Using studs in your horse’s shoes can improve confidence, especially on tricky going, but by using the wrong type of studs can have disastrous consequences due to potential for injury through twists, strains and other injuries.
In this blog we will be explaining what type of studs to use on what terrain and showing what we have to make studding up easier on those stressful competition mornings.
If you find your horse has a tendency to slip on certain going, then adding studs is the obvious next step. It is very important for every rider to understand that a little slipping of the hoof when they land on a surface is natural and an important part of the normal function of the forelimbs in absorbing concussion. Studs prevent this from happening, leading to increased forces going up the leg so it is vital that studs are only used when absolutely necessary.
Many farriers recommend having a pair of studs in each shoe to maintain medial lateral foot balance but again this is down to personal preference.
Generally speaking, the more pointed studs are designed to be used when the ground is hard and/or slippery and the square, dome and bullet-shaped studs are designed for use when the going is soft.
Some of the studs we stock, such as SupaStuds are hybrid, for example their Medium Conical and Large Conical are designed to help when the ground is mixed or difficult to gauge. This can happen when there has been heavy rain on top of hard ground as can be the case over the summer months. People generally use the same studs in the front shoes as behind, or slightly large ones in the hind shoes – never the other way round. If you have two stud holes in each shoe then we would recommend either using the same in the inside hole and the outside, or slightly smaller ones on the inside to reduce the risk of the horse striking itself with the stud.
The general rule for the size of studs to use on each horse would be that, the smaller the horse/pony, the smaller the stud to use. The impact of a large stud on a smaller, lighter animal will be more extreme than on a heavier animal. The studs that we consider suitable for the smaller horses and ponies from the SupaStud range would be: Original Road, Small Conical, Mini Sharp, Polo and Dressage.
The type of activity will also affect your choice in studs. For tight turns at speed, such as a show-jumping jump off, you might go for slightly larger studs than you would use on the same ground for less-demanding activities.
Along with the studs, there are many things which you will also need in your stud kit. When studs are being used, you will need to plug them with Cotton Stud Plugs to prevent stones from getting into the hole making it harder to clean out for use. Whilst you’re cleaning out your stud hole, it is handy having a Cleaning Tap to hand to clean the thread in the hole before use, a spanner (the adjustable ones are ideal). For the younger horses who might be more fidgety, we have available the Liveryman Stud Safety Tap which is very similar to a cleaning tap however it has a flat base and therefore if the horse stamps down, there is less chance of any damage to both the horse and the tap.
As with any competition, preparation and organisation is key. To make studding less stressful on the day, get your horse used to studding up prior to the event and we would also recommend putting blanks in before travelling so it’s quick and easy once you have arrived.