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

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ground Control Shoes - 12 week update

Today has been 6 weeks since the last reset of Daatje's front shoes and she was in definite need of a trim.  The shoes, which have been worn for a total of 12 weeks, were at the end of their useful life.  In my opinion, these plastic horseshoes wear equally as well as steel shoes. 

To prepare the new set of shoes, I had to mark and dremel out the nail channel a little to accommodate Daatje's white line. 
New GC Shoes marked for widening the nail channel.  I also noted where her steel shoes ended to give an idea of how much support I'd want to leave in the heel.
To help me out, I used an old pair of steel shoes that she had worn in the past.

I then marked the shoes for studs.  Being polyurethane, it is easy to install "Grip Studs" as you would for a tire or a hiking shoe.  I figure the time is not far away when we could be hunting in the morning on frosty grass, which would be very slippery without some traction assistance.
Marked for studs
Tiny "Grip Stud"
I drilled a small pilot hole and then used the special tool to screw in the studs.  I'm hoping these will perform like borium on a winter shoe.  They can be removed, if they don't work out, but I'm hopeful they will, as we're coming into the season where they'll be needed!
Four "Grip Studs" installed and ready to go.
So, that done, it was off to the barn to remove the old GC's and trim the mare up.  Here are photos of the 12 week old GC shoes next to their unused counterparts.

Left front, ground side.
Left front side view (heel at my fingertips, toe bottom of photo)

Left front, sole side.
Left front, heel view.
Right front, ground view.

Right front, solar view.

Right front, side view.

Right front, heel view.
12 weeks of being stomped on by 1400 lbs of Friesian, almost 100 miles of foxhunting in rocky terrain, hacking on pavement, slippery wet grass, mud, river crossings and they still had tread!  Ready to be replaced, but the performance completely met my expectations.  I'm very pleased.  She continues to move well, stay comfortable and confident!  I'm getting better at the application too, which certainly helps things along.

Here are some pictures of her fronts, freshly done.

Ok, a lot of pictures. :)  Hunting has been going smashingly well.  We've been consistently in the back of 1st field, jumping everything and keeping up 'till the end.  I honestly believe the shoes have played a major role in the success we've been having this season!  Thank-you Ground Control Horseshoes! :D


  1. You really got your money's worth out of those!! I'm impressed at how well they stood up. 200 miles of hunting? Holy crap!

    1. Holy Christmas, there's a reason why I use a calculator! (and stunk at math in school!) We've gone nearly 100 miles hunting this season, not 200. Yikes! Despite my bad math, they did hold up very well! I fixed the post to reflect the correct number. :P

  2. I so want to try these! I've talked to two of our farriers and they both say they won't last more than a week or two on our ground. What kind of terrain are you on? Rocky? Gravel? Or is it soft?

    1. I live in New Hampshire where the terrain is pretty demanding on shoes. Granite rocks, gravel roads and pavement were the majority of the surfaces these shoes were worn on. Daatje is not light on her feet either. She is tough on hoof applications. Your farriers sound like skeptics! :P If I can apply these, a fully trained farrier can certainly apply them. I get a full 6 weeks out of them before they need to be reset and another 6 weeks before they need to be replaced.

  3. Wow I am definitely impressed!! If I ever have to put shoes on Chrome for some reason I'm totally going to try these out. I'm glad they have made such a difference for you two. :D

    1. They're a great option! I'm sure they're not for every horse, but I'm so happy they work for Daatje. Definitely worth a try if you ever need shoes! :)