Studs: What Studs and When?

Using studs when your riding can really improve your horse’s way of going. They will feel more confident in their footing, especially in poor condition. However, using the wrong type and size can potentially cause injuries and strains to your horse.

Not all horses near to use studs there are several factors that influence weather or not your horse needs them for example the discipline that you are competing in and weather they are balanced and sure footed. Most horses like to slide slightly when landing from fences. You also need to decide weather your horse needs one stud in each shoe or two. Many farriers now recommend a stud on each side of the shoe to equal balance.

Top tips for using studs

  • Only use studs if your horse needs them
  • Use two studs in each shoe for an equal balance
  • Use dome shaped studs on the inside of the horse’s hoof
  • Always try and use the smallest studs for the conditions
  • Practice riding in studs before a competition when you are planning on wearing studs
  • Use smaller studs in front
  • Use larger studs behind
  • Ensure you remove studs as soon as they are not needed – do not travel in studs
  • Avoid riding on a hard surface if your horse is wearing studs
  • Use an adjustable spanner for tightening and loosening studs
  • Use a farrier’s nail to help clean debris from the stud hole
  • Plug the hole when not in use
  • Keep your tools and studs together in a container so it is easy to use
  • Clean your studs after use and place in old to keep them from going rusty

The Horse Exchange have put together a guide of which size and type of stud to use in different conditions:

Conditions Stud Type
Good – Grass coverage Cone-shaped
Indoor surfaces Cone-shaped
Firm ground Pointed, slim
Wet grass Short dome-shaped
Cross-Country – mixed terrain Pointed shaped medium
Wet on top, firm underneath Wide pointed
Deep boggy condition Large, wide