View Full Version : Yearling Show Shoes
03-23-2009, 08:52 AM
Hi! I have a really good farrier. He is good with lame horses, founder, etc... He does a great job with show horses. We just tell him what we want -pads, wedge, weight of shoe, etc... He does not traditional do Saddlebreds. He has gotten pretty good at shoeing them. We have yearling now in the barn that is going to be shown (a few times this summer). I need to give the farrier directions on to shoe him. Please note the horses conformation, movement, and angles are always considered in shoeing.
My questions is what weight of shoe, pad, no pad, etc.. would you recommend in general?
thank you for answering my question
03-23-2009, 05:17 PM
I think the best thing to do to start out is put some keg shoes on in front with a thin leather pad and maybe just a keg shoe behind. Keep him like this for several shoeings to let his feet grow out some. This will give the farrier more to work with when it comes time to trim and put show shoes on. The more hoof you have to work with, the less pad, wedge and/or weight you might need to apply. As his feet lengthen, you should see his motion start to change some. I would recommend the farrier you use watching or talking to one that has been doing show horses for a while so he can get a feel for what needs to be done. If that doesn't work, then have a farrier that does saddlebreds come and trim him once or twice to get him started in the right direction with the new shoes and such. Keep in mind that a lot of horses will move kind of strange as they get used to thier new shoes.
I hope this helps!
First, last, and every where in between, I would contact JWAikman on this site. He is the world's expert. I think he has some materials on this issue.
In general, you think about putting a plate (or a little more) and a pad on up front around May. You don't want a shoe on in March because the colt is growing and you want that foot to spread. In May, you can see how the colt does and add a little lead later to see what that does and then take it out until show time if it works. I might add that you may have to have new shoes made a time or two to keep the shoe slightly bigger than the foot and to keep it long enough to support the colt. I'd probably wait until about July 1 to put hind shoes on, just JMO.
This is JMO, but I have seen and and even catch shown some terribly timed yearlings. When people put too much on them or try to put stretchers and actions devices on, they get all funky timed and may never get good timing again. I would much rather see a square going yearling than a counterfeit who raises his front legs but is all out of time.
If the colt doesn't get his legs up with just a little weight, a pad and three months of shoes on, he shouldn't be shown because you have to have natural, square motion to do well and only God gives that to a yearling.
I would spend my time now making sure the colt is getting plenty to eat, leads from both sides, stands on all four feet -- even with a lot of distractions, and then teach him to park out by using an incline. I'd also work on getting him used to clippers, braiding, putting cuffs on his legs, washing his mane and tail, and maybe getting him used to a bustle. And if you plan to show him in Saddlebred classes, you better start your own road work and sprints. A yearling needs to be shown on a loose line with you leading. Believe me, they can move fast. If you can't stay in front of them, they will drag you all over the arena and look terrible doing it. (Been there, done that.)
JMO, of course, but based on showing many yearlings.
03-23-2009, 07:59 PM
What Sit said!
If you're going to show in yearling classes/futurities later this summer, I would not put shoes on now. We almost never put shoes on our yearlings til May for showing in August and September. This time of year, I wanted the foot to spread, the colt to grow and fill out. I'd bring them in to feed and work with daily, but I'd still turn them out every day til much later in the spring. I wanted them to be "horses" through March, run and play, interact with other colts and have fun...til I brought them into the barn, and then that was our "work time". After that, out they'd go again. Late in the spring we would start keeping them in during the day, work them in the early evening and turn them out at night. We did this until it got closer to the show and they had their actual show shoes on - then we mostly kept them up - but we still let them romp in the paddock a little after we worked them. This worked for the colts we showed at Louisville and All American.
You can fatten them up, train them to park and lead, get them in tip-top condition, grow a foot and put shoes on them, but only mother nature can give them a big trot and show horse attitude. Show colts are born, not made. Don't be too quick to put too much shoe on.
03-23-2009, 09:01 PM
Great advice Sit and Claire! Please don't rush the babies, either weanlings or yearlings! If you rush them now, you won't have anything in two years worth writing about.
03-24-2009, 07:27 AM
Again..Sit, Claire and Karen have hit it. I would just go plain keg shoes all round and build muscle on the colt. To me, his natural motion will improve with conditioning, all the while the light shoe will keep the foot in one piece. I personally wouldn't use a pad unless he has an unusually long foot, as natural is as natural does. I have the farrier add the pad much later in the training process. My farrier does hunters..we use natural angles with not a lot of foot..you cannot make motion but you can enhance it (ie open the trot or get a better fold). Again, I believe you cannot make motion, but you can use conditioning, miles of jogging (of course an older colt or horse to harness), but miles of walking or jogging in straight lines and build wind, leg and muscles. I find it fascinating when starting colts ( I have hackneys mind you..to me another strong motoined trotting breed) that you can have what I thought was an average motioned colt, take the time to build his chest and hind and he needs a much lighter shoe than I thought! I am a firm believer in shoeing ponies in a fairly light shoe, with a pad and then screwing in various leads. And only at home to get the right weight or postion (ie toe, heel, or center), then putting it in show day, then removing. It works great especially if there is a colt that might need a little more weight to ENHANCE his motion, but I don't want it there for day in and day out training. I remember in the "older days" ponies and horses with incredibly long feet and ten ton shoes..before having a good shoulder, hip, neck set on right ect is actually what gives motion was discovered or thought about. I agree with Sit (and have had fairly good show ring success) with a bright, animated, well set (can't beat a pretty headset) square horse. I had a pony I raised, stunning through the bridle, nice open motion, decent hocks and he was World Champion Junior Hackney Pony and went on to be "hard to get by" in good company. He was so darn square and pretty, you had to look at him. There were other ponies that could trot to the moon..but not an all together picture. Your colt will tell you where he can put his leg, err on the side of light weight, go for a well muscled, great weight, animated colt, and just add lead the day of the show. Take the lead out after, and voila, he can go out in the field and no worries of hurting himself in heavy shoes.
03-31-2009, 04:30 PM
Hi! Thank you for the information.
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