An Introduction to Slide Plates

Reining horses and those competing in other cattle events often wear slide plates. These specialized hind shoes allow them to slide while reducing joint stress.
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An Introduction to Slide Plates
Slide plates are wider and longer than traditional shoes. Some taper from front to back, while others are the same width the entire length of the shoe. | Photo: Laurie Taylor

Slide plates aren’t just for reining horses who need them to complete stunning sliding stops. Team ropers and cow horse and ranch riding competitors use this specialized hind shoe to enhance a horse’s stop and ease the pounding his body takes in a hard stop.

A shoe that digs into the ground throws the horse off balance and creates a jerking motion that is hard on the horse’s stifle and hocks. In contrast, the slide plate’s lack of traction reduces friction as the horse stops. Slide plates are wider and longer than traditional shoes. Some taper from front to back, while others are the same width the entire length of the shoe.

“The biggest thing to keep in mind when deciding to put slide plates on your horse is to consider how long the slider will be so that it matches your performance needs and lifestyle as far as turnout,” said Jessica Carter-Arnold, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, of Oklahoma Equine Hospital

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Written by:

Katie Navarra has worked as a freelance writer since 2001. A lifelong horse lover, she owns and enjoys competing a dun Quarter Horse mare.

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