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Q: I need some advice with a shoeing problem. I hot shoe all my horses, as I have found this cuts down heaps on lost shoes. I have one horse, however, that constantly loses his front shoes. The shoes usually hold for the first 3 to 4 weeks, then they almost always fall off. This happens only on this particular horse that most often is ridden on rocky trails.
I know a lot of farriers won’t agree with me, but I don’t like using side clips on the front shoes for two reasons:
1. I think side clips look ugly.
2. When they come off, I find that they tend to take a lot of hoof wall with them. Yet this phenomenon doesn’t occur in hind shoes with side clips. Are there any theories on why the side clips on the fronts are tearing away hoof wall when a shoe is pulled, yet hind side clips don’t present this problem?
A: Are there any “nail shanks” left in the hoof after it comes off? If so, then moisture could be sneaking in and rusting the nail. I have had this trouble with certain brands of nails since they rust and then lose the head of the nail. I only use Mustad nails now.
Sometimes it’s simply that the horse is just good at pulling the shoe off. Have the owner observe the horse and see if it’s engaging in any behavior that pulls the front shoe off.