The horses hoof is one of the most amazing examples of strength in nature. It holds up under the weight of the horse, which equals several hundred pounds on each hoof, and it can withstand harsh weather conditions ranging from freezing cold snow to arid desert terrain. However, even though the hoof has such great strength, it can face difficulties on the trail. Rocks, stumps, and other objects can bruise the sole, and depending on the terrain and the activity of the horse, the hoof wall can be worn away quicker than it can grow. Therefore, certain horses, particularly active horses, need shoes to protect their hooves. When I shoe my customers’ horses, I either use keg (manufactured) or handmade shoes. A skilled craftsman can make a handmade shoe that has much more quality than keg shoes. Handmade shoes fit most hooves much better, because they are made for each individual hoof. Also, they are seated out, which means that the shoe is tapered toward the inside to eliminate the possibility of sole pressure. In addition, handmade shoes have heel checks, which allow the commissures on either side of the frog to naturally clean out much easier than with the rounded heel on a keg shoe. This allows oxygen to reach the commissures, which reduces thrush, a bacteria which eats away at the hoof and cannot survive in the presence of oxygen.
I pull clips on every non-therapeutic shoe I apply. That means I draw a small piece of metal upward which I burn into the hoof. This helps secure the shoe and takes much of the shearing force off of the nails. Many horses that lose shoes normally will not lose them when they have clips on them. Because I burn the shoe on, it produces a perfect union with the hoof, and the clip is totally flush with the outside of the hoof wall. This creates a very high quality job with little chance of a lost shoe. For more information, see Hot Shoeing.
If your horse is in need of a spectacular shoeing job, please give me a call at 314-420-9220, or contact me from my website. Thank you for your interest!
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