Dealing With Lost Shoes

End your frustrations with this concern by knowing when the farrier, the owner, the rider or the horse is to blame

A LOST SHOE is among the more frustrating situations that horse owners and farriers experience. A lost shoe causes farriers to alter busy schedules, owners to lose training or riding time and can lead to serious hoof damage and even lameness.

A shoe is often lost at a critical time, like just before a show or just after the farrier has been to the barn.

Shoes are lost for specific reasons although it seems like bad luck is always the culprit. The farrier, owner, rider and horse can all be responsible for shoes being lost.

Knowing the critical role each of these categories of people and animals play in the lost shoe problem can help you and your clients better understand the concerns and find ways to prevent many of the problems.

10 Percent Rule

Experienced farriers agree that less than 10 percent of shod horses are typically involved with lost shoe problems. Another fact is that most problems occur with front shoes.

Some horses habitually lose shoes while others never lose any. There are reasons for this and if we can understand these reasons, we can sometimes prevent shoe loss from happening at all. At the very least, we’ll be less frustrated when it happens.

Shoes need to stay fastened for a reasonable length of time. The horse, region of the country, season of the year and shoe style can all be factors that result in lost shoes. To put it simply, there’s no “one sizes fits all” answer.

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Steve kraus 2

Steve Kraus

Steve Kraus, CJF, is Cornell University’s head of farrier services and senior lecturer for large animal surgery. He has been a farrier for more than 45 years.

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