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On occasion almost any horse will experience the loss of a shoe — catching it on a gate or fence while pawing and jerking it off, or scrambling in deep mud and stepping it off, or some other abnormal situation. Some horses, however, routinely pull their shoes off due to the way they travel and overreach. In these cases, careful measures must be taken to eliminate foot contact.
Most farriers have a variety of ways to do this, depending on the individual horse, and what that horse’s job is. Some horses are more apt to snag a front shoe with a hind foot at certain gaits or when performing a specific activity.
When some cutting horses or reined cow horses are moving back and forth laterally working a cow against a fence, for instance, they may grab a front shoe with a hind or even step on one front foot with the other.
Shawn Renshaw, a farrier in Southern California who shoes a lot of reiners and reined cow horses, says that a lot of the fence work is so fast that young horses may pull a shoe.
“The young horse has not yet developed his coordination, yet he is being worked at high speeds,” says Renshaw, who also competes with his own horses. “Some of these horses are…