The following excerpt is reprinted from the article Sport Horses with permission from the American Farriers Journal. Originally published in the July/August 2012 Hoof Care For The Performance Horse: An AFJ Special Report, the author of the article is Red Renchin, Technical Editor for American Farriers Journal. The full report can be purchased by visiting the AFJ website at www.americanfarriers.com.
Article: What Top Farriers Use
Most sport horses, except for show hunters, will compete in steel shoes on their front feet. Ideally, show hunters move long and low with minimum knee action, so they are shod with lightweight aluminum shoes. Steel shoes are used behind in all the disciplines.
Joy Ream owns Palm Beach Farrier Supply in Wellington, Fla. She is widely known for procuring whatever her customers want. During the winter months, the best sport horses in the country flock to Wellington to compete. The farriers who shoe them also come. Many of them go to Joy’s place to buy their supplies. I asked her what they are buying.
The Kerckhaert DF is the overwhelming favorite for shoeing the front feet on jumpers, dressage and eventing horses in sizes 1 through 6. SX-8 clipped are often used on smaller feet.
A perimeter fit is used when the angles of the feet are 52 degrees or higher and a set-back blunter toe when the angle is lower. For the horses with lower angles, the Kerckhaert Classic Roller and the Mustad Equilibrium are preferred; with the Natural Balance shoe a distant third.
The choice of a toe clip or a side clip on the front shoes is still a personal one, but the trend seems to be that even some of the diehard side clip users are switching to toe clips. If you do use toe clips, it is essential you learn how to set them into the wall properly or your toes will start running forward on you. Side-clipped shoes, either factory made or with clips hand-drawn, are the norm for hind shoes.
For hunter fronts, there is a dead heat between the St. Croix Eventer Plus and Kerckhaert’s new Century Support shoe.
The Werkman hinds were the shoes of choice for the hind feet. This has changed now that Kerckhaert has come out with the DF Select. Farriers who were using the Werkman are now switching to the DF Select in significant numbers.
In the nail department, the Delta E4 slim, E5 slim and E6 slim currently lead the pack. They are being threatened, though, by the Liberty line of nails. Ream expects them to dominate next year.