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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Revisiting the Urethane Horseshoes

Foxhunting season is upon us (hooray!) and it is ever more imperative that I protect my horses hooves.  We're still using the Ground Control horseshoes and on our second season with them.  They hold up fairly well (I get 10-12 weeks out of a shoe) and have a nice balance of traction (with Grip Studs!) and shock absorbtion.  They do tend to collect dirt and debris under the web and frog protector, which is very difficult to clean out.  The last reset, I cut out the frog protector, which really helped with the dirt entrapment, but reduced the protection for her foot. 

We travers some very rocky areas and often at speed.  So, I decided this time around to try packing around her frogs with Magic Cushion, filling in the rest of the void with oakum fiber and then adding a 4 Heavy leather pads to the package.

Ground Controls set up with pads and studs
I hope to acheive a few things with the addition of the leather pads.  First and foremost is increased protection for her soles over rocks.  Also, with the packing and additional coverage of the pads, I hope to keep much of the dirt and debris from getting stuck under the shoes in places that I can't clean out.

I put these on her yesterday and she seems really happy with them so far.  We have a hunt up in Tamworth, NH this coming Saturday, so that will be a good test as, if I recall, there was some serious granite up there!


Nails farthest back were holding shoe and pad together for application.  They were pulled out before the job was completed.
 I'm pretty please with how they turned out.  We'll see how well they hold up! :)  Also interested to see if the Magic Cushion will improve the hoof quality over time.  Packed with that has to be better than packed with bacteria laden dirt. :)


  1. I've been trying to work with our farrier here to get a set put on my Friesian. So far I can't convince him to work with me on this - he's too good of a farrier to let go. I'm going to keep trying though!

    1. Have you asked him what his concerns are? I can understand some farriers are reluctant to try new things, especially on clients horses! :) I would be interested (If I were you) to know the reasons behind your farrier's reluctance to use these on your horse. Does he not think they'll stay on? Hold up? Provide enough traction? Too much traction? Having used them for a year and a half now, they do stay on as long as you use bent #10 washers in conjuction with City Head Slim 5 nails. No washers, and the nail heads pull through the urethane material. They do trap dirt, but using leather pads and packing (so far) seems to alleviate that issue. For riding on turf, Grip Studs are necessary (2 in heels minimum, 2 toe/2 heel better) or you'll be slipping and sliding. Wet turf especially. Keep working on him. Maybe he'll give it a try! :)

  2. Will the leather affect moisture balance to the frog or anything? I've never used pads so I don't know how they work, but I would think leather would hold in moisture and make her frog soft and tender (obviously that would adjust in time when she goes back barefoot, I'm just curious). If you feel like explaining pads to clueless me I would appreciate it. :D I hope the set up worked for the hunt!