The chronicles of a Friesian mare who happened upon an owner who lives outside the show ring....

Monday, August 5, 2013

Daatje's new kicks

I've always been a believer that horses should be barefoot as long as they are able to comfortably meet the demands that life (and their people) put on them.  Daatje has been barefoot most of her life as I've only had her shod when I felt she needed to be.  She wore steel shoes in front from the spring of 2007 to the fall of 2007 and then again for the 2009 and 2010 foxhunting seasons (very wet years).  The drier 2011 and 2012 seasons were hunted barefoot, but this year, things are yet again very wet.  Combined with a change in diet (she's at my house now, out on grass, as opposed to the dirt lot at my parent's house) her hooves don't have the integrity that they've had in the past.

Just from the low level of activity during turnout, her fronts have been chipping out the quarters faster than they can grow in.  (I haven't been riding much for the past two months, due to the insane heat and humidity we've dealt with) If the hooves can't hold up to farting around in her paddock, certainly they won't be comfortable once we start hunting over the rocky New England trails! 

I wanted to try an alternative shoe (to steel or aluminum) as we do hack alot on pavement and I liked the idea of having full frog support, especially on a horse with a basically good foot that is used to going barefoot.

After reviewing the top three plastic shoes on the market, (Easywalkers didn't come large enough, Eponas had mixed reviews on the durability and traction and were more expensive) I decided to go with the Ground Control shoes in clear.

After having the shoes applied over a pack of Magic Cushion and the missing chunks of hoof filled in with Vettec Adhere, Daatje was immediately more comfortable.

Solar view of the Ground Control Shoes
Heel view
New kicks......
That evening I tacked her up and went for a 2.5 mile hack walk/trot/canter and she was floating on air.  Big trot, powerful canter with traction that was equal to bare hooves on pavement, gravel and turf.   

So far, I am very please with the Ground Control urethane horseshoes!  Hunt season starts August 14th (for us the following Saturday because I work M-F) and we have a hunter pace on August 17th, so hopefully she'll continue to move well in them and they'll provide her the protection she needs for the work I'm asking her to do. :)



  1. Interesting shoes, I have never seen those before.

  2. I had heard of them, but never used them on my horses. They've been around for over a decade. I've put a few rides on her in them and she feels great. I've got a hunter pace on the 17th which will be a great test to see how they'll do under more demanding conditions.

  3. I've never heard of them either. Is the shoes completely covering the bottom of her hoof? It's hard to tell in the picture. Does that lead to soft soles or thrush problems since they don't get air? Do they stay dry? I'm just curious about them lol. I'm so happy she feels better in them.

    Sorry I've been gone for a while. I find it hard to sit at the computer and read blogs in the summer lol. :) I'm trying to get caught up now!