Leading Studs and Kits
Studs are designed to add grip for horse or pony on various surfaces. Studs are traditionally used on outdoor, perhaps slippery surfaces such as grass but are increasingly used now on indoor surfaces. Studs can potentially make the difference between making that winning tight turn in the jump off or not, or perhaps even give a rider a psychological edge by reassuring him or her that their horse or pony has sufficient grip.
Studs are typically screwed directly in to horse shoes that have been prepared by the farrier with threaded holes ready to accept studs. There are some newer versions of studs to the market that work with specific shoes where the stud can snap in to the shoe, designed to make installation and removal quicker and easier. Most shoes have two holes to accept studs but some people riders particularly professional riders like more holes to provide options to where studs can be located, perhaps due to the conditions of the day or even the way the course has been designed.
Horse studs come in a variety of shapes and lengths to suit the type of ground you will be riding on. As a general rule fatter studs which have a large surface area such as the large square or squared dome studs are better suited to boggier soft, wet slippery ground. For typical good going grass, not too wet or too dry, or a deep fibre type indoor surface go with a standard large pointed stud. When on firmer dry grass go with a long, slimmer pointed stud. In sand schools where the sand is quite loose or grass that is quite firm but well-watered, maybe go with a smaller dome type stud which doesn’t penetrate too far but still adds some grip.
Harder ground could be suited better to smaller pointier studs that will penetrate the ground better. There are also hybrid studs on the market, for example studs that start quite chunky towards the top but taper to quite a point towards the bottom, these are designed for grass surfaces that are actually quite dry but have just had a downpour making them soft and wet on the surface but hard underneath.
There is just as much to think about in terms of the position and configuration of your studs. This really is down to what works for you over time and experience but like most things it’s also worth having a chat with other riders who use studs and gauge what works well for them. If you consider there are a lot of potential options, riders may like their studs just on the outside holes, perhaps just on the rear shoes, perhaps larger studs on the outside and smaller studs on the inside holes. If your pushing yourself on a surface, perhaps your show jumping or doing cross country, it’s probably best to go with the larger stud which is acceptable for that particular surface to get maximum grip.
It’s often considered that using two studs in each shoe provides a level weight bearing for the horse, this putting less uneven strain on joints and ligaments. Remember that inside studs run the risk of catching or brushing the inside of the opposite leg. You could potentially use a smaller blunter stud on the inside to help alleviate this. Also holes in rear shoes are best positioned further back to help avoid over reaching injuries from studs.
Because of the varieties of surfaces, it is probably best to have a few options on hand in the form of a stud kit which stocks a variety of studs to cover various surface types. Other stud tools you will need to invest in is a stud spanner to install and remove your studs, a stud tap to screw in and clean the threads in the shoes, stud plugs to insert into the holes in shoes to help keep dirt out.
It is recommended you keep your studs clean, oiled to avoid rusting. Overall keep your complete stud kit organised, clean and ready for use. Another very useful product is the Magnetic stud tray, keeps them off the floor and clean, also very useful to help avoid looking for a loose stud you have kicked under the horse box.
If you require any further advice on studs or any other equestrian product we supply please drop us a line.