Just a little about us (my horse and me), so you know who we are and what we do.
I'm Helga, I live in Munich, I've been riding for 40 years and have owned my own horses for 30 years. My PRE stallion Lentisco has been carrying his Goodsmith since April 24, 2018.
Lentisco is 10 years old, has a height of 164cm and weighs 550 kg. He is trained in dressage at M level and is in a very good training condition.
To the initial situation of the hoof:
My blacksmith recommends barefoot because the hoof quality is very good. Unfortunately, our floors are rather unsuitable for barefoot. The yard is gravel and we have to deal with a lot of road when riding. The small pebbles keep stepping into the sole and due to the typical Spaniard gait with the front legs, the hooves run diagonally on the street.
The assembly was done by my blacksmith and the Goodsmith guys. That worked well and takes no longer than a glue fitting. Clean the hoof – attach Velcro pads to the hoof – cut the base plate to size – weld on the straps. With my horse, they went with the open toe simply because they wanted to test how well the Goodsmiths hold up with fewer tabs.
Putting on and taking off the Goodsmith gis a bit tricky at first, because the Velcro connection is very difficult to interlock and as a woman I don't have that much strength in my fingers . But with a little hammer and practicing 2-3 times it works very well. Taking it off is surprisingly easy if you pull the tabs off at an angle. Dressing and undressing works well. A hammer is very useful for tightening.
Gait behavior: Now my horse has never had anything on his hooves and we were all curious how he would walk with it. I hung him on the lunge line and we went onto the court. Step, trap, gallop. He ran unchanged. The Goodsmiths didn't bother or irritate him. First test already passed. During my first training session, I noticed that he comes out of the shoulder much more freely.
He used to hold on to something in his shoulder girdle, but this could always be solved with a gymnastic warm-up. Now he ran freely from the shoulder from the start. Apparently he was feeling a little. Road, gravel, no problem. racetrack, held. Held over a small embankment into a creek, about 100 m through the creek and over an embankment again. They have endured dirt roads and deep soil.
I lost them first in tall grass. The long blades of grass pull themselves between the Velcro and really peel off the tabs. After talking to the Goodsmith guys, I was told that I should put on jump bells when riding on a higher meadow, they keep the blades of grass away from the Velcro. And yes, with the bells they also stop in the meadow. Letting go, lunging, circus.The Goodsmiths have done everything: raging wildly in the hall, rapid starts on the lunge line (if that dangerous ghost is sitting in the corner again), Spanish steps, compliments, lying down, sitting up, climbing up. They always held.
Only once did we lose one. When escaping from a soap bubble :). He stepped in the back and you could hear the velcro coming loose. Velcro pads on the hoof and the "shoe" remained undamaged. The horse didn't stumble either. I think that he would have given himself an iron with this action and in that respect it was ok for me
For cleaning: My horse is in a normal straw box. We don't have covering patches on it, which means the Velcro on the hoof is uncovered. Cleaning is surprisingly quick and easy with a small root brush or small wire brush. Cleaning is no problem.
My conclusion: So far the Goodsmith has pleasantly surprised and convinced me. I'm curious how long it will last and how long the Velcro will last. I will definitely continue to put them through their paces.
Of course, the Goodsmith isn't a jack of all trades, but neither are other systems. For me it is definitely a great alternative that I can use without restrictions for my needs.