I wouldnt put them on any horse I was planning on actually riding. Had the ground control on for 1 day and called my farrier to come get them off, stone bruise and absess in the making. These act like flip flops and get rocks in them. The also get rocks wedged in them that work up under the shoe, so you end up with rocks between the sole and the shoe. These things totally suck to the point of being dangerous.
There is a reason metal horse shoes have been around for over a thousand years, they work. Another alternative for some horses is boots like renegades or easy boots. Don't get suckered in by snakeoil salesmen.
Joe, id submit that your 24 hours of use was not fully thought through and you threw the baby out with the bathwater. If it was a metal shoe that has been sprung, would you have swore off metal shoes forever or simply applied bell boots and set the back toe back a bit to discourage overreaching?
I've used them for a long time here in the appalachian mnts which is full of rocks and gravels since the park liked to gravel everywhere with minimal issues. So have many many other people as well. These are not that new of a shoe.
It is true that a few horses will overreach and cause a flip flop like effect on a flexible rubber shoe but bell boots are your friend. So are pourin pads like the Vettec products. How you shoe depends on the horse and where you live. Sprung metal shoes can really cause some issues as well which is ALSO cause by overreaching interestingly enough only metal can't just spring back to where its supposed to be. Metal bends and can even pull part of the shoe, cause the horse to step on a toe clip or nails and puncture the sole or other awful issues even with the best shoeing. Metal shod horses can and do still get stone bruising unless you use pads. It isn't the fault of the shoe.
They are def not "snake oil" since they actually do work as intended within their realm of use.
Your one instance of a problem from 24 hours of use because you did not then after apply bell boots, trim the back of the rubber shoe down or trim the back foot so that the horse could not overreach or use a pour in pad or nailer pad or whatever the problem turned out to be is purely anecdotal and solvable.
Nothing to do with needing bell boots, quite a few people had the same issue with these, rocks get wedged between the shoe and the bar then forced up under the shoe. Also the back of the shoe isnt nailed on and can flip down, again getting a bunch of debri under them. I don't need to use something over and over again to see that it is a poor product likely to injure your horse. The snake oil salemen sell you this product, then expect you to buy a bunch of other products to make up for the fact that they are a bad product. So now I need bell boots and pour in epoxyies equiraps and all kinds of other doodads. Hey I have a better idea, just don't use em.
^Not speaking from experience of these shoes at all, but could it just be a case of, as with virtually everything else under the sun, that it's not a 'one size fits all' and in your particular situation perhaps they weren't a good option?
You are correct Loosie, but more so on the attitude. Having seen the improvements a flexible shoe can garner for some horses, the few drawbacks are worth the effort. Also, most horses do not have these issues that use them around me. Just like with metal shoes. Some need extra effort, some don't. Interesting isnt it?
They are not one size fits all option, but they ARE a great option in some cases no matter what this expert who used them for 24 hours total by his own admission says. He didn't even try to fix the issue that WAS fixable, he just dismissed it...Its very scientific I see.
I would again simply have to submit that if a rock had gotten wedged in between a metal shoe
or his horse had sprung a metal shoe
If he would have just dismissed them so easily because of one problem. My gues sif he would have figured out a solution. Metal shoes are common and have been around a long time because its ALL we HAD lol We used wood and leather and all kinds of other things in the infancy of shoeing a horse but they wore out faster than metal.
We keep evolving and moving forward and inventing new things and learning more stuff. Common sense and history says we will eventually come up with superior materials and ways of doing things that have been done the same way a long time. Its a fact. *shrug* You don't have to like it. The old school ways die hard but they do eventually die or change. New generations will breed it out and become accepting of different and new things anyway. Its how humans work. Kinda like women voting and slavery....Eventually society accepts the change.
Thats what snake oil salesmen do. Oh and it wasnt one horse, it was 5 horses in 3 different states. We actually had a vendor do a demo, I asked how many refunds she had issued in the last 90 days and didnt even get a response. She also made the statement that every thrush or hoof product on the market except the ones she sold are bad, mustang rolls are bad, they are on horses that walk 20 miles a day and "we don't do that to our horses". Umm excuse me but I do, so basically if your horses have injuries or are using them for therapy, I can see a place. But if you actually ride your horse outside an arena, or on terrain where they couldnt just as easily be barefoot these things are dangerous. I am not talking about odd ball boulders, I am talking plain old marble sized crush and run type gravel that is on trails everywhere.
Had this person simply presented his personal results and acknowledged that there were ways to prevent the problems that he didnt opt to do (minus the personal vendetta -now its more horses and not just 24 hours? Get your story straight) he would have came across as reasonable. The pictures I posted are only one incident. Shoot, I have had regular gravel wedge in between a metal shoe and the frog/bar area before causing a nasty bruise and even wear away sole before they were found. It happens. Often. Lets not even talk about riding on asphalt with metal shoes, borium or not. They have distinct downfalls also. I don't believe that makes them any less valid either.
Rubber shoes have really helped so many horses with so many problems around me, even outside of hoof problems - like older arthritic horses that can't be comfortable any other way and have earned a comfortable retirement, that his statement was not only ignorant, but offensively stated and even combative. What did he expect?
I had them on for a day, others put them on at about the same time, and had same experience. Oh and in that day I did put about 18 miles on them, which is probably alot more than many of the horses using these see all summer. There are many products on the market, some work, some don't, some I find silly, some are vastly over priced, generally I figure to each his own. But if someone wants advice on a peice of gear, training aid, or device that I know for a fact is dangerous and can cause injury I'm going to let people know. I think if you read my posts I mentioned a possibilty of usefullness in therapy. Helping an arthritic horse has nothing to do with distance trail riding on gravel .
I just clicked on your profile and see your profession. Evidently you have a commercial interest in these things, which kinda explains your reactions and attempts to discredit the only person on here with experience with these things.
To anyone considering ground control shoes, don't pay for them until you have ridden in them awhile, also get a guarantee that dealer/ farrier, will come back and remove them free, oh and carry a hoof pick with you and stop every mile or so to get the rocks out.
As always, it just seems to me that it's a case of understanding and considering the CONS as well as the pros of a product/approach, so you can make an informed decision as to if/how to use it. At the risk of stating the obvious, virtually everything(with the obvious exception of metal rims) 'fails' for some people/horses & some situations at least, but that doesn't necessarily mean the whole idea is rotten & should be scrapped.
Anyway, while you don't agree with the way eachother has put it, as someone with no personal experience of ground control or other plastic shoes, you've both given me some more food for thought of the pros & cons, thank you! I hope this helped you have a little more understanding about it too OP.
Oh & with regards to doing big/rough miles in plastic shoes, how do they compare for longevity/wear with steel or with hoof boots?