January 8, 2016 by RAZERHORSE BLOG
Mary posted a question about Razer shoes on a barrel racing group on Facebook. Many chimed in with their opinions, experiences and things they’ve heard through the grapevine. We saw the Facebook thread and wanted to clear up some misconceptions, as well as let her know we’d be happy to answer any questions she had.
Q: I’m very interested in making the switch to Razer with my 3 yo performance prospect. She will go to barrels this spring but we are really working on getting her broke similar to a Reiner, so we do lots of hard stops on the hind end, spins, rollbacks, etc. I have heard of these shoes breaking and causing soreness in horses as well as “crippling” them, but I have done a lot of research on the product and how it’s made, as well as how it benefits the horse when set properly. So I understand these stories I’m hearing about how it can be farrier error, not the product itself. My questions are: do they are benefit the horse enough to justify paying the price? My filly is a powerhouse from her hip, so I really worry about her almost over powering any type of ground really. Will I notice a big enough difference that, as Fallon stated, my horse and I have more confidence that she will be able to stay on top of herself with these shoes? Also, do you recommend me look for a farrier that has set these shoes before or is it something my farrier, who has years of experience and shoes my performance, will be able to pick up and do correctly?
A: Of course, results will vary from horse to horse. While it may improve one horse’s times, it may not make as big of a difference in another horse. I would say give them a try and if you don’t think it’s worth the money, then switch back.
Q: And the breaking and soreness is this a common issue you guys hear of? My filly has never had shoes. That’s why I’m considering the Razer right now, because she is getting ready to get shoes put on to start really hauling and seasoning this spring.
A: It is not common.
Because the shoes are different than a normal steel shoe, they are a bit more difficult to shape and fitting is different. The breaking can be caused by the farrier heating the shoe or overworking the shoe while shaping: bringing in the heels, pulling them back out, bringing them back in again… This can weaken the shoe, so if the shoe isn’t fitted properly (they don’t really need to be fitted full and can be fitted tighter than a normal shoe because they will move with the hoof capsule) and the horse catches the heel of the shoe, instead of pulling completely off like a normal shoe, it will break at the hind nail hole.
The only time we’ve heard of soreness is due to a transition on a horse who has been in steel shoes for a long period of time. Their feet have been locked into place and aren’t used to normal, natural flexion. We’ve never seen any soreness issues in young horses or those that have been barefoot.
If you horse hasn’t had shoes on at all, I’d say she’s a great candidate for Razers. She’ll have enough sole depth to where she won’t get tender or have any bruising and Razers will allow her to have the same natural flexion she’s used to, while offering her traction and wear protection.
Q: I plan on running her in them her opening year of 2017. I wanted, if the product was safe, to be able to start her out and train her in them so when I got to her opening year I’m not throwing on new shoes that I have no idea how they react or work with her. If her first set is the Razer, then I won’t have to switch, which is one less thing to have to worry about when seasoning a young one to the big rodeos. Now, the polyurethane pads do recommend those with the shoe? I know they have the three types: Propad Support, Propad SS, and the SXS, do recommend any of theses?
A: You don’t have to wear pads with Razers. They are only recommended for a thin soled horse or one that needs additional protection. If she’s barefoot now, there’s no reason to put pads on her with the Razer shoes. Unless you’re just concerned with shock absorption from putting steel on her feet.
As far as finding a farrier to put them on, if the farrier in your area or the one you usually work with has never used our products, we’ll happily send them a sample to try out.
Q: Great, thank you for answering those questions. I have done my research on this product, but I just wanted more info than what I was able to find on YouTube or Google. I spoke with my farrier and vet, but the lack of knowledge on both their parts led me to ask so I could get a closer look inside them. But people don’t like change, so I think they fear it. From what I’ve read and seen though, I feel like if put on correctly the worst that happens is you have a lightweight, flexible shoe. I figured they are at least worth getting more info on.
A: If you’d like to give us the contact info for your farrier and vet, we’d be happy to get in touch with them and offer to send them product info and free samples.
If you have ANY questions regarding Razer shoes or Propads, we strongly encourage you to give us a call at 855-95-RAZER, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit razerhorse.com.