? If yes, has anyone used a ratcheting head wrench instead of an adjustable? Or a deep socket and a ratchet?

                            I have a bizarre hatred for adjustables after rounding too many bolts, busting too many knuckles, and giving myself a concussion (because I was a moron, but still, slipped the wrench) with adjustable wrenches.

                            FWIW, I am a gear head, so being able to turn a wrench on my HORSE is so dang weird.... hahaha


                              I hate adjustables too, but they do work well for studs, I've never stripped one - you aren't torqueing down a lug nut, it doesn't take that much force. You don't want to wrench loose your nails & the adjustable helps prevent that by being not-great-at-wrenching.

                              One thing I think is important is to be aware of not OVER studding, especially up front. A horse's foot does need to slide a tiny bit, especially when landing from a jump - if it is spiked to complete stop, there is serious injury potential there for soft tissues, so remember it's a balance.

                              I actually never tapped mine up front (BN to T), hinds were plenty for them. Individual horses are different too - one of mine was careful with his balance & didn't need anything until T, but another loved running more than staying upright so he got studs much earlier.

                              I always bought 2 spares of whatever, since I had 4 holes, I would order 6. One of my greatest talents is dropping small metal things in grass. Magnets don't always find everything.

                              The best thing I did tho, was to teach every horse to rest a hind foot in the ground for me until I tell him I'm done. I can clean, tap, stud, whatever & don't have to hold a foot. My back arthritis thanks me.
                              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                              We Are Flying Solo


                                Do not over tighten your studs. You don’t want them that tight. You shouldn’t be able to unscrew them with you hands but it also shouldn’t take much with a basic wrench to get them out.
                                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                                  Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                                  Ok wait one more. Is the nut part of the stud always the same size? If yes, has anyone used a ratcheting head wrench instead of an adjustable? Or a deep socket and a ratchet?
                                  Nope, not all the same size. But, with only a few exceptions, they are generally broad enough that screwing in and out with an adjustable wrench is quite easy.


                                    Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                                    Ok wait one more. Is the nut part of the stud always the same size? If yes, has anyone used a ratcheting head wrench instead of an adjustable? Or a deep socket and a ratchet?
                                    Generally speaking if the base is a hex they will be close in size and if the base is square they will be close in size. I never noticed a difference between brands when I was still competing. I also took my studs to the hardware store and got fixed wrenches. I only need two different ones for all my studs.


                                      Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                      Do not over tighten your studs. You don’t want them that tight. You shouldn’t be able to unscrew them with you hands but it also shouldn’t take much with a basic wrench to get them out.
                                      10-4. Adjustable wrench it is.

                                      grumble grumble blood grumble pain grumble POS grumble.... haha


                                        Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

                                        10-4. Adjustable wrench it is.

                                        grumble grumble blood grumble pain grumble POS grumble.... haha
                                        I have a tiny cute little adjustable wrench.

                                        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                        Originally posted by LauraKY
                                        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.