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4 shoes + grass turnout = studs?

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  • 4 shoes + grass turnout = studs?

    My horses never have hind shoes. Unfortunately, my youngest now requires hind shoes thanks to a severe hoof injury he sustained last September. That injury kept him in a stall until about a month ago, when I brought him home to turn him out in my fields.

    He seems a little more "unstable" on the grass than I would have thought (there are lots of skid marks in my fields that weren't there before) when he's cantering around with all 4 hooves shod, but I'm not sure if that's normal. I have yet to get on him, but plan to start riding him in my fields (I don't have an arena at home) in the near future and am a little leery of him slipping and falling when I actually put him back to work. I recently bought the place and have yet to ride him here; he's always been worked in sand arenas, with the exception of a few shows where the warm-up arenas were grass fields. The ground is a combo of dirt, sand, and clay-like dirt, depending on what part of the fields you're talking about.

    Does anyone put studs on their horses shoes when they're in this situation (even just turnout)? The only time I've ever had a horse with studs were the little nubs used in the winter during heavy ice season. I'd rather not have to screw in studs every time he gets turned out. I also just completely re-did his stall floor in fancy rubber mats, so I'm also not a big fan of something that'll damage that floor! Thoughts? Am I just overreacting and underestimating his balance? I have yet to see him actually wipe out.

  • #2
    That just sounds to me like an accident waiting to happen. I know how my horse plays and he would definitely hurt himself and others.
    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate
    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


    • #3
      My barefoot horses know exactly what to expect if they run around like maniacs in mud or wet grass. They know when to come to a "sliding stop" just before the fence line.

      Me personally would never put studs on a horse's feet as it would interfere with the natural instinct they have to act according to the surface they are on.
      \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


      • #4
        Studs in turnout? HECK NO. Can you imagine the damage that could/would be done should Fluffy have a playful wheel n' squeal with a pasture buddy?

        I cannot imagine choosing to ride in the footing being such that I'd want studs in everyday. I also know using studs adds more torque and stress to the legs. I, personally, have only used studs in competition - but I am confident there are others who have more experience who can chime in.


        • #5
          No, no, no. No studs in turnout. That's a disaster looking for a place to happen.

          My daughter's best friend's horse had a career ending injury when someone turned out their horse in his pasture without removing the studs.


          • #6
            I wouldn't turn out in them-- I worry about someone getting kicked or the horse hitting itself. You may or may not need them to ride-- I generally only use them to jump-- very occasionally for flatwork. Usually if you are not turning sharply/ fast, it's not a big deal.

            Maybe ask your farrier about options? Sometimes changing to a shoe with more of a crease (fullered shoe) can help add traction.


            • #7
              No way. I put splint/brushing/open front boots on the second the studs go on to minimize risk of the horse slicing open its own legs. No way I'd leave them in for turn out!


              • #8
                No. Not in turnout. I've never seen a horse hurt themselves in turnout just because of four shoes. And I've been around a lot of horses turned out with four shoes.
                *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                • #9
                  Absolutely not.


                  • #10
                    If your horse needs more traction, ask your farrier about rim shoes or something similar that lends more traction than a flat keg shoe.
                    Studs in turnout are a no-no.
                    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                    • #11
                      As always, it seems we disagree with other horse keepers! We keep our horses shod all around, and they all have the pin studs in their shoes for traction. Pin studs are VERY SMALL, but give enough grip to shoe that horses don't slip on pavement or wet grass. These are large horses, 17H, 1500 pounds, so we sure don't want them doing the splits and hurting themselves.

                      Pin studs are quite small, stick out of shoe about 1/8th inch or less. Sure not as much as a new pencil eraser, and of course a smaller diameter. They are the same material as the winter ice studs, but without the collar making them stick out further from the shoe for grip.

                      The Farrier drills the shoe, taps in the studs which stay in full time due to their unique tapered shaping.

                      We have had some rowdy young horses, who run and play hard, kept in studs. They have not damaged or injured each other while shod with the pin studs. They DO NOT slip or slide on the surfaces, when shod with the pin studs. Some of our horses have worn pin studs for years, because they have been kept shod for their work year around. No problems with them either.

                      Studded shoes are a lot safer than plain steel on pasture grass, dried grasses, pavement. Our horses never worry about their feet having grip, so they are nice and forward in all their activities.


                      • #12
                        Absolutely not! That is an injury waiting to happen!


                        • #13
                          No way would I turn out a horse with studs on - as others have mentioned, they can then be a danger to themselves, the leg can torque in interesting and unexpected (to the horse) ways, and they're a danger to any other horse in the same pasture if they start playing.

                          Give him a week or two in either a smaller area (can't get up as much steam) or a much larger one (not as likely to hit anything if he loses his legs out from under him) - he'll figure it out.

                          If you feel better *riding* him with small grass studs in, that's different - just make sure you boot him appropriately. But take the studs out when you're done.


                          • #14
                            No no no no no! A horse should never have studs on when his legs are unprotected, for the reasons mentioned above. I only put studs in if I am running a jumping course on footing that warrants it for that individual horse and only after he is fully booted --- those legs are too valuable to me.

                            It's quite normal for a horse to skid around and do stupid things in the pasture (I think they practice...). I always want my horses to learn to balance themselves -- I purposely ride them on as many different types of footing, good and bad (reasonably, of course), as I can find so they are prepared for any situation we might encounter. Be it solid rocks, gravel, grass, mud, ice, snow, water, whatever, I want them to learn to be responsible for their OWN balance in the situation because there is no WAY I am going to hold up 1500 lbs of horse.
                            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                            • #15
                              My horse is shod all 4 (TB mare) and lives on a grass pasture. We ride frequently on the edge of fields and sometimes in a couple of the pastures. She has never had studs. I am a little cautious when it has rained alot and I'm going down hills, but other than that no problem. It had rained all day Friday and part of the day Sat. We went out to get the horses to go on a ride and my nutty girl was trotting, cantering, bucking, and galloping (self lunging) before she would be caught. Didn't see her slip once.


                              • #16
                                My old mare goes out shod with borium all around. About half the others in the field are shod, and if they have shoes, they've got borium too. Why - they're road horses and the borium gives them extra traction on the road.

                                The old lady rarely gets driven (2-3X a year ) I often tease Mom (who has the horse & buys the shoes) that she gets borium on the shoes so she doesn't slip in the field. I've never seen any especially bad injuries (just the usual, occaisonal kick) resulting her shoes.
                                Visit my Spoonflower shop


                                • #17
                                  Skid marks really have nothing to do with lack of traction because of the shoes. Right now I have three barefoot all around heese and they leave skid marks when they are being silly too.
                                  I would be more worried about the sudden stop with too much traction than a little skidding.


                                  • #18
                                    Mine's shod on all 4 (I had 2 trials of pulling shoes, but alas, she has to stay shod), and in winter wears borium buttons ever since I witnessed her slipping around in our -40C skating rink

                                    But the buttons aren't like studs, they just provide some roughness for slipping.
                                    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


                                    • #19
                                      The only time my horse has any kind of traction on her shoes is in the winter when she's shod with borium winter shoes. The footing in her turnout can get very icy, and she's turned out with a pony and 1 other horse who has borium shoes too.

                                      Borium shoes in the back might be ok in your situation but I wouldn't use studs. The skidding marks are normal for a horse who's playing.
                                      Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Well clearly I am overreacting a bit about the grass. I was going to talk to my farrier at the next appointment. But I didn't think I would receive such a negative reaction from the board!

                                        Then I'm also interested to hear from those who live in the north. It was absolutely normal at every barn I boarded at for horses to have little borium studs in the heels. Your horse could not survive winter without them, especially the ice season starting in Feb/March. I had a horse who was re-shod while a long-term resident in the hospital and didn't require the studs. We brought him home before he was re-shod with studs and he literally almost wiped out on the ice. I couldn't get my farrier out fast enough! Granted, my horses always only had front shoes, so therefore studs only in the front.
                                        And those horses are turned out together, sometimes in big (20-30+) herds.

                                        Why would little studs for turnout on grass be any different than the studs for winter turnout?

                                        Originally posted by luvmytbs View Post
                                        My barefoot horses know exactly what to expect if they run around like maniacs in mud or wet grass. They know when to come to a "sliding stop" just before the fence line.
                                        This is what I was thinking. The first time he stopped, he almost crashed into the fence. Since then, it has appeared that he's learned the location where he should start applying the brakes.