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For Those Of You Who Use Aluminum Shoes on Your Big Guys

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  • For Those Of You Who Use Aluminum Shoes on Your Big Guys

    The vet suggested I put aluminum shoes on my 17.1hh flat-footed TB. His idea is that the aluminum is thicker than steel shoes and will get her more up off the ground. I had been told before that aluminum would not work for my horse because she is so big-boned and that the steel provides more protection from the concussion of jumping. I've also been told that her size 3 shoes would have to be special ordered if I wanted aluminum.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Could you just get thick steel shoes? My farrier uses those for horses that work/are pastured in very rocky areas.

    Another option is adding pads.

    Why does your vet want her higher off the ground in front? There is only so much shoe can raise up the horse. You also risk it bending more easily, and (especially if you have a jumper) I'd prefer something a little more tough if you are going to ride at higher speeds, such as in a jump off in grass. Also, if you want to stud, you'll need steel.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
      Could you just get thick steel shoes? My farrier uses those for horses that work/are pastured in very rocky areas.

      Another option is adding pads.

      Why does your vet want her higher off the ground in front? There is only so much shoe can raise up the horse. You also risk it bending more easily, and (especially if you have a jumper) I'd prefer something a little more tough if you are going to ride at higher speeds, such as in a jump off in grass. Also, if you want to stud, you'll need steel.
      She is a hunter so speed really isn't any issue and I don't want thicker steel shoes that would add more weight and adversely affect her movement.

      We are planning to do pads next summer. The vet wants the poured-in variety but the farrier feels that her feet are so flat that they won't stay in place, which would also point to the need for a thicker shoe.

      Comment


      • #4
        They might start out thicker but they won't end that way.

        What type of shoe is she in now?

        I would ask your farrier. He should be able to get a pad on just about any horse even if it means he has to carve out some of the underneath of the shoe...NOT your horses foot...
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        ---
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

        Comment


        • #5
          We've got a 17H horse here in Aluminum...I don't know what size his feet are, but am thinking maybe a bit smaller than your horses. I know that they are bigger than my farrier usually shoes with Aluminum, because she has to make sure that she has a big enough size for him, but we've had no problems at all with Aluminum on him.
          That said, I am not sure that aluminum is going to be the be all and end all of your horse's issue if the feet are that flat; I'd think pads would make more sense, even with aluminum.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've got my 17h TB in aluminum shoes with pads. The aluminum isn't any thicker than the steel, but it is lighter (which is why we went that route). My horse also needs wedges, so the shoes are turned into "wedge shoes" via the application of equilox to the shoe itself and then the pad sits between his foot and the equilox/shoe combo. We did pour in pads for a while, and those were okay, but my arena is pretty coarse and tore up the dental impression material we used for the couple shoeing cycles.

            As far as aluminum vs. steel for comfort....my guy is definitely more comfortable in aluminum, and he's in a full blown conditioning/big jump program (we do the 1.40m jumpers). My farrier explained that the concussive properties of steel vs. aluminum are different and that some horses prefer one over the other...it's definitely not a case of "steel is always better."

            And needing steel for studs is incorrect. My guy showed on the grass all summer with drilled/tapped aluminums and we certainly never had any issues.

            As far as the size thing goes.....I'm not sure I would care if my farrier had to special order shoes for me. That's his deal, not yours. My horse has regular sized feet, but my farrier has special ordered a variety of shoes for him over the years before we finally settled on "the" shoeing plan for him.
            __________________________________
            Flying F Sport Horses
            Horses in the NW

            Comment


            • #7
              Ditto to the above.

              My big guy (not quite 17 hands, but definitely big) has been in aluminums for the past year. We were schooling 4' on grass with jumper turns/speed. No problems! I'm also pretty sure he is a size 3 and getting that in an aluminum wasn't an issue as far as I know.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you think you need pads, try to go with leather pads with the putty that goes underneath. That's the general "hunter pad", and sounds like it would work better for your horse's foot shape anyway. Obviously it would be ideal to get it out of the steel if it's a hunter. You don't see too many in steel, so unless your horse is extremely different from the average horse it shouldn't be an issue.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                  If you think you need pads, try to go with leather pads with the putty that goes underneath. That's the general "hunter pad", and sounds like it would work better for your horse's foot shape anyway. Obviously it would be ideal to get it out of the steel if it's a hunter. You don't see too many in steel, so unless your horse is extremely different from the average horse it shouldn't be an issue.
                  Or maybe even better than ACS, equipack just came out with a softer version of the original... Seems to be working well for me on the thin, flat soled horses.

                  Titanium might be a shoe option also.
                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                  ---
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Steel DOES cushion the concussion of the jumps better, because believe it or not, it will bend and conform to landings unlike the aluminum. Because he is a hunter, aluminum shoes will help him move better, but you might have to sacrifice some movement and save the quality of his hooves. We rotate my mare off steel and aluminum, using aluminum for the big shows so she moves the best at the point. Aluminum can ruin hooves if used to much, and so you have to balance movement and hoof health.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My hunter wears a 3 also. He goes in aluminium during show season, and steel during the winter when he's home for 4+ months. The aluminium can be tapped for studs just like steel can.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've always been encouraged to get steel when tapping (by trainers and by my farrier), the reason being they don't think aluminum will hold up cross-country, i.e. the studs could get ripped out more easily and the shoe bends easier should the horse forge. But I imagine the needs cross-country are a little different than show jumping.

                        If your vet recommends the aluminum, then I would at least give them a chance. I might also talk with your farrier, he could have some interesting options.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My 1300lb boy goes in these in a size three. We do weekly conditioning on the road, go on one weekly trail ride and jump in the 1.20m with them with studs. They are thicker than any alums I've had before, and a "steel toe insert" to slow wear and my farrier jokes that he's going to start resetting alum fronts with these shoes. I have noticed (and has my vet) that the horse is more comfortable with the aluminum.

                          http://www.farriersupplyshop.com/ite...=000218&ctl=35

                          Good Luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I looked at all the aluminums through the link above. Anyone have a horse in a size 5? I assume they make them?
                            Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              WB Mom my WB wears size 5 aluminums. Grand Circuit makes them. I ordered them from this place, and they were wonderful to deal with http://www.phalenhorseshoeingsupply.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I had a very flat footed gelding that went well in aluminiums with a NoVibe, since it was the only thing that stayed on.

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