May 8, 2011

The Studs Are Here!

Sadly, no, not that kind.

Friday was a busy day. Solo and I met with P to review the Training Level dressage test we'll be doing in Virginia. It started ugly, with Solo insisting on being a redhead, throwing himself around and whining in protest. I stopped, took a deep breath, replaced the rage with zen and we started over.

The test is far more complex than we've done before -- which turned out to be a good thing! Figures and transitions fire in rapid succession, which means Solo never had time to get all stiff and brace-y, which means all of a sudden, I had a supple horse on my hands!

In bigger news, though, Friday was Stud Hole Installation Day. And I don't mean a pit filled with cabana boys. Although that would have been exciting too.

Having never seen the process of drilling and tapping shoes, I of course had to whip out the camera to capture Stud Master Johnathan (aka Hoof Shaper Extraordinaire and Fixer Of All Solo Foot Problems) as he single-handedly wrestled uncooperative steel shoes into submission. It looked strikingly similar to convincing Solo to do dressage.

First you drill the holes.
Then you use the tap to cut threads in the steel.
Solo supervises.
Then you install the shoe while the dogs mug you for hoof bits.

This process was HARD work. I suspect that Johnathan may have chased me off with the hoof nippers if I had asked him to do all four feet. Luckily for his shoulders, I did not want to stud the front shoes -- I do not want to slow down Solo's front feet while galloping and jumping as that would seem to court disaster for over-reaches and blown out tendons.

The end result: four nice neat holes, shown here with plugs intact.  And of course, four lovely reshod feet, which is a typical result when Johnathan applies his awesomeness to the Shiny Red Beast.

Yesterday, I screwed in four road studs for our jump school just to see how everything worked. Lesson: screwing in studs is a meticulous process that takes a long time. Will not be doing that unless I have to!

I am now off to read even more about studs while hoping that I don't manage to make any giant mistakes and hurt my horse. No pressure or anything.


  1. You will get better with practice. I'd do it a few times before you do have to at a show. Just so you don't feel nervous about putting them in when you're already anxious with show nerves!

  2. Its funny, studs are a bit like bits to the uneducated. There are tons of them, and if you didn't know any better you'd think they were all the same, but one simple change can make a world of difference!

  3. Hhhhmmm, well, I think I'd prefer the cabana boys but I guess not slipping whilst out on course is a good thing, too!

  4. Sorry to disappoint, Frizz. I will try better next time.

    Kate, you are definitely right. As I learn more, I'm like, oh, ok, that makes more sense.

    Heidi, definitely going to practice! It wasn't hard at all, just slowwwww. I am sure it will get faster with practice and thankfully Solo is very patient about resting his foot for me.

  5. dude I throw my back out everytime I do studs, I HATE having to use them, but the ponyface is a baby and thinks all grass is deathly slippery and he can't possibly jump any XC unless he has at least grass studs in. christ.
    As for the dressage test, was it TR-B? that one is difficult! I practiced it last night and , man, did those transitions creep up on me.

  6. checkmark, I did discover that installation is indeed a backkiller, holy crap!

    Yes, we are doing TR-A this coming weekend, but VA is TR-B.

  7. I am trying to look at the studs with an open mind, even though they do scare me.
    Technical post? It seems like on hard surfaces (ie the 'road studs' on packed ground) would cause damage/tons of peripheral loading to the hooves?
    I know that at the end of xc runs it seems like they yank them out so quick to avoid damage. I would love to see a well explained pro/con on loading/damage with and without studs.
    A 'how we roll' episode maybe? Please?

  8. Oh! My computer lets me post again! I didn't know if that would show up! Well, a very belated congrats on the CHP trail!

  9. Alana, I would not stud on hard ground. Solo can balance just fine on his own. The only time I would stud is wet/muddy ground as this is when he slips. I've done enough "off-road" work with him to develop his foot handling skills.

    Those who do stud on hard ground would use a very pointy tipped stud, so it punches into the ground like a spike. The theory of studding is that, whatever you use, the stud should puncture the ground surface so the hoof is still flat on the ground when loaded.

  10. I am so thankful that my behind did not end up on your blog. Thank you for that small kindness.

    Jonathan may not be a cabana boy (as he is married) but he is pretty cute and we love him.