Horse shoeing is a specialty and can make or break the horse or mule. A good horse shoer or “farrier” knows exactly how to trim and file your horses’ hooves to correct the way the horse walks and stands. Making the horse more comfortable with less fatigue and putting shoes on the horse to aid in healing of hoof and foot injuries. A lot depends on a good farrier how the horse rides, moves, stands and stands tied.
The most important things to a horse are his legs. The legs can protect the horse with a kick or strike, take the horse away from danger and help the horse get to and find food. His legs are his life. When a horse is getting his feet trimmed, he is trusting that farrier with his most prized possession and letting that farrier do his job.
A patient but firm farrier is essential to a solid ranch horse. Ranch horses need shoes put on properly to keep from injuring their feet during riding. In the pictures below, we show our farrier putting shoes on a Backyard Ranch horse.
Horse Shoeing Process
Horse shoeing begins by picking up the horses’ hoof and trimming away the excess. Just like trimming your fingernails or toenails when they are too long. This does not cause any pain to the horse.
One the hoof is trimmed, then a shoe is “sized” to fit the horses foot. The horseshoe nails go in the outer layer of hard hoof, being careful not to get close to the quick. A quick is much like a cuticle. A horse shoe provides protection to the foot from hoof breakage and rocks soring the foot.
Horseshoe being nailed on. The long ends of the horseshoe nails are then bent down, cut off and clinched down to hold the shoe on. This also helps with the sharp edges of the nails not being exposed to the horse.
Rough edges are filed smooth. Horse shoeing completed on the front feet of the horse. Steps above are repeated for the back feet as well.
Horses are an honor and a privilege to have. A horse trusts you enough to let you guide him, take control of his legs and set on his back. That is a truly awesome thought for such a powerful animal. Horse shoeing is crucial for any horse.