Studs: Placement Is The Key

They’ll add traction and improve performance — so long as you know where to put them

Most farriers have had experience using studs at some point in their career; be it for winter traction, or for a performance aspect. However, stud placement is a bit subjective and — to some degree — I feel that some of us don’t have a clue as to where they should be placed.

Anyone who shoes routinely with studs doesn’t even have to think about proper placement. Instead, they implicitly know where to place them for optimum performance.

These are a few things that should be adhered to:

  1. Always drill and tap for four studs. If the owner opts to use three, that falls on them, not on you as a farrier. It can limit your liability in the event of lameness, as you can say that the shoe would accommodate four studs and thereby you didn’t create a situation of imbalance by forcing the owner to use just three.
  2. I personally don’t supply studs, nor will I install them in the shoe (this does not apply to drive-in studs). This type of traction aid should not be left in from shoeing to shoeing. Rather they should be inserted prior to the horse beginning to work, and removed afterward.
  3. Always provide some packing material (cotton, rubber inserts, set screws, etc.) to keep the threads clean and easy to use. Supplying the barn with a hand tap (bottom tap) is useful in cleaning out the studs holes, but can lead to real nasty injuries if the tool in inserted too far…
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Nicholas denson 2019

Nicholas B Denson

Nicholas B. Denson is a Sagamore Beach, Mass., farrier specializing in therapeutic and performance hoof-care.

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