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Newsletter - Issue #19

SoftRider is the Next-Generation Horseshoe

Soft Ride, a leading innovator of products that promote horse hoof health, has developed the next-generation horseshoe: the SoftRider. With a unique base that supports the ENTIRE hoof and a rubber tread that provides traction like an athletic shoe for humans, SoftRider shoes can help keep your horse healthy and performing well.

The SoftRider features a two-layer construction and is a center-loading shoe. This means that the SoftRider places the load on the center of the shoe rather than on the outside wall of the hoof. This helps increase blood flow to the hoof, reduces strain on the coffin bone and pressure on the navicular region, and isolates the concussive force of impact with the ground on the horse’s skeletal system, all while offering improved multi-directional traction.

SoftRiders are great for aging horses with issues like laminitis, navicular syndrome and ringbone, and they’re also perfect for long-term use on all performance horses. SoftRider shoes have been tested at top veterinary hospitals across the country and are now available for anyone to purchase. We think a pair of SoftRiders is the best $65 you’ll ever spend on your horse.


Soft Ride Team

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Technical Features of the SoftRider Shoes

All SoftRiders feature a patented dual-density design that provides a rigid base for the whole hoof while absorbing shock and delivering better traction than traditional steel shoes.

Enhanced Breakover: The SoftRider is designed to provide enhanced breakover from front to back, thus easing tension on the deep digital flexor tendon.

Neutral Resting Position: The SoftRider's substantial sole provides a comfortable, neutral resting position for the foot.

Eases Medial/Lateral Force: Rockered breakover unloads the distal limb ligaments and tendons more quickly resulting in less loaded force extension.

Nailing/Casting Edge: The elevated edge enables a practitioner to temporarily mount the SoftRider with casting tape. It can be also shaped with a rasp for a custom fit and features nail location guidelines.

Shock Absorbing Base Material: The SoftRider's shock absorbing base helps dampen the impact of each step for performance horses and older or navicular horses alike.

Eases Tenfor Stressors: The SoftRider's design helps ease the strain on tendons and lessens the pull on ligaments.

Protects the Lamina: Reduced forward breakover allows the deep digital flexor tendon to unload more quickly and painlessly, causing less counter pull on the coffin bone.

Performance Athlete Benefit: The SoftRider's patented design benefits performance horses by spreading the load over the entire hoof, not just the perimeter, thus reducing painful leverage on soft tissues.

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 nailed, 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.

Watch the following videos for application:

Can I ride and 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.

Which SoftRider model is best for my horse?

SoftRider Gel Max

The slightly curved sole on the Gel Max enables a horse to find the most comfortable resting position for the foot.

SoftRider Gel Arena

The Gel Arena’s low profile, aggressive tread pattern and center-loading support make it a great choice for competition, trail, pleasure and general riding.

Your vet or farrier can best determine which SoftRider model is best for your horse. The SoftRider Gel Max has a higher 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 more aggressive tread pattern, which makes it a great choice for competition, trail, pleasure and general riding.
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How are SoftRider Shoes Sized?

SoftRider shoes are sized like traditional aluminum keg shoes. Soft Ride offers sizes 000-5. If you are unsure of the appropriate keg shoe size, measure the hoof the same way indicated for the traditional Soft Ride boots and use those measurements to match against the size chart.
View SoftRider Sizing Chart

Soft Ride on the Road

Rood and Riddle International Podiatry Summit

The International Podiatry Conference aims to bring together experienced equine veterinarians and farriers for skill development and discussion. The ability to meet and discuss techniques will help advance the skill set of all attending, raise new questions, formulate new areas of research, and facilitate contacts between veterinarians and farriers. This conference will feature lectures, demos, and hands-on wet labs for participating vets and farriers.

Event Information:
Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital
April 18 – April 20, 2024

2150 Georgetown Rd
Lexington, KY 40511


Contact: https://form.jotform.com/233463971873164

Saved by Soft Ride

We LOVE hearing from our customers and getting updates on how your horses are doing! Please send us your story and a photo of your horse in their Soft Ride products for a chance to be featured on our social media, in an upcoming issue of our newsletter, and to be entered in a Soft Ride giveaway!

Email us here: socialmedia@srboots.com

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Soft Ride Mission

As we continue our drive to keep your horse on his feet, we've received more than 15 patents, ship to over 50 countries, and work with more than 6,000 veterinarians around the world, as well as every veterinarian school in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. And with horse owners from every discipline using our products, we can safely and proudly say, "The best in the world rely on Soft Ride."

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Disclaimer: This content is for education and is not medical advice. If you suspect medical illness or injury contact your veterinarian for medical advise.
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