Whether to pull out that nail or other object found stuck in a horse’s foot is a dilemma all horseshoers face occasionally. The wise and recommended move is to leave it until an X-ray can show how deep it goes and exactly what it punctures.

The problem is that we’re all softhearted enough to want to give the horse some relief, and nobody wants to force an owner to haul a horse and pay a vet bill for a nail that penetrates nothing but a quarter-inch of dead sole.

It’s important to remember, though, that every once in a while, that nail will be deep enough to puncture a vital structure and major problems can arise if it isn’t handled properly.

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