Ground Control Shoes for Jumping - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-19-2018, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Ground Control Shoes for Jumping

Hello! I've searched some about the Ground Control shoes, but I haven't really found anything about their effect and use for jumping horses. My old trainer used these shoes on all of our horses, but I didn't know why. I never saw any issues with them when we used them there, but my mare is being shod with regular steel shoes now and I was interested in maybe switching back.

Since my old trainer used them, and she thought they were great, I was thinking about going back to them. I'm not very knowledgeable about hooves and shoes, though, so I'm hoping to get the opinion of someone more knowledgable. I'll ask my farrier too, but I wanted to see if it was even worth bringing it up. A friend who was also at the old barn when we used these shoes boards at the same place I do, and she also was also wanting to go back to these shoes.


So, I was wondering if these shoes had any use for jumping horses, specifically hunters? Pros and cons? Or if there's a similar shoe that's better for a jumping horse?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 04:04 AM
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Hi,

I urge you, for the sake of your horse, to educate yourself on the topic of hooves & their health & function, including effects of shoes, etc. For one, your farrier might well be one of the good ones, but plenty aren't, and how are you to know if you... don't know? How do you know whether it's best to take his word for it, your trainer's, or someone here's, blindly, if we all have different opinions? To that end, the thread link in my signature is one good place to start.

Now to your question... Steel causes vibration shock when it impacts with hard surfaces. And peripheral loading rims(conventional shoes) cause a LOT of pressure on walls, while providing little support & no protection underneath the foot. Those are the 2 major reasons why I think conventional shoes are best avoided. *However, if you only ride on yielding footing, both of those effects are reduced/avoided.

Ground Controls, being plastic, have a dampening effect, causing reduced shock to the foot(& everything above it) on hard surfaces compared to metal. As they are flexible, 'wide web', so cover a greater area than just the periphery, allowing the sole to support/be supported. Aas they are mostly covering the frog and sole, they also provide protection under the foot, and esp if pour in pads are used, if the frog cannot be flush with the shoe, good support & stimulation for the frog.

So, if I were only riding on yielding footing, the horse had healthy, well functioning feet, so long as your horse is *well* trimmed & shod, not shod for too long etc, I don't have a huge issue with metal rims. Mind you, if they do have healthy feet & only worked on yielding footing, they're likely to be fine/better off barefoot anyway. Shoes can also increase grip, which is valuable for x-country or slippery terrain.

If however, your horse works/lives on harder ground, I would avoid metal rim shoes and consider plastic shoes such as these to be vital(if I couldn't use hoof boots, which can be problematic with jumping & grip for eg) if the horse needed artificial protection. *I really like the Eponas & Easyshoes far better than GC's, so look into them too if you haven't already.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 07:09 AM
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Interested in this thread because Harley has developed a crack on a front hoof. Since he also does Hunters (but only low jumps for now), my trimmer and I are concerned about it. She rasped it down on Thursday, just before he did a show on Saturday, and put some kind of epoxy in it to hopefully prevent any further separation. Harley is barefoot, and we'd like to keep it that way. If I DID have to put shoes on him, I'd pick anything over metal.

Barefoot horses actually have excellent grip on most types of jump course surfaces, and I'm sure @loosie would agree. Wet grass would probably be the exception, but on sand (which is the dominant type of surface here), barefoot gives the greatest amount of grip. We do find, however, that during growing heavy season, which also happens to be show season, we have to trim every 3 weeks to stay on top of his hooves. I don't mind in the least -- the cost of a trim is 30$ so not exactly breaking the bank. But have you considered barefoot @CharlotteThePenguin ? You do need a qualified barefoot trimmer to do it successfully.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 07:54 AM
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@CharlotteThePenguin , ditto @loosie :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Interested in this thread because Harley has developed a crack on a front hoof. Since he also does Hunters (but only low jumps for now), my trimmer and I are concerned about it. She rasped it down on Thursday, just before he did a show on Saturday, and put some kind of epoxy in it to hopefully prevent any further separation. Harley is barefoot, and we'd like to keep it that way. If I DID have to put shoes on him, I'd pick anything over metal.

Barefoot horses actually have excellent grip on most types of jump course surfaces, and I'm sure @loosie would agree. Wet grass would probably be the exception, but on sand (which is the dominant type of surface here), barefoot gives the greatest amount of grip. We do find, however, that during growing heavy season, which also happens to be show season, we have to trim every 3 weeks to stay on top of his hooves. I don't mind in the least -- the cost of a trim is 30$ so not exactly breaking the bank. But have you considered barefoot @CharlotteThePenguin ? You do need a qualified barefoot trimmer to do it successfully.
How long has Harley had the toe crack?

You probably have the best farrier available to you, and she sounds as if she honestly listens to you, as opposed to the "in one ear and out the other" that many of them do:)

Since You diligently have Harley trimmed every three weeks during the fast growth season, based on my own experiences with my horses, a balance issue has developed which is causing the foe crack.

Your trimmer may counter that she is trimming Narley the same as she always has but:

1. Maybe she isn't, possibly due to some pain issues of her own.

2. Maybe she is but some minute thing in Harley's structure and way of moving has changed, and it has changed his balance.

*****

My point being, my farrier has had neck pain for a very long time. She had surgery last December and commented last month that it didn't help. I have noticed the decrease in her trimming abilities seems to have gotten a bit worse.

I know she stopped trimming the horses who helped get her in this predicament in the first place. Since my horses are in forced retirement because I can't ride anymore, and I know how to trim, if the hooves need some help in between her five week visits, I will struggle through some rasping if I have to.

Have a kind and serious talk with your farrier regarding Harley's possible balance issue -- either brought on by her not trimming him quite right or by something changing with him as he gets up in years:)

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 08:09 AM
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Hi @walk! I don't want to hijack this thread but thanks for your reply! I'll keep it brief.

You're absolutely bang-on in your diagnosis :) It's like you know Harley. He wears very unevenly, which tells us he isn't stepping quite evenly. I feel this is partly due to his fitness level which could be better (DD and I have had that conversation), and partly due to his age (19). But also, because my trimmer, who is truly awesome, had to take several months off because of a surgery. Her apprentice was replacing her, and while she is sweet, she's also young and less experienced. I noticed more than once that the trims were uneven when she was doing them. Now that my regular trimmer is back, I think we can hopefully address this issue. This is only her second trim of my horses after she's returned to work, and she is really being proactive. She's trialing this new epoxy product on one of her own horses, and thought she'd try it on Harley too. The apprentice was only doing him every 6 weeks whereas my regular trimmer came the next day when I told her about the crack even though we weren't due for another couple of weeks (I told her we were doing a show Saturday). If there's anyone within a 100 mile radius who can stay on top of this issue, it's her.

I may just take pics of the hoof and post it in a separate thread so folks can see it. It's also a good way for me to monitor it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 10:14 AM
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Disclaimer-I am no hoof expert or claim to have any special knowledge that many of those who have replied before have. I also ride distance not jumping so this may not be applicable.

I would caution a little about plastic shoes. I know several people in the endurance community who have started using them and have had lameness issues due to the composite shoes. Apparently the extra traction (which can be great) isn't what the horses are used to and they can tweak their legs from the unexpected grip. Locally I know of 3 people in the last year who have had lameness problems due to composite shoes (not sure what brand and as I said before it might be due to the distances they are ridden in) who have gone back to steel or aluminum shoes from these problems. Before this happened I was wanting to switch to them (I mean they come in pink....!) but now I'm afraid to.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 12:41 PM
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We use Ground Control shoes on our Navicular mare. We trail ride up and down a lot of steep terrain. We chose them over steel shoes for their shock absorption as well as flexibility - these shoes really helped open up her heels and made her toe stab less. Yes, they are more "grippy" which we did not find to be a bad thing as sometimes the grass on a trail may be slippery if damp or wet.

To be honest I know nothing about jumpers or what arena conditions are like but would think loose soil, ag lime or whatever would not cause too much grippiness because the arena itself is loose for several inches.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses!


We do all of our jumping in a sand arena. We also do a lot of trail riding around the barn, through the woods, etc, so I want to make sure she doesn't slip, especially when it's wet. Now, all we do is walk on the trails. They're not well-kept enough to do anything else.

There's nothing wrong with her right now, but she's been on the shoes before and been fine, so I just don't know if it will help her in the long run to start wearing plastic shoes vs the metal shoes she has on right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
To that end, the thread link in my signature is one good place to start.

If however, your horse works/lives on harder ground, I would avoid metal rim shoes and consider plastic shoes such as these to be vital(if I couldn't use hoof boots, which can be problematic with jumping & grip for eg) if the horse needed artificial protection. *I really like the Eponas & Easyshoes far better than GC's, so look into them too if you haven't already.

She's stalled during the day (since it's summer) and turned out at night. I'm not a big fan of the pastures, as most of them are just dirt, but the BO is working on fixing the grassy pastures so the horses can be turned out on those as well. I would consider it harder ground that she goes out on. The arena's fine and her stall has plenty of cushioning, but the pastures aren't the best.

I'll definitely take a look at the thread link and look into the other shoe types.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Barefoot horses actually have excellent grip on most types of jump course surfaces, and I'm sure loosie would agree. Wet grass would probably be the exception, but on sand (which is the dominant type of surface here), barefoot gives the greatest amount of grip. We do find, however, that during growing heavy season, which also happens to be show season, we have to trim every 3 weeks to stay on top of his hooves. I don't mind in the least -- the cost of a trim is 30$ so not exactly breaking the bank. But have you considered barefoot @CharlotteThePenguin ? You do need a qualified barefoot trimmer to do it successfully.
She's been barefoot for a few weeks and seemed to do okay, but her hooves get cracks around the edges when she goes out. I was out there this morning and should've taken pictures, but I didn't think about it. They're only on the back feet since she's shod up front. I'll take pictures tomorrow to show what I'm talking about, because they're not really cracks, per se, but more of just rough edges. She doesn't seem to be affected by it at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenofFrance08 View Post
I would caution a little about plastic shoes. I know several people in the endurance community who have started using them and have had lameness issues due to the composite shoes. Apparently the extra traction (which can be great) isn't what the horses are used to and they can tweak their legs from the unexpected grip. Before this happened I was wanting to switch to them (I mean they come in pink....!) but now I'm afraid to.
She's worn them before and been fine, so I'm not too worried about her going lame. Plus, we don't ride for as long as endurance riders do. But, you brought up good points, so thank you for responding!
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Interested in this thread because Harley has developed a crack on a front hoof. ...and put some kind of epoxy in it to hopefully prevent any further separation.
You could start a thread & post pics if you want some specific opinions here on it. As to epoxy preventing further cracking, it can't. Rasping in such a way as to remove pressure from underneath will help, and pinning the surface together with a brace can help, IF the mechanics at the bottom are also addressed, but filling the gap with epoxy, or scoring the hoof with a horizontal cut or an 'x'(I still see this being don't by some farriers) does nothing to prevent mechanics acting against the compromised wall.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenofFrance08 View Post
I know several people in the endurance community who have started using them and have had lameness issues due to the composite shoes. Apparently the extra traction (which can be great) isn't what the horses are used to and they can tweak their legs from the unexpected grip.
I can see how extra grippiness could absolutely cause problems. I cannot see how plastic shoes could possibly cause this though. They just don't give that much more grip, aside from possibly on concrete or hard(not broken) stone, where steel is particularly slippery. Glued on hoof boots should have the same effect if that were a problem. I have never heard of the issue(of course I'm far from omniscient, but do try to know what's going on...). Therefore, I would be interested in further info on this if you have it, & yes, you should absolutely be considerate of this possibility, but I strongly suspect there's some other reason for lameness & it's just been put down to the shoes.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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