American Farriers Journal
American Farriers Journal is the “hands-on” magazine for professional farriers, equine veterinarians and horse care product and service buyers.
In this series, we will examine different shoeing applications and various alternatives for achieving the same desired outcome. In this installment, we explore the bank robber shoe.
It’s been said that some bank robbers in the old American West nailed horseshoes on backward in hopes of deceiving the law during their getaway. It’s unclear whether the strategy worked, but the bank robber shoe can provide a benefit to the horse in some therapeutic situations.
Like some outlaws, the bank robber shoe has a few aliases — the bush ranger shoe, Bonapartix or Bonaparte shoe, Napoleon shoe, open-toe shoe or the reverse shoe, as it’s perhaps most commonly known.
The bank robber shoe limits the heels from sinking into the ground surface and increases the posterior lever arm. The open toe enhances the horse’s breakover while limiting pressure on the deep digital flexor tendon.
The shoe is recommended for horses with long toes, with or without low underrun heels. A frog plate, spider plate and plastic, leather or pour-in pads can be included to distribute weight-bearing onto the frog or the caudal aspect of the foot.