Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Allison Price

To give your horse more grip when he is on grass, studs can be used in his shoes. These studs aren’t just for wet conditions. The hard ground can be very slippery due to poor coverage. Your horses can jump confidently if they have studs or slip and worry about jumping if they don’t. Ask your farrier to fit road studs for your horse if he slips while working out.How many stud holes are there?

Two stud holes are common per shoe. One at each heel. One stud hole may be used on the outside of the shoe. Your farrier will need to place stud holes in the shoes of your horse. Discuss your requirements with him.

What are the benefits of using studs to your advantage?

  1. They reduce the chance of horses falling and slipping.
  2. They increase horse confidence while jumping
  3. They allow the rider to be more positive, eg around turns or circles, and less concerned about the horse sliding.

What are the drawbacks?

  1. You can alter the balance of your foot by placing two studs in each heel.
  2. Although it is safer to have two studs per shoe, horses could strike into each other and inflict injury through the stud at the heel. Use a small road-stud on the outside if your horse is very close.
  3. You can only use one stud per shoe. This stud must be on the outside of your heel. It is best to use one stud if the ground is very hard. This could cause severe twisting of the joint.
  4. If studs are placed on hard ground, horses may have a shorter stride. You could cause your horse’s stride not to be level if you use too large or uneven studs.

Should I use Studs in Practice and Competitions?Yes, definitely! Your horse must be confident. If he has slipped while schooling across country, you can’t expect him to be 100% confident now that you have put the studs in. It will make you more comfortable using studs when you are doing cross-country practice, show jumping, or a dressage test on grass.
What stud should you use?

At your saddler’s store, you’ll find a variety of studs. You need to consider these things when choosing which ones you should use.

  1. Ground conditions: Wet, dry, length, type of soil
  2. Horse’s movement and style of going

Always remember to ask your trainer for help.

Road Studs – small

  1. Use on hard ground
  2. Use as an inside stud for horses with very close action

Road Studs – Large

  1. Use as a pair in the horse’s front shoe for good or hard going. Because the forehand weighs more and poses more strain, it’s best to keep the studs in the front shoes as small as possible.
  2. You can also use it for the inside hindshoe (with an outside stud if it is slippery).


  1. For ‘good going’, or when the grass grows longer and road studs don’t cut through
  2. These studs are not to be used inside as they can cause injury to the opposite leg.

Large studs

  1. Wet going should not be used for large blocks or points,
  2. Large studs can cause injuries. In very wet situations, you might consider using larger road studs inside your shoes and smaller ones on the outside.

Before competition

  1. It is a good idea to clean out any stud holes before the competition. This will allow you to avoid any extra pressure from the competition. To remove dirt and stones, you will need a sharp needle. But be careful!
  2. Spray WD40 in the stud hole
  3. To clean the threads, use your stud tape. The tap should be easy to turn – if it isn’t, the tap is not properly installed and could cause damage to the threads.
  4. After cleaning the stud hole, you can plug it with cotton wool soaked and oiled in baby oil. You can also buy a packet of plugs at saddlers.

Fitting the Studs

  1. The plug should be removed. If you haven’t, make sure to clean the stud hole. Use WD40 to spray the hole.
  2. Place the stud in place. It should be easy to insert. You may have crossed-threaded the stud. First, screw the stud into place manually. Then, tighten it with a stud tap or a spanner.
Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!