Plenty of Shoes, Plenty of Considerations

By surveying many available types of horseshoes, Mike Wildenstein reinforces the farrier’s need to analyze several hoof-care considerations

To decide and define what type of shoes to use with horses, farriers must consider several factors. What about the horse’s conformation? What’s required of the horse? What’s its health? What is the rider’s ability? And so on.

Farrier Product Distribution clinician Mike Wildenstein, CJF, FWCF (Hons.), reminds that these factors should be considered with every horse. He delivered a rapid-paced presentation, “Choosing Appropriate Shoes For Soundness In Horses,” at the 2013 International Hoof-Care Summit. While the variety of shoes profiled are familiar to farriers in attendance, Wildenstein’s survey was about the duty to analyze each horse for its individual shoe needs.

Perhaps the choices of shoes farriers have available today are more plentiful than the factors to consider. Recalling 30 years ago the choices were sparing, Wildenstein finds that today’s farriers live in an amazing time with the options and quality of shoes and other supplies.

“You have such an impressive array of shoes to choose from,” says the Hall Of Fame farrier and former Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine head farrier. “If you were going to shoe all disciplines, all breeds for all environments, you’d have to be driving around in a tractor trailer to hold everything. So we make some decisions. And we often specialize in what we do, so we may carry certain types of shoes.”

Analyzing Options

Among the subset of choices, there are other considerations, like how will the width of web address traction?

“The width of web makes a great difference…

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Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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