TOBA: Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
Owner Education

Hoof Care

Not all horses' shoes are created equally or do they serve the same purpose. Below is a list of shoes commonly used on racehorses.

Flat Steel Training Plates: These shoes are used primarily for horses in light training.

Queens' Plates: Aluminum, and thus, light-weight training plates without a toe grab. Horses occasionally run in these shoes when ease in the break-over of the foot is important.

Egg-Bar Shoes: Generally, these special shoes are used for horses with quarter cracks, broken coffin bones, sore or under-slung heels, etc. Egg-bar shoes distribute weight over a larger circumference, and thus are useful whenever stability of the foot is necessary.

D-Bar Shoes: Similar to Egg-Bar shoes in that they can relieve frog pressure which helps to relieve the soreness of navicular disease.

Half Aluminum Bar Pads: These shoes are used to relieve pressure from the heel portion of the foot. They aid horses with sore heels, as well as those with navicular disease, broken cofin bones, and bruised frogs.

Glue-On Shoes: Unlike, shoes, which are nailed to the hoof's outside wall, glue-on shoes are adhered to the hoof using a very strong bonding agent. They are useful on horses with thin hoof walls, and horses which are chronically sore in the soles of the feet.

Bonded Shoes: Bonded shoes contain an additional rim pad which many believe absorbs shock. They can be useful since the rim pad acts as a "spacer," keeping the soles of the foot up and off the ground.

Outer Rim Shoes: Outer rim shoes are mainly used for horses running on the turf. They are best explained as having a continuous toe grab running along the outside perimeter of the shoe. This "outer rim" assists in keeping the shoe and hoof more equally balanced.

Toe Grab: A toe grab acts as a "cleat" on the toe of the shoe, providing additional traction. Like most "cleats," they are available in both a small and large grab. Aluminum shoes with toe grabs are the most common shoes used on racehorses.

Quarter Horse Grabs: Larger than the regular toe grabs, they are primarily used on the hind feet for added traction.

Jar Calks: Jar calks are cleats in the rear portion of the shoe that provide added traction in the mud.

Outside Sticker: These shoes have a cleat on the outside branch of the shoe that is commonly used in the mud for traction, as well as on horses that "hit" (interfere with) themselves while running. It is important to remember that this shoe may take the foot out of balance and thus create additional problems.

Blocked Heels: This shoe has two cleats placed at the farthest portion of the heel on the inside and outside of the shoe for added traction especially in the mud. Blocked heel shoes are placed only on the hind feet, and they may also be used on horses that run down (burn their heels), or overextend themselves behind as the cleats reduce sliding.

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