Riding on the Road

Q. I’m an American now living in England. I have a young horse just being started in harness for carriage driving with the eventual plan to compete in combined driving trials. Where I keep her, and indeed just about anywhere one keeps a horse here, there is nowhere to ride/drive that is off-road. In order to fit her up and drive her in any other configuration than a trip around the arena, I must go out on the roads—something I have never had to do in the United States with a riding or driving horse. Currently she is unshod with good, healthy feet. She shows no sign of lameness or soreness of any kind, but she has only done light work in harness on the roads. What can I shoe her with that will not make her dependent on it yet will provide her with some protection for the concussion?

Cordelia Elliot, via e-mail

A. Most of the farriers I have worked with in Great Britain use the small drive-in carbide studs on all horses being ridden or driven on the roads. They are very short but provide great traction. They can be used with any type of shoes and they will not cause concussion problems. If your horse is sound barefoot now, using these types of drive-in studs on regular shoes should be sufficient.

Here is a helpful link that shows how to apply the studs: www.farrierproducts.com/farriery/NAArchives/toolsandtipsarticles/toolstips6.html.

About the Author

David Farley, APF, CF

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