Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Sliders

This is Darren and "Shiner" stopping in his baby sliders.........



I can't get to the Sonita story just yet, but it's in the works. In the mean-time I want to run with an extremely good question. Redsmom is going to show enough I would think she wants to read this one too.....

Wayfarer said...
My husband is considering putting sliding plates on the not-so-wild-auction-horse, at the suggestion of his trainer/instructor. I'm a bit leery. The trainer (and much Internets) says it will help "preserve" the little mare's deep stops. I'm worried that it's too much like closing the door -- she's still only 3, and we wanted her out in the pasture this summer with the others, and going on trails and casual team penning, just some world experience stuff.

She's not built to be a reining winner. But she seems to enjoy the work, and in particular seems to like doing it for my husband who is learning the discipline. So yes, if she showed at all in the local circuit, it would be in reining.

Trainer says we should get something called baby sliders, or 3/4 plates, or something like that. Said its what the reined cow horse people use, because it lets the horse slide a bit but still grip the dirt to turn and work. So I thought of mugwump and... well? Will putting sliding plates of this type onto my little mare make it harder to do other things with her, ie, cross training? I'm not concerned about jumping, but just the rest of the things people do with horses.
I've very little experience with not just sliding plates, but any shoeing... other than trying complicated therapeutics with one of the horses, all 5 (6?) of my equine charges are barefoot.

First off, I can tell your trainer isn't very familiar with cowhorse events (doesn't mean you don't have a good trainer). We don't call them "baby sliders", we call them "reasonable". Most of the people I ride with favor 1/2 inch sliders BTW. 3/4 inch are big, awkward, and will set your horse up to slide past the cow. The less shoe you have, the less work your horse has to travel naturally.

The theory behind our shoes is to get however much slide we need to satisfy our dry work (or the reining portion) requirements and still be able to insure our horse can dig into the dirt and turn a cow with her toes.

My favorite cowhorse lately is a horse named Shiney Black Shiner. He is ridden by Colorado trainer, Darren Miller.

Darren likes to rein and do cowhorse. Shiney Black Shiner is a five-year-old. His track record is extremely extensive, I just pulled a few of his wins to help make my point. You can look him up for the rest. This horse is dead quiet and easy to ride folks. Not hot, not "complicated", just an easy going guy. My version of the ideal quarter horse.

The top two events listed below are HUGE shows we have here. In that one week this horse dominated the junior reining. He got his ROM and qualified for the AQHA Worlds several times over in just the Pre-Denver. All in his "baby sliders".
Then he went on to smoke in the cowhorse.


2008 AQHA Pre-Denver Show Junior Reining Circuit Champion
2008 Denver National Western Stock Show Junior Reining Reserve Champion
2008 NRCHA Paso Robles Derby Open and Int. Open Finalist
2008 NRCHA Drought Buster Derby Open Champion (Winner Open Rein Work)
2006 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Int. Open Preliminary Rein Work Co-Champion

See my point?

As far as protection for the horse, yes, most definitely.

Sliding your horse repeatedly with bare feet will end up burning the heel bulbs on your horse. While it won't kill him, it will hurt and your horse won't slide anymore.

The sliders have to extend past the heel bulb to protect it. I usually extend my sliders 1/4 to 1/2 an inch past the heel bulb. I get plenty of protection and all the slide I want. I don't want more trailer on my sliders because it will interfere with his legs when he digs in his toes to turn the cow.

The reason you want the smooth plate instead of a traditional keg shoe is to eliminate drag. There's two reasons for this. The first is to get your horse to slide farther. The second is to lessen the wear and tear on your horse's joints. If the drag is gone there is less pull on the horse's legs.

My shoer regularly puts my favorite 1/2 inch sliders on rope horses who compete in AQHA roping events. Seems there's a trend (sigh) for the roping horses to look a little "reinery." He says the half inchers make the ropers happy and the horses seem to handle them. That says a lot.

With my half inch sliders I rein, cut and do cowhorse. I trail ride, pop over logs and do whatever. I have never had a problem.

Except once. I went riding up a steep mountain trail with a friend in late March one year. Both our horses were wearing sliders. As we went up we came into more and more snow.

We decided we were being stupid and turned around to head home. Our horses, (Sonita and James) tucked their butts and started to step down the hill.

We were suddenly skiing. Both horses got their front legs running and we got down the mountain much faster than planned. We whipped down the trail, horses mad scrambling and Crystal and I alternately whooping and screaming for our mama's.

Suffice it to say, that was the last time I went trail riding in the snow with sliders on my horse.

Other things to consider. Is your horse physically and mentally ready to slide stop? I start sliding mine at three. But not hard or often.

If you have him in pasture is there a chance he'll kick another horse? Shoes make a big difference in the damage a kick will do. A horse in sliders can slip and slide in mud and ice. They can lose control and slam into the fence.

Sliders don't last as long as regular shoes. They are thin. My daughter regularly rides off a set of sliders every three to four weeks in the summer.

If your husband wants to pursue reining than I would definitely listen to your trainer. He needs the sliders if he's going to slide. Just shoe as minimally as possible and you'll be fine.

34 comments:

Double A Training said...

Thank you thank you thank you for posting this. I also am debating whether to put sliders on my new cow horse. We are going to start showing with a local Ranch horse series and will be trail riding also.

I will call my farrier today.





www.badfirstdates.blogspot.com

Shanster said...

This was a really interesting post!

Redsmom said...

Yep, as soon as I saw the question in the last post, I wanted you to answer it. Thank you! The farrier has to come back to trim Dude pretty soon, so I'll see if he can put the baby sliders on Matt.

I'm checking on whether there is team penning tonite or not. Call before you haul nd all that. Should be fun, if there is, except for whiney child with no horse in tow. Maybe I can ditch her with a friend.

Horse of Course, Are you ready??? Do your best and don't be nervous.

BritnieAnn said...

I agree with Shanster, VERY interesting! I never really understood what a slider was, now I feel like I have a good handle on it (and got a laugh out of the screaming for our mommies line! lol)

WOW at the beautiful Shiner, he is gorgeous.

Redsmom said...

Mugwump, I talked to the farrier. He says to ask you for sure what you mean by 1/2 inch. Do you mean sliding plates? Do you mean 1/2 inch wide? Now, bear in mind that this farrier is single and a VERY cute, former roper, so forgive me if he's not the worlds most knowledgable. He saved my little mare earlier in the week by getting a nail out of her sole when he went to trim her at the trainer's.

Redsmom said...

P.S., he still has all his fingers, so we assume he was a pretty good roper.

mugwump said...

yes.1/2 inch plates. As in wide. They are about the same size as a standard shoe.

autumnblaze said...

This was very educational! I find equine footwear very interesting. Most of what I know is anything but related to western equine 'footwear'. I can really appreciate and understand sliders now. I'd still like to take a class in doing farrier work - just for the knowledge. Very informative post!

HorseOfCourse said...

Oh Redsmom, you are so sweet to think of us! Thank you!
My daughter has not been well this week, so I cancelled our entries, to my daughter's GREAT disappointment.
So I had to enter her again, but I will stay a supporting Mum on Sunday and help her.
But you can keep your fingers crossed for her, please. She is stepping up to a level she hasn't done before.
It's better this way because then I have time to help her with the warm-up, and I really needed another couple of weeks to get my horse ready anyhow.
And I can get my shoulders down to their normal place again instead of having them up at my ears...

barrelracer20x said...

OH YES. AQHA head horses and heel horses are supposed to slide now...PFFTT!!
*When a head horse "sets" a cow, they should slide a little, then make their lateral movement to the left, before the heeler catches said bovine animal and dallies, at which point the head horse faces, or turns back around towards the steer.
*When a heel horse makes a lateral movement to the left, they're "making the corner"--as the horse makes the corner, the roper is (or should be) in the process of raising up over their mount to deliver their loop around the hind legs of the steer. As they pull their slack, their horse is expected to bury up and slide as the roper dallies the rope on the saddle horn, bringing the run to a stop as the header turns back to face the heeler and the steer.
I think it's a ridiculous practice myself, but there are too many of those AQHA judges that have too much free time on their hands....
AH! Just like a few weeks ago-I went to a ranch horse competition, and there was a PRCA judge there as the official judge...it made me sick. These are bonafide ranch horses-not show horses. They work for a living, literally. No fancy tack, most of them had medicine bags and syringe holders still strapped across the backs of their saddles-why? Because they may have just got done doctoring yearlings when they jumped their horse in the half top trailer to come to town to the competition. A guy who admittedly, "Has shown in a few AQHA shows and done some reined cowhorse..." won everything. This was a futurity colt--all the guy who rode him did was train horses. Anywho, long story short, I was extremely dissapointed to see a show horse come in (sort of like bringing in a ringer) and win everything. Not because he wasn't a nice horse, but because he WAS NOT A RANCH HORSE. He was a show horse. Plain and simple. ::SIGH:: I'll shut up and get off my soap box now, I just felt like venting that I suppose.

badges blues N jazz said...

I should take a pic of the shoes our farrier puts on my hubbies horse. When he bought her last year, she had sliders on. (she was a reiner)
Hubby still likes to putz around the arena doing reining manuevers (even though she is now a sorting/penning horse), so farrier showed him a shoe that was a 'compromise".. Still has enough grip that the horse can pen, but has a flatter surface so she can also slide a bit....

Laura Crum said...

barelracer20x--Here's a story to cheer you up. When I was eighteen, I won the ranch cowhorse class at the county fair, on a team roping horse who was a damn good ranch horse. Some of the horses we beat were bridle horses. They did a lot of flashy things. The only thing you could say in my defense was that my horse was solid and we controled the cow. The owners of those fancier horses complained mightily to the judge. He said, "Which would you rather own if you had to do some ranchwork? Those show ponies? Nope, you'd want that roan SOB." (Scuse my French, but that's what he said.) I know, doesn't happen that way very often, but it did once.

I loved the "crying for our mamas" line, too. That would have been me for sure. I hate it when my horses start slipping, though my experiences of this have mostly been on granite slickrock.

Nagonmom said...

OK, I have a question that may be incredibly stupid, but I have wondered for months.: Would it be possible to put boots (EZY boots, or other boots designed to use if horse throws a shoe on the trail to get you home)over sliders? Although the half inch sliders sound like they allow the horse to be a horse (go out in pasture, be with other horses). Thank you for the post, I am mystified by the farrier arts. And I loved the skiing on horse back story, and was alittle wistful. Sounded like fun, as long as there was no harm done!

mugwump said...

Nagonmom-I have absolutely no idea.Somebody out there might.

mugwump said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wayfarer said...

Well, I check in hoping for an answer and I guess I got one! Thank you! The example of Shiner is brilliant. And the image of whooping and calling for your mamas...

You answered my question perfectly, and then some. 1/4 or 1/2, eh... noted.

The trainer did tell us about the joints, I didn't think about the heel bulb -- but she did stress that if we didn't do this now but did keep working on her stops, even only a little, it would hurt and she would start changing the way she stopped. And I should say, I'm putting words in her mouth, as I only heard what she said via my husband who, by that time, had also been doing research of his own and was explaining it all to me by phone. I probably bungled the terminology royally.

I do believe she's mentally ready. I trust the trainer. And, the horse LOVES to work. I am always pleased at what a good-minded little horse she is, considering we bought her by the pound. She is, in temperament, that "sleepy little critter that unwinds like lightning" as QHs are sometimes described.

Physically ready... I worry about that, but probably more than I need to. She'll be 4 in June, has been in light daily work since September when she was started, and it isn't going to be a lot of stopping yet.

The pasture thing still concerns me... more so about the sliding into fences rather than the kicking other horses, because I doubt the specific herd dynamics will allow for much of that. And sliders and winter, that will be a challenge. And eep, the cost. Every 3-4 weeks? Gah. Even every 6 sounds painful... for this person who didn't previously budget for shoes. :P

But okay, I'm convinced. I'll let him call the farrier. :P

Thank you thank you thank you for such an informative (and informed!) reply!!

Wayfarer said...

Nagonmom -

From the research we were doing, it said you could use covering boots over some sliders. We have a set of Marquis boots and one of the things you can apparently do with those is cover sliders for trails and stuff, even jumping... not that I would try that, not yet anyway, but apparently other people do. I'll bet it voids any warranty on the cover-boots, though.

Esquared said...

Hmm, my 4 y/o used to stop hard with his butt down a bit, I'm thinking the reason he doesn't do that as much might be because it hurt. Never knew about this.

SCARFACE4 said...

Mugwump, I have a question, not sure if this is the right place or if i should have emailed it, not all up on blog rules. LOL.

Anyway I just started taking reining lessons after a lifetime (20years) of english riding (H/J, Eventing, Dressage) and I have found a huge hole in my training I drop my inside shoulder and collapse my ribcage on my circles. This as you can imagine is causing the horse to fall in and not stay centered underneath me. Do you have any excersises that might help this. Sometimes it helps to hear things from a different view point.

I LOVE this blog reading it is really helping with my lessons as it helps solidify what I am learning. and as a PS I am in Elizabeth, just a hop, skip and a jump away. Maybe I will see you at a show sometime. Thanks for any help and if I should have emailed this I am sorry if you want to respond to email it is woofandwhinnney@yahoo.com

Thanks Again!

mugwump said...

Scarface - Dropping shoulders are a pain.I have a couple of ways to remember to stay straight. One is, don't laugh, sit up so your fat doesn't bloop over one side or the other of your jeans. The other is to look at the outside ear of your horse and ten feet ahead of you as you circle. Usually you will fall in because your looking to the inside of your circle.
An exercise that helps is to ride in an octagon shape instead of a true circle. This drill will help keep your horse upright too.I find it to help with keeping my horse even between my reins and legs, which means I can't be leaning. Its a win win.Got to go, I was at the horse show today and I'm going to post on www.EquestrianInk.blogspot.com today, so I'll talk about it over there.

Kara said...

I love reading the various stories that you've written, mugwump, and I have just gotten into reading the Sonita stories, but I've missed many along the way because I just recently started reading your blog. I was wondering if there was a way to have keywords that link to various topics in your posts...for instance, if one clicked on the "sonita" keyword, it would pull up all the Sonita stories. This would make it incredibly easy for new readers to go back and catch up on certain topics without getting lost in all the posts in between. I've seen this feature on other blogs, but of course I don't know how it works. I just wanted to ask...because I would like to go back and get caught up on the Sonita stories. :)

mugwump said...

Kara- I need to figure out how it works too, and find the time to implement it.

barrelracer20x said...

Miss Laura-
Lol. Thank you, that did cheer me up some. I have to admit, I have a, ahem, grudge against this particular trainer that I griped about. We sent a 5yr old, dead broke gelding to him about a year ago. He'd had 60 days of tracking calves in an arena, and 30 days of reining training. A very level headed, laid back kind of guy. Long story short, when we got him back from this guy--he was psychotic. He had been severly abused, like enought that I won't even go into all that he went through here. Here's a quick snippet that will give you an idea of how GREAT this trainer treated this horse. Our horse got DISTEMPER while he was at the trainers, and he never even gave us a phone call. We started getting collection notices from the vet that this trainer used after he'd already treated our horse. *ETA: My dad works out of state, just about year around. I live over 75+ miles from this guy, and at the time had a year old son that had a tendency to get VERY car sick. I know, excuses-excuses. We never dreamed this guy would do this to our horse, we actually considered him to be a friend! He couldn't come up with much of an answer for any of it....to this day, I can't look at him without getting sick to my stomach.
*sorry if I hijacked the comments...

Candy'sGirl said...

Google allows you to search a blog for a keyword. Look up at the top left hand corner of your screen. There should be a text box up there. Type in "Sonita" or whatever you are looking for and click the "search blog" button. It will pull up all of Mugwump's entries that have the word "Sonita" in them. Then you will have to go down to the bottom and click the 'older posts' link to get to the first of the Sonita stories.

gtyyup said...

Good information...thanks for posting it. I'll be putting them on Colt later this spring.

SCARFACE4 said...

Thank you so much Mugwump. That makes a lot of sense. I will try it on my own horses and then talk with my trainer about it at our next lesson. I will let you know how it goes. Heading on over to equestrianink now.

Kathryn said...

Kara, your comment cracked me up because I had the exact same problem. I started reading mugwump's blog recently and got hooked on the sonita stories. So I went back to start at the beginning. Well, to make a long story short, I ended up reading every single one of mugwump's previous blogs and I do not regret it at all! The Mort stories are also fabulous, and I think I've learned a lot from the training entries ...

I am dying for mugwump to write a collected horse stories book!!! It was so terrible when I finally caught up with the blog and now have to wait for new entries :[

mugwump said...

Especially when I'm so sloooowwwww...........

Kara said...

Thanks for the search tip, Candy's Girl. It helped! I still think "keywords" would be cool because then people could browse your topics without having a preconceived idea about what they want to search for, but I know that's probably a lot of work to set up. Someday, I will have a bunch of free time and go back and read start to finish of EVERY post, like Kathryn did.

Joy said...

Hey, I think it's worth it to start at the beginning and read every single post in order. It was how I did it when I first found this blog. Sure a search feature would be cool, but then you miss out on getting side-tracked on kinds of other awesomely bitchin posts and info. Just my thoughts....

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