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Standardbred Shoes » Tips from the Pros
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Standardbred Race Horses

Tips from the Pros

There are two types of Standardbred racing gaits. The Trotter moves in a diagonal beat, with a front leg and opposite side hind leg moving in rhythm. The Pacer moves front leg and hind leg of one side in unison. The challenge for farriers shoeing these horses is to balance the shoeing and shoe choice in a way that helps keep the horse moving at a maximum speed in their respective gaits. Different track surfaces require shoes with different features. Because the shoes are very light, and the horses train and race frequently, it forces the shoeing cycle of these horses to be much shorter than riding horses and even Thoroughbred race horses.



Extra hold

By Steve Stanley, HoofBeats

Sometimes people wonder why I use clips on a horseshoe. A well-made and correctly fitted clip can dramatically reduce the stress the nails place on the hoof wall. I have used clips on hinds of many horses, just because they had a very powerful rear end. Conway Hall, Donato Hanover, and Miss Easy all fit that category, and wore clips on hind shoes at one time or another. As far as stabilizing the shear forces that come to bear on the shoe, one clip is equal to two nails. Very often I will use a toe-clipped hind shoe with only four nails. This can significantly reduce the wear and tear on hoof walls. Kerckheart Shoe Company now manufactures most of the hind race shoes with a toe clip. [more]


Quick Change

By Steve Stanley, HoofBeats

Much of the summer and fall, horses are racing on different tracks from one race to the next. Racetrack surfaces can vary greatly, requiring shoe changes. Sometimes two tracks that you think should be alike will fool you. For example – two limestone one-mile tracks are not necessarily going to be equal. Experienced trainers have raced all over North America and have learned the tendencies of each track. This knowledge is invaluable when shipping a horse to a certain track for the first time in order to compete in a big race. [more]