I.M.F.A Guide To A Well Shod Horse

A well shod horse is the result of co-operation between the horse owner, the farrier and the horse. The farrier brings a high degree of skill, knowledge and expertise, acquired through a long apprenticeship, training and experience.


The Horse Owner

  Gives the farrier adequate notice for him to arrange the visit and make the shoes.

  Provides a clean, well-lit, place to shoe the horse, with a clear level floor, or arrives at the forge in time for the appointment.

  Ensures that the horse is properly trained and prepared to stand quietly while the feet are picked up and shod.This co-operation will ensure that the best possible work can be done in the interests of the horse, its comfort, well-being and usefulness.

Just as horses come in all shapes and size so horseshoes and shoeing for different shoes and styles of shoeing. However, good shoeing and well shod horses have several basic characters which are common to all;

1.    Firstly, the comfort and natural movement of the limb of the horse is of paramount importance, remembering that the hoof has evolved to protect and prevent the foot from slipping without the use of metal shoes. Whatever type of shoe is used it should not interface with the natural functions of the foot.

2.     The excessive growth of the foot must be trimmed back to the correct level to ensure that the horse’s weight is distributed over the whole foot. The wall should be trimmed to the best natural shape, being a straight line from coronary band to ground surface, not flaring out or being cut back too far.

3.    The shoe must be of adequate length so that there is no loss of bearing surface.

4.    The shoe being the correct weight and size for the horse and work involved, should be level, with clean nail holes spaced evenly between the toe and the quarters, shaped to fit the foot accurately, with the clip bedded into the wall to fit flush.

5.    The level foot and the well-prepared shoe should fit perfectly with no gaps between, the shoe appearing to be an extension of the hoof. The nails driven into sound wall will have emerged a third of the way up and been turned down into strong clenches and rasped smooth.