“Studs are like handbags and shoes – you can never have too many! There will always be one that gets dropped in the long grass or lost while competing,” says international event rider and trainer Harriet Morris-Baumber. Here she shares her advice on using studs:
On the tools
My stud kit is extensive and I’m forever buying various gadgets that are designed to make studs easier to use.
However, I still find the best way to clean out the holes is with a nail from your farrier. Squirting some WD40 into the holes really helps to remove dirt and debris too.
To clean the threads inside the stud hole that your farrier has created, you can use a stud tap. The tap should be made in such a way that if the horse was to put his foot down suddenly, the tap won’t snap off in the stud hole.
The day before a competition, I clean the holes and then put in flat road studs or ‘blanks’. This means that all you have to do at the competition is swap the studs over, as the holes and threads have been kept free of stones and dirt.
As a general rule, smaller, pointier studs are for harder ground and larger, chunky ones grip better on softer ground.
In certain specific conditions, particularly when there’s been a deluge of rain on hard ground, you may need large, pointy studs to go through the slippery surface and grip the firmer ground below.
Some horses prefer to feel very secure in their grip, but others don’t mind a bit of give when they put their feet to the floor. The only way to know is to use studs of various sizes and see how your horse reacts.
Does he lose confidence if he feels a slight slide as he goes to take off? Or does he prefer landing with more ‘give’, rather than a sudden stop when the studs dig in?
Beware of overstudding, particularly on hard ground. Avoid block type studs or anything blunt in these conditions; a pointier stud will penetrate the ground more easily and the concussive force on the horse will be far less.
For more tips on studding, check out the full article in issue 454.
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