How Often Should Horses Be Shod?

horseshoe being made

How Often Should Horses Be Shod

It is known to all that horses are the kind of animals that use their feet almost every part of the day either for walking, running, standing or even while sleeping. These tiny feet carry all the weight that they got, and these are also the parts of their body that are being mostly affected considering their everyday tasks. Whether in parks or on farms, we either see horses being barefooted or shod. Having shoes or not might also depend on the kind of horse that you have because not all kinds can be very adaptive to the use of shoes.

Shoeing horses can be considered a very situational routine because as I have mentioned, not all horses can be comfortable working with shoes on their hooves. However, some horses become more useful with shoes, and they even make themselves more versatile when it comes to riding. With the shoes on hooves, horses should be re-shod as part of their maintenance. Some of you might bother asking how often should horses be shod or re-shod and on this article, that will be answered. Is it really necessary to re-shoe horses? How often should this be done?

Going back to the main question, how often should horses be shod? This part of the horse’s maintenance can actually be done every six weeks on average, depending on the type of work being done by your horse and the kind of terrain that you have in your area. Horses are needed to be shod in a regular basis once you started shoeing them because leaving their shoes unattended and not maintained will make them prone to some foot problems like having cracks, under the shoe thrush, long toes, contracted heels and run heels.

These said foot problems can easily be solved if a horse does not wear shoes at all since it is easier to look after their feet condition when not being covered and with less maintenance needed. Also, foot problems among horses can sometimes come off naturally since they are being exposed to different kinds of environment. However, since these shoes are somehow customized and are crafted depending on the shape of the horses’ feet, hooves should be trimmed on a regular basis. Take note that it has been observed by farriers that shod horses’ hooves tend to grow a bit faster than those of barefooted ones, so it is really in need to maintain the shape of the hooves themselves. If other conditions are present that have been affecting the horse’s performance, re-shaping of the shoes can also be done. Truly, this kind of shoe maintenance is really a crucial one because the condition of horses’ feet might eventually affect the versatility of horses.

How long can a horse use the same shoe set?

This might vary among the different types of terrain or road that you have been riding on. With a rough road, a set of shoes may undergo re-sets twice. This means that a horse can use the same shoe for two re-sets (shaping of the hooves and nails and putting shoes back on) however if a horse mainly walks on grassy plains or roads with furnished or flat surfaces, the same set of shoes can be actually used more than twice.

What are the visible signs that your horse’s shoes should be replaced or re-set at least?

  1. When the shoe has come-off fully.
  2. When hooves have already outgrown of the shoe carvings or shoe shape itself.
  3. When the horseshoe has become thin due to excessive use and caused by abrasion and friction over a rough road.
  4. When the horseshoe looked twisted on foot.
  5. When your horse got a loose shoe.

These signs are just one of the few, and this does not mean that a change or a re-set must only be done upon seeing of these signs. With this issue, it is always safe and better to regularly consult a farrier if your horse’s shoes must be replaced or not. These people can also give you some tips on what type of shoes best fit your beloved horses especially if it’s a working horse.

Related Questions

What are the advantages of shoeing horses?

Horse owners who shod their horses have three reasons to give out: they shoe their horses for correction, protection, and traction. Corrective shoeing can help those horses with poor pastern conformation and those horses with hoof problems. With the use of these horseshoes, they can normally work on the field with increased efficiency. Some people consider this corrective shoeing as a form of art being executed among their horses. Mostly, horse owners shod their horses for protection purposes and also, with shoes, horses can be at their best traction in most conditions that they can be useful.

 What could be the cons of having shod horses?

Aside from stating all the pros of having shod horses, the counterparts must also

be laid. It’s been known that shoes can give stress to the horse’s hooves and feet because their feet cannot actually move and grow naturally. Also, when horse’s feet have shoes, outgrown nails can damage the hooves’ tissues and well when severe friction and abrasion is present on very rough terrain. Lastly, some horses’ feet become weaker when being shod by their owners.

 What does a good farrier can offer to your horse?

A good farrier can boost your horse’s confidence and trigger the brilliancy that’s been hidden within your horses for quite long. They can fix a lame horse by just altering a small change in its shoe and affecting a definitely huge change in the life of your horse. Above this, it is really essential to look for a good farrier because they possess this kind of vitality on every horse that they encounter with. Keep in mind that a good shoer’s job purpose is either to maintain or enhance the horse’s hoof health and to protect the hooves of your horses in a varied choice of terrain.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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