What is Good Horse Shoeing?
HORSESHOEING CHECK LIST
Looking down on the hooves
Written by: John Emsley
- The feet should have the same toe length. There are variables, so ask your farrier if you are wondering.
- Hoof angle should be similar to the pastern angle. With the introduction of NB protocol, this point can vary.
- The toe of the foot should not be blunted or snubbed off to meet the edge of the shoe. There are exceptions, but a ugly duck footed look is not at all necessary. This probably indicates that the farrier doesn't fully understand the protocol.
- The shoe should not be nailed to flares or wings. This is done on some draft horses to give them a larger base look. Still not strong.
- Nails should all be the same height, and in the same line if possible.
- Clinches should be smooth, because the strength is in the bend, not the length.
Pick up the hoof to check
- The shoes should not usually extend past the heels of the hoof. Definitely exceptions to this rule.
- Ample width of the shoe heel to support the heel of the hoof. (buttress) Very desirable.
- No space between the shoe and hoof wall. (It can happen through no fault of your farrier.)
- The shoe should be resting on the wall and bars of the foot with some sole support.
- The channels at the side of the frog should be clear to avoid stones from lodging in the hoof.
- The sole should be concaved but should not spring under thumb pressure.
NOTE: Check points 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 are absolutes.
There may be a good reason for not adhering to check points 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. If you find that the setting is different, ask your farrier and
he'll be glad to show you the reason. You can't learn if you don't ask.