Steel vs. Aluminum Shoes? - Page 2
 
 

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Steel vs. Aluminum Shoes?

This is a discussion on Steel vs. Aluminum Shoes? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Horse more knee action with shoes
  • Steelnor aluminum shoes for hunter horses

 
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    06-03-2009, 05:29 PM
  #11
Weanling
I agree smrobs. It just makes me mad to think that people give bad or unnecessary advice just to be rude. I'm glad that there are places like these forums to help gather information from people that actually want to help out.
     
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    06-03-2009, 07:05 PM
  #12
Green Broke
The ladies at your barn may be annoying but it is not BS. Aluminums are lighter and the majority of horses do move at least slightly better with them as opposed to steels because generally you get a floatier movement with less knee action. Imagine if you were walking around with light shoes on, and then imagine what it would feel like if you had really heavy shoes on. Your legs would go more up and a little less out (hence more knee action). There isn't a huge weight difference but it is enough to affect a horse's movement. If I remember correctly you show hunters, right? Remember in hunters movement is very important! They won't change a terrible mover into a great one but but it can help a horse that gets 2nds and 3rds win the hack. One of the horses I'm showing just got steels put on and he was a pretty nice mover before. Now? Eh. He's just ok. Most of the better movers I know are in aluminums (i'm talking people who show frequently and/or go to rated shows). Yes, they are more expensive but if it can help their horse move better and win the hack? Lots of people are willing ot pay more. Whether or not you are willing to pay extra for it is totally dependent on how important it is to you! If you're happy with steels and fine with 2nds and 3rds and/or don't want to pay extra? I'd say stick with the steels. If you were showing a lot and trying to find ways to ribbon higher in the hack, I'd say try the aluminums. Don't feel pressure from some obnoxious women at the barn!
Also, yes, aluminums do wear down faster then steel but not so fast that they're on a different shoeing schedule then others. Every single horse at our barn gets their feet done every 6 weeks no matter what they wear and the aluminums hold up just fine. Our farrier makes all of them though, I don't know if that makes a difference. The keg aluminums might be thinner, don't know!
Anyways, I've never met a horse that does worse with aluminums. It's always at least the same as steel, but usually better. All the horses I know who switched from aluminums to steel do not move as well as they did before.
     
    06-03-2009, 07:44 PM
  #13
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishRider    
Spyder, let me ask you this....was the difference in your horses gaits noticeable enough to make you place higher in shoes, etc. I ask this because that is the sole reason these ladies at the barn are all of a sudden telling me that I need to do it. One of them even said "Maybe you would start getting first instead of seconds and thirds". B! Last time I looked second and third wasn't bad, and this coming from a lady that HAS aluminums and places no higher than fifth every time. (ok my rant is over).
Hard to say but as posted here.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by upnover    
The ladies at your barn may be annoying but it is not BS. Aluminums are lighter and the majority of horses do move at least slightly better with them as opposed to steels because generally you get a floatier movement with less knee action. Imagine if you were walking around with light shoes on, and then imagine what it would feel like if you had really heavy shoes on. Your legs would go more up and a little less out (hence more knee action). There isn't a huge weight difference but it is enough to affect a horse's movement.
I do believe I got a better quality movement but it was done originally becuse of the seedy toe and mine were designed much like barrel racing shoes for better grip. I figured I just got an extra benefit out of it.

It was my farrier that suggested it and I also got a discount as they were the only shoes he wore after. I was also very careful where I rode him and again because of his underlaying condition I stay away from hard or sandy type of ground.

Although a lot of knee action should not be discriminated against I personally know it often is.
     
    06-03-2009, 10:37 PM
  #14
Green Broke
I had aluminum shoes on my OTTB mare for as long as she was competing. She never had anything else. Now that she's retired, she's barefoot. She has surprisingly good feet for a TB.

My 3/4 TB 1/4 Shire was barefoot for most of her life until last year when we started jumping consistently. And even then, she only has fronts. At first, we tried the aluminums (she had frog support pads as well. The farrier said she needed more heel) and she burned through them too quickly. He could never reuse the shoe for another shoeing. So we switched her to steel (still with the pads). At first, I hated them. They made her gait choppy. But then we took the pads off when she had a good enough heel but kept the steel shoes and found that it was actually just the pads that were making her gait choppy. Now she has a great gait with the steel shoes and she's not burning through them as quickly. Keep in mind that this horse had size 3 feet!


ETA: the draft X has quite a bit of knee action and the steel shoes haven't affected that at all.

I think it totally depends on the horse and what the horse is expected to do.
     
    06-04-2009, 06:49 PM
  #15
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Although a lot of knee action should not be discriminated against I personally know it often is.
Depends on what discipline you're in! I don't know a lot about desired movement for dressage horses but I do know that a horse that's considered to be a good dressage mover isn't necessarily a good mover in the hunter world, and I think knee action has a lot to do with it (not positive on that one though). A good hunter should have an efficient long ground covering sweepy stride that doesn't waste energy/length of stride by going "up", you want it to go "out". The purpose of a hack class is to determine the suitability of a good horse out in the hunt field: long efficient stride, quiet and pleasant ride, etc. Whereas (from what I hear) dressage people want more suspension, and I'd have to think a little knee action would be ok.


Question, how common are aluminums in the dressage or eventing world? They're a dime a dozen in the hunter world. The bigger the show, the more common they are.
     
    06-04-2009, 07:05 PM
  #16
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by upnover    
Depends on what discipline you're in! I don't know a lot about desired movement for dressage horses but I do know that a horse that's considered to be a good dressage mover isn't necessarily a good mover in the hunter world, and I think knee action has a lot to do with it (not positive on that one though). A good hunter should have an efficient long ground covering sweepy stride that doesn't waste energy/length of stride by going "up", you want it to go "out". The purpose of a hack class is to determine the suitability of a good horse out in the hunt field: long efficient stride, quiet and pleasant ride, etc. Whereas (from what I hear) dressage people want more suspension, and I'd have to think a little knee action would be ok.
In dressage some knee action is fine but too much (aka like hackney is accepted but with reluctance by many judges). I basically didn't want the way my horse moved to be changed in any way as it was both comfortable and just the right mixture of flat vs knee action.


Quote:
Originally Posted by upnover    
Question, how common are aluminums in the dressage or eventing world? They're a dime a dozen in the hunter world. The bigger the show, the more common they are.
I would say fairly rare. Most prefer the standard flat shoe. I just found that the FLAT shoe tended to cause slippage to my half arab's stride and the barrel racing one gave more gripe and the aluminum allowed my horse its most natural movement.

My present horse has normal steel flat shoes and his feet are a farriers dream. Correct in size,wear and toughness. Even the back wjite feet are strong and sturdy so no reason to do anything special. I had him barefoot doing medium level dressage until he was 8 when I started serious jumping.
     
    06-05-2009, 11:53 AM
  #17
Weanling
I'm just kind of torn. I wonder if maybe I shouldn't try it for the next show and see if it makes an improvement and if it doesn't just switch back to steel. Is it a bad thing to switch between the two?
     
    06-05-2009, 01:21 PM
  #18
Green Broke
I agree with Spyder. A horse's movement (such as knee action) shouldn't be changed by the shoe.
     
    06-05-2009, 04:21 PM
  #19
Showing
If you are interested in trying it out just to see if it makes a difference, it shouldn't be that big of a deal. Just consider if you are willing to shell out the dough to have them set and if you don't like it, have the steel re-set. There is absolutely no harm in trying. :)
     
    06-05-2009, 05:25 PM
  #20
Weanling
So EventerDrew, you are saying that the way my horse isn't going to be changed just because of a different shoe? I just want to make sure I understand your comment correctly. :)

Good point smrobs about being ready to change the shoes if I don't like them.
     

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