Warning Signs Of Shoe Wear

Paying attention to unusual patterns or changes in this area can help you head off potentially serious soreness issues

Pictured Above: Pain in the hocks, stifle, knees and joint pain will affect shoe wear more than hoof problems. If the shoe wear changes, but nothing else has changed, it’s an indication of soreness, Steve Stanley says

When experienced farriers check the wear on horseshoes they’ve just removed from a horse, it isn’t just to see whether they can reset them. They’re also looking for valuable information.

Four veteran farriers took time to share some of what they’ve gleaned from studying the wear patterns on horseshoes over their careers. They include:

  • Blake Brown, a retired farrier from Penryn, Calif., who was the staff farrier at Loomis Bay Veterinary Clinic for more than 20 years and whose career spans more than half a century.
  • Dave Farley, an International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member, who shoes a wide variety of top show horses around Wellington, Fla., and Coshocton, Ohio.
  • Dean Moshier, who shoes a wide variety of horses in his Balanced Hoof and Horse Inc. practice of Delaware, Ohio.
  • Steve Stanley of Versailles, Ky., who shoes at the Red Mile harness racing track in Lexington, Ky.

All four of these hoof-care professionals agree shoe wear can tell you a lot, so long as you learn what to look for.

“Excessive shoe wear or a change in how a horse wears its shoes is a red flag in all disciplines with performance horses,” says Stanley. “Any time a horse starts wearing its shoes differently, you’d better start looking. Most uneven shoe wear is…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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