Shoe bands

I reluctantly support banding shoes where the hoofwall is weakened and a band will hold a shoe and pad in place when otherwise the horse’s hoof wall is constantly having to be repaired/rebuilt and an otherwise good horse cannot be shown or is possibly injured because of hoof wall separation.   I shoe my own show horses so I have some idea of the difficulties of keeping a horse up in show shoes and pads (although I would never claim to be an expert farrier).    I see some bands on park and pleasure horses now, but not nearly as many as were predicted when they were first allowed. 

Rae, I have seen some horses who did not react much when gingered, and I have seen others start to shake when they knew what was coming.   As I discussed at length last year, my objection to gingering is that the horse cannot alleviate the discomfort by changing position or complying with the aids (a basic principle of training), but must instead continue in pain or discomfort until the ginger wears off.    There is much worse abuse, but my concern is that heightened public awareness and condemnation of any practice that clearly puts an animal in discomfort is a distinct possibility due to YouTube, etc.  There is also a “yuck” factor if you will; “You mean you people put hot peppers up your horse’s anus!  How can you do that!!!!”    Morgans do not need gingering, and it will take courage from a top exhibitor or trainer, and a judge who marks down clearly gingered horses to end the practice.

2 Responses to Shoe bands

  1. leslie says:

    Out of all the saddle seat horses with bands, how many do you think are doing it because of some kind of hoof wall weakness or separation? If stricter shoeing regulations came about, how many people would actually be unable to show their horses anymore because they could no longer have bands?

    I know embarassingly little about farrier science, but when horses in other sports have weak hooves, they turn to glue-on shoes, right? I’ve never heard of a horse whose only option was to wear shoes with bands.

    By the way, that’s one of the more compelling arguments against ginger that I’ve heard. I’d never thought about it like that before.

  2. Thank you, Leslie, and you make a very valid point about shoe bands. I was sort of leaning over backward to try to be reasonable about shoeing in our breed. I have to agree that horses got along w/out bands for years, and I expect the unlimited weight allowed now in some divisions has led to a need for shoe bands.
    Weight on shoes is a funny thing. After working with our 3 year old filly all summer with a heavier shoe, her increased ability to move under herself and drive from the back end resulted in the rear shoes clearly being too heavy, so I switched to st.croix keg shoes and she is moving higher now than with the “show” shoes. So, less is often more.
    Question: If every horse in the ring is laboring under too long a toe or too heavy a shoe, how do you pick out the best moving horse?

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