Recognize Improper Shoe Fit and Size

Reviewing these subtle signs will serve as a reminder for providing each horse with the best possible shoe fit

Before I wrote this article, I thought it would be a quick write up with pictures of poorly fitted shoes and correctly fitted shoes. As I began typing, I quickly realized how many factors are essential for a properly fitted shoe and how many “red flags” about improper fit can pop up.


Figure 1a


Figure 1b

Before I continue, let me say that I have never shod a horse “perfectly” and have met very few farriers who have claimed to. I am pretty sure that there is something that each of us would change about how we would shoe and fit a horse when we complete the job.

Hopefully, it is minute and not detrimental to the horse, but is still a small detail we would like to change. It may be something such as placing a nail a little higher or fitting a toe or heel a millimeter fuller or tighter. That is why this profession is comprised of so many farriers who always are striving to achieve excellence.

I have been fortunate to work with some of the best farriers in the world. I have never witnessed any of them being 100% satisfied with their trim, fit or nailing.


Figure 1c


Figure 1d

That is why when you observe an exam or contest, you’ll see very few “10s” on the score sheet and very few “10s” across the board. Being honest with yourself can be difficult. I challenge everyone who I work with to “score” their own job…

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