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aluminum vs. steel shoe for show?

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  • aluminum vs. steel shoe for show?

    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.


  • #2
    This will be a long and heated debate...

    IME, it makes no difference.
    Aca-Believe it!!


    • #3
      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


      • #4
        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.


        • #5
          Irrelevant unless he's (potentially) the hack winner.


          • #6
            I wouldn't start switching shoes right before show season...


            • #7
              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


              • #8

                all hunters should be aluminums. unless its the worst mover in the world (in which case, don't hack.)
                When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager


                • Original Poster

                  I should clarify,..

                  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?



                  • #10
                    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.
                    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OneMoreTime View Post
                        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?

                        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)


                        • #13
                          I really have never seen the difference last more than the first 2-3 days after the shoes are put on.
                          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
                          inside of a man.

                          -Sir Winston Churchill


                          • #14
                            Perhaps they should level the playing field here. How about the aluminum shoe class and the steel shoe class?


                            • #15
                              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 However, horse paws in cross ties sometimes and wears them down 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
                              No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
                              For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
                     Custom Wreaths and Other Decorations


                              • #16
                                My experience

                                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.
                                friend of bar.ka


                                • #17
                                  Response from farrier

                                  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!
                                  Scott Gregory
                                  (513) 678-9877


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by eqrider1234 View Post

                                    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
                                    Probably titanium.
                                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                                    • #19
                                      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.


                                      • #20
                                        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!