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Western performance and rodeo horses participate in an assortment of events that mimic tasks found on a working ranch to others that demand precise movements and responses.

So what’s the right shoe for horses among these varied disciplines? As with most cases, it depends. More so with horses participating in Western performance and rodeo events — there are many factors to consider when shoeing these animals. 

Cutting Horses

Cutting horses must have the athletic ability to pivot over its hocks, have flexibility in the spine and resilience — the ability to start in one direction, recover and quickly move in another.

Cutting horse fronts. A light shoe is preferred, although aluminum may not be as popular among some farriers as they find it too soft. Rim shoes are most common.

Models typically used. Equine Forgings Rim; Grand Circuit Shaper Rim; Kerckhaert Standard Rim, Standard Lite Rim and Triumph Lite; St. Croix Advantage, Lite Rim and Ultra-Lite Rim; Victory Elite Competition; and Werkman Euroskill Rim.

Cutting horse hinds. Some farriers stay below a 1-inch plate to avoid too much slide. They’re usually looking for a combination that gives a little traction, but won’t inhibit sliding.

Models typically used: Some of the same shoes as fronts, as well as varied…

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