There is no shortage of horseshoes, in size, style or material. It will take no more than a few minutes inside a well-stocked supply store to convince anyone of that.
Jeff Ridley, a farrier from Leighton, Iowa, recently was struck by that fact during a clinic at Anvil Brand’s headquarters in Lexington, Ill. The clinician was Shayne Carter of West Mountain, Utah.
“The place is huge,” recalls Ridley. “And everyone wants to see Shayne forge a shoe, because that’s what he’s known for. But Shayne told us, ‘In all honesty, if you can’t find a shoe to fit one of your horses in this building, you’re in trouble.’ We have such a huge variety and so many options available to us. It’s just amazing.”
But all those choices and options also present a challenge to the hoof-care professional. Choosing the right shoe for a particular horse and need isn’t always easy. Interviews with several experienced farriers reveal a consensus that mistakes usually are not a matter of choosing a “bad” shoe, but rather using a good shoe incorrectly.
Experienced farriers believe that selecting the correct shoe for a horse is based on a variety of factors.
It is important to develop an understanding of what the particular design of a shoe can and cannot do to help a horse.
A thorough examination of the horse, the work it’s expected to do, the surface it will perform on and the conditions it will live in are all important to…