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TOPIC: Steel vs Aluminum

Steel vs Aluminum 10 Feb 2006 17:08 #1

  • IRNWKR_2
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How many farriers see a difference in the way a horse moves with aluminum shoes? I know they are lighter than steel but I could never really see a difference. Just wanted to get some thoughts.
Jason Gilliland
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 10 Feb 2006 18:47 #2

  • calshoer
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I often see a difference if there are lameness issues involved. This is especially true in pathologies where concussion is a problem (ringbone and founder for example) or where the horse needs to 'dial in' the point of breakover faster through shoe wear.
As to sound horses, if there is a difference in metals, I can't usually see it with my naked eye.
Patty
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 10 Feb 2006 21:04 #3

I see a difference in animation of foot flight because of the weight differenc. I also see difference in some horses if they adversly react to aluminum vs. steel. Sometime black spots appear around the areas of the nail holes. I do not believe aluminum reduces shock, maybe someone can explain why they think aluminum absorbs or reduces shock to the foot.
Phil Armitage, CF
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 10 Feb 2006 23:54 #4

  • solidrockshoer
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On most performance horses the lighter the shoe the better,so alum up front works well. And as Patty said the roll to the toe self adjusts quicker that steel, so the horse tells you were it wants to breakover. Best, Gary
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 11 Feb 2006 00:20 #5

  • IRNWKR_2
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Ok, If it changes the flight of the foot then why? I can see it if the weight was distributed more towards the front or hind of the foot but if the weight is evenly distrubited around the center of the hooff how does it change the flight. I can understand that lighter is better but not if it is aluminum. I hate aluminum it seems to destroy the hoof, so Istay away frm it as much as possible.
Jason Gilliland
"whether you think you can or think you caint your usually right" Henry Ford

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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 11 Feb 2006 00:31 #6

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I don't see where alum changes the flight either but I haven't watched any slowmotion film in a while. The film I have seen was of race horses and their feet do lots of weird things while they are in the air. Alum keeps them more like they are barefoot than anything I guess? Want to see a differance in flight, add a toe weight or sideweights. Those you can see with a naked eye if you watched the before and after . Best, Gary
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 11 Feb 2006 02:02 #7

  • brian robertson
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Aluminum is stickier in sand (softer than steel so the footing bites into it) and there is very little slide upon landing. I think a front foot with AL will stay on the ground a shorter interval and breakover lower to the ground (ex.daisy cutter if that's what you're lookinig for) at slower speeds. All bets are off when they are going ***** to the wall.
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 11 Feb 2006 03:06 #8

If the horse has the movement it will make no difference. alum will enhance a nice mover (for the hunter world)
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 11 Feb 2006 04:11 #9

  • SlowShoe
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I dont see any differance except on one horse I shoe. He is a 3 year old Draft cross. He has size 5 feet. In 3/8 steel shoes his feet wing way out. They are all over the place. Now I dont know if this is a goofyness factor with the horse or what. But I shod him in AL last time, and he was perfect afterwords.

So yes I have seen it make a differance in foot flight. This horse had not had shoes on prior to the steel, so that also may have had somthing to do with it, being that AL feels more like 'no shoe' in regaurds to weight.

Josh
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 11 Feb 2006 05:15 #10

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Alum will usually flatten a knee or id burn steel alot more,Iwill say onsome heavy warmblood hunters it wont matter much if the price of alum or size of foot matter. I nail a fair number of 4 and 3 slum and it makes a difference.

But if they sre over squared and strung out behind it doesnt matter much.
Scott
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 16 Feb 2006 16:51 #11

  • melvoght
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What does "over squared" mean? Strung out behind I take to mean how the horse is ridden? Or is this a shoeing term as well?

This is a timely discussion. I was about to post a thread on this, but in the owner's section.

My new farrier seems to like aluminum, based on the stock in his trailer. His first inclination for one of my horses was to grab an aluminum set, but I've had a not-so-great experience with aluminum (different horse) in the past. Since I had that bad experience and said I really don't like aluminum, he used steel shoes, but I wonder if I'm being silly.

Should I try the aluminum? My biggest complaint was crushed shoe under heels, but he showed me shoes he's taken off and they looked ok, so perhaps it was something specific to the farrier who was using them....

I've also read a few discussions and some people feel that aluminum transmits more shock through to the hoof, not less. And, based on holding a shoe tight in my hand and whacking an anvil, there might be some merit to this line of though.

Hope I'm not breaking a major rule contributing here, because I'm not a farrier.

Thanks,

Mel
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 18 Feb 2006 13:24 #12

  • Mike Ferrara
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melvoght wrote:
I've also read a few discussions and some people feel that aluminum transmits more shock through to the hoof, not less. And, based on holding a shoe tight in my hand and whacking an anvil, there might be some merit to this line of though.

Hope I'm not breaking a major rule contributing here, because I'm not a farrier.

Thanks,

Mel

The material, mass and the shape (gometry) of any object will all effect how it transmits vibration so an aluminum shoe will absolutely have different tranfer characteristics than a steel shoe. However, one steel shoe can have very different vibration tranfer characteristics than another steel shoe too. So the fact that it's going to be different is a given but I don't know if it's different in a good way or a bad way.
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 06 Mar 2006 10:27 #13

  • David Hayne
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Good Day.....the most horses I use Aluminum on are my hunter horses.....I kinda like the way they wear on the break over and seems to help a few move alot better with know harm to the hoof.

Over the last couple of years a few western pleasure owners are asking for Aluminum up front and it is with these small quarter horses hooves that I have run into problems....I seem to find more wear on the heels with a few dryed out hooves brittle on the walls which can make nailing a little challeging. The drying out I fiqure is more enviroment then the shoe...?

Have some off you found that the shoe will wear faster next to the hoof ...as well as ground surface....have you tryed a small wear cork....in your area are their many western horses being asked to use the Aluminum for show reasons or is it a fad ....like one clinet told me their pretty.

About two of the horses who are hard to load on a trailor...we all know what happens if the hind hoof reaches up and grabs the heel of the aluminum...this is where I am tempted to grind away .....

Maybe when I shoe a hundred horses a year with aluminum I will get it all fiqured out...but in the meantime....I need your advice...

thanks ...David
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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 06 Mar 2006 12:53 #14

  • Rick Burten
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Around here, a lot of the QHs on the circuit wear aluminum, particularly in front. It always amuses me when the owner/trainer requests it because its soooo much lighter than the steel shoes and the horse, whose work day consists of about 15 minutes of actual work, and whose showday day consists of even less, gets too fatigued wearing steel.

Because of the(usually) overweight status of the QH, and the relative softness of the aluminu, I too find that the horse will wear into the foot surface of the shoe rather quickly. Also, there is usually a lot of corosion on the foot surface of the shoe because of the way the aluminum interacts with the hoof. For that reason,many of the horses I shoe with aluminum get a thin, light rim pad added to the shoe package.

Even though you are tempted to shorten the heels on those horses who have some loading issues, don't. The horse needs that proper support. Have the owners put an oversize pair of bell boots on the horse and to, at the same time, teach the horse to load properly. You should however, box the foot surface of the shoe, especially at the heels of those horses that seem more prone to grab a heel and pull a shoe. Doing this will allow you to keep the proper length and support, and at the same time, lessen the chances the horse will grab the shoe and pull it.
Rick Burten PF

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RE:Steel vs Aluminum 07 Mar 2006 03:27 #15

  • J.H. shoeing
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I think that a small $35 dollar fee to nail that pulled aluminum shoe back on would help. Unless the shoe was cracked or broken then add 20-30 more for the new pair of shoes, you cant just buy one, and they will have an extra. For the next time their precious WP horse looses a shoe, just because it fell off.

Can you tell I had to shoe some of the little darlings today.
Jeff Holder

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