Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a SoftRider and a regular horseshoe?
The SoftRider shoe is a center-loading shoe, which means it takes the weight that usually rests solely on the hoof wall and distributes it across the entire hoof. The base of the shoe rests directly against the sole. This allows for loading and unloading of the sole (just like the Gel Orthotic in a Soft-Ride Comfort Boot), which stimulates circulation throughout the hoof and leg when standing or moving. SoftRiders also allow multi-directional breakover, which minimizes ligament and tendon strain when moving in any direction.
How are SoftRiders applied?
SoftRiders can be cast, glued, or nailed on like a traditional shoe by a vet or farrier. In most cases, they will first wrap the shoe in place to assure proper placement. They will then will mark nail locations that are most beneficial to the horse. They’ll remove the shoe to pre-drill nail holes and then nail the shoe like a traditional shoe. Finally, they will seal the back of the shoe with farrier silicone (or a similar material), leaving an open cavity in front of the frog to allow for loading and unloading of the hoof sole.
Which SoftRider model is best for my horse?
Your vet or farrier can best determine which SoftRider model is best for your horse. The SoftRider Gel Max has a taller profile than the Gel Arena. This allows more breakover, which enables a horse to find the most comfortable resting position for the foot, and is thus more suited for laminitic and navicular horses. The SoftRider Gel Arena has a lower profile and aggressive tread pattern, which makes it a great choice for competition, trail, pleasure and general riding.
Can I ride/perform in SoftRiders?
Yes. SoftRiders are specifically designed to be worn for work and performance. Several NFR riders use the SoftRider Gel Arena on horses competing in roping, barrel racing, cutting, reining and more. English riders use the Gel Arena for dressage, jumping, and other equestrian events. And everyday owners use the SoftRider for activities like work, ranch and trail riding.
Can I still use my Soft-Ride boots with SoftRider shoes?
Not yet. We are working on developing a special gel orthotic for the Soft-Ride Comfort Boot that would work specifically with the SoftRider shoe.