Applied between the foot and the horseshoe, a stabilizer that is made from high-grade aluminum provides extra protection to parts of the hoof.
The stabilizer is not a solid plate, but has cutouts that leave enough metal to provide needed protection to both the frog and heel area. The rest of the foot is left open.
Popularity Quickly Spread
While the stabilizer was originally intended for use with harness horses, its use quickly spread to Thoroughbreds, jumpers and Quarter Horses. The advantage of a stabilizer over using a full pad is that a horse doesn’t lose all of its cup on the racetrack and the entire bottom of the foot doesn’t have to be covered with a full pad.
When used as a bar shoe, the stabilizer becomes a full support bar shoe since it covers the entire frog. When used for protection, the entire frog is protected. If it is used to transfer part of the weight-bearing load to the frog, then the entire frog is involved. Impression material may also be added between the frog plate and the frog to provide further support and protection.
Typical uses for the stabilizer would be to protect a tender heel, frog or sole. This can be done by transferring the load from the hoof wall to the frog and utilizing frog pressure to open contracted heels. The stabilizer will also greatly stiffen a light shoe, help prevent a shoe from stinging, spreading or springing.
A stabilizer can be used…