Shoeing For Traction Without Damaging Trails And Pavement

Q: I have a new client with some Percherons who are used to pull a carriage. I use Borium for traction, but apparently the company they are contracted with is complaining that the Borium is marring the surface of the trail.

Does anyone out there have any ideas for what I can use instead of Borium that will still provide safe traction? I have not used studs, but imagine they would cause the same problem as the Borium.

I told my clients that I would ask around but that they might have to take the marring if they want the traction.

Maybe some of you draft horse shoers have a better answer.

— Jeremy

A: While I do not shoe draft horses, I read an article on the Disney drafts, who are shod in rubber-coated shoes to avoid damaging pavement. Many mounted patrol police use these, as well, for lighter horses.

I don’t know the brands. I do know they cost more (of course). I had a client interested in these shoes, but when he found out the price, he decided not to use them. At that time, my local farrier supply didn’t stock them but did have a supplier through which they could special-order them for me.

— Christine

A: I shod mules for many years at a carriage company in Charleston, S.C. We had to use rubber shoes for the same reason (to avoid marking up the street).

The two brands we used then were Smooth Walker and…

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