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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2014
    Posts
    50

    Default Is There An "Average" Horse Shoe Size?

    Over the course of a lifetime of owning horses, mainly QHs and large pony types, they've always worn an 0 or 00 shoe (if shod). Now I have a three year old 15hh (ahem, full-figured) Haflinger who will be getting her first shoes next month when she goes for training and the farrier tells me she is probably a size three or four. Her feet don't look that big to me but the man knows his job. After the other horses it sounds like she has Sasquatch feet...it got me to wondering if there is an average size, one that accounts for the largest volume of commercial shoes. Curious to hear what other horse owners say about their equine's tootsies.
    Frost Bite Falls



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2005
    Location
    Eventing Heaven, VA
    Posts
    1,951

    Default

    My current 16.2h TB wears a 3, and had 4s in the past (his platter phase). My first horse, an Appendix QH ~16h wore 2s, I think. Then my dainty TB gelding 15.3h or so wore 0s.

    There was a boarder at my barn with a Haffie, and he wore at least a 2 and probably a 3. They are more of a pint sized draft-pony than a pony-pony, if you get what I mean. A TB and a Clydesdale may both be 16.2h, but the Clyde is going to have bigger hooves due to its build.
    Why do I work two jobs to support a horse I don't have time to ride?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,657

    Default

    I don't think there is a real average, except that the current "light horses" seem to run smaller hoofed, with 00 thru size 2. This would cover a lot of animals, various breeds and sizes, but they don't vary a lot in hoof size to manage the weight above.

    Haffies, Cobs, other heavier boned animals, not bred to be just "pretty", still tend to have size and substance under their bodies because they do "real work" in the hands of most owners and breeders. Much will depend on the use of the Breed, in having good hooves of size under them, and aid in longer usability of the animals. I wouldn't think having size 2 or 3 in shoes on those kind of animals is any problem.

    The problem comes when many owners don't RECOGNIZE a proportional hoof size under an animal, whether he is substantial or not. My older breeding Appy mare of 14.2, 900# fit, was wearing 1's in front, 0's behind. Thick walls, thick soles, carried a good load of rider, saddle, and didn't ever have hoof issues with her proportional hooves. Saddlebred, Gaited horses often have hooves of size, longer toes to manage the weight above, which non-Saddlebred folks want to shorten and make smaller! These kind of horses NEED that size and length to do their work. Hooves are not platter sized, but sure NOT small feet. Horses stay sound in work, last for years if shod and trimmed to leave hooves larger. Just talking about the "common use" horses, Trail, Pleasure, Driving, not the ring long-toe horses of that breeding.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 1999
    Location
    Concord, California, USA
    Posts
    8,346

    Default

    My foundation bred Appy geldings, one 16 hands and the other 16.3, wore size 3 or 4s. My TB Appy cross, 16.2, wore 0s. My current Araloosa wears 3s and 4s. Front only band was barefoot until this drought made the ground so hard.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2009
    Location
    Where the blacktop ends-Maryland
    Posts
    479

    Default

    14.2 QH that wears a 0 and a 16.1 Clyde wears a 6 (which farrier says is average for her size). I have one of each hanging over the tack room door

    http://s1269.photobucket.com/user/jo...375a8.jpg.html
    "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

    "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,854

    Default

    When I worked for a farrier, the most common size used was 0. We did a lot of lighter horses.

    Interestingly, TSC doesn't carry anything anove a size one in shoes or boots but their market is primarily QHs and they tend to have small feet.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2014
    Location
    Northeast Alabama
    Posts
    68

    Default

    My 15-3 hh TWH gelding wears a 1. His dam, my 15-1 hh girl, when she wore shoes, wore a 0. My 16-1 hand gelding wears a 1 as well.

    I've never even seen a horse who wore/wears larger than a 1... o.O...
    Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home to Gypsie (1994 model TWH), Dakota (2006 model TWH), Logan (2003 model TWH) & Jolene (2012 model TWH)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    410

    Default

    My 17h Appendix wears a 2.

    I think my 16.2 OTTB wears a 1.....they just got their feet done on Saturday....I'll have to double check this evening b/c now I'm curious!
    A Moments Worth - "Chance" - 1990 Chestnut OTTB
    King Creole - "Milo" - 2006 Bay Appendix QH



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    6,155

    Default

    We really try not to have a horse with feet smaller than a 1.... we've had two arab mares that were 0's but everyone else has been bigger than that. Not a fan of small feet!
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
    Location
    East Longmeadow, MA
    Posts
    3,831

    Default

    My 14.2 Paso Fino wears 00s, ultralight.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18,204

    Default

    Different brands/types of shoes will have different sizing, too. So a 5 in an aluminum race plate, for example, is different than a 5 in a steel keg shoe.

    Check out the Victory page...nothing even COMES smaller than a 3. And you know some of those QH's would never come close to having a foot big enough to fit in a 3 steel shoe!

    http://victoryracingplate.com/produc...racing-plates/

    So the number is relatively meaningless unless you know what type of shoe it's referring to


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,585

    Default

    Like Simkie said, it depends on the type of shoe since many size their shoes slightly differently.

    Unlike several of the others, I've never had a horse in a shoe smaller than a size 2. My 17h TB goes between a 2 and 3 (depending on type of shoe). My 15.3h WB mare wears a 2 (front and back). My 17h WB gelding is in 4s. My 16.2h 4yo WB mare is in 3s, but my farrier just commented that he would likely be moving her to a size 4 this spring.
    __________________________________
    Forever exiled in the NW.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2014
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies - very enlightening. I didn't know that sizes could vary from one brand and material to another. I know this mare, a Haflinger, has quite round feet compared to the QHs I've owned. They tend to be a bit flatter, without as much of a cup on the bottom. I did also notice that barefoot she seems to have better traction of icy surfaces.
    Frost Bite Falls



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