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  1. #1
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    Jan. 5, 2013
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    Question ok if a horseshoe falls off the horse during a riding lesson?

    While I was tacking up before a lesson this week, I noticed one of the horse's shoes had started separating from the hoof a bit, and there seemed to be some chipping on the top of the hoof where the nails went in. I pointed out the 'loose shoe' to the trainer, who went back into the barn to get something to temporarily keep the shoe in place. However, she came back out after the BO apparently told her to just let the horse ride as is, that if the horseshoe came off during our ride, it was no big deal...??? I'm not an experienced horse caretaker, but to me that seemed a little risky, not only for the horse, but for me the rider as well. If there's any risk of a shoe coming off, I would think it best not to ride until it's fixed...Or am I being overly cautious?

    Does anybody have any experience with this or advice?



  2. #2
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    Well I've had one twist a shoe and the nails went in his hoof so is not something I'd probably ride with if I knew the shoe was loose before hand. I never have. I have had a shoe fly off in a dressage test at a show once. Didn't bother my guy except when he stepped on it and pulled it he tripped a bit in the canter. Me, I wouldn't if it was really loose. Just me though.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  3. #3
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    Depends -usually there would be little to no risk to you the rider, however, for the horse depending on how the shoe might come off. sometimes if the shoe is loose and can kind of slip around there can be risk that the horse will step on the nail. If you have soft footing and the shoe just falls off you might not even notice the shoe came off.



  4. #4
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    I probably wouldn't ride my horse with a substantially loose shoe, but it is hard to say what qualifies as "substantially" loose without seeing the shoe. It is pretty unlikely that anything horrible would happen to horse or rider if the shoe came off while riding (though I would definitely stop and be done if this happened). I've been on horses that pulled shoes while I was on them (including once in the show ring and we still won the class. The biggest risk in my view would be damage to the hoof from pulling the shoe. But, horses do pull shoes sometimes...he's just as likely to pull a loose shoe in the field as he is in the ring, probably.


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  5. #5
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    I know people who do finish a ride even if they lose a shoe with minimal damage to the hoof. A lot of the time its a beginner halfway through a lesson on an irreplaceable schoolie. People unknowingly lose shoes in the show ring around massive jumper courses and get around fine. My ottb has great feet and has lost a shoe out on the trail ride, and obviously we finished that ride (we had to get home somehow!) with no damage.

    That said, it isn't something I would ever personally (and knowingly) do mostly because I've never had a ride that I've been so desperate to finish that I would continue with one shoe.

    But those are cases where the shoe is completely off. I would not be okay with riding a horse where the shoe is coming off. If the horse oversteps and clips itself it could rip off a part of its hoof.



  6. #6
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    Sep. 20, 2007
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    The chipping around the nail , or even a loose nail that needed to be pulled out or reclinched (note...a barn should really have some basic tools around for these intances), is not so immediately bothersome to me. More of a "hmmm...he looks really due. When is the farrier scheduled?" and if it's not soon, have them out to fix it. But do keep in mind that if you do end up with a pulled shoe on one of these "fragile feet" then it's more likely to lose some hoof wall with it, so it's wise to minimize the risk....for me this means light work on good footing.

    The separation you saw (often referred to a "sprung shoe" ) tends to worry me more. Not only is that gap there just waiting to be stepped on, but it can also upset the balance of the hoof. I have seen a horse that went with a shoe unfixed....it stuck back down, and the heel stated going cooked.

    Other than that, it's a lot of "it depends".....on the individual horse, what you are doing for work the footing, etc...

    Good on ya for picking it out.



  7. #7
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    I'm also in the "it depends" camp. An easy flat ride on a quiet horse in good footing? I might risk it. Heavy jumping on a grass field? No way.

    My guy is barefoot though so it's nice not to worry about
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  8. #8
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    I always wondered this: when someone throws a shoe in a class at a show & they call in the farrier, who I assume is paid by the show itself, does she/he also get paid by horse owner?



  9. #9
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    I had a sale horse pull a shoe while someone was trying him. He was barefoot (this was his first set of shoes with me b/c he was growing out an abscess from a previous owner). He continued his trial. He was completely unfazed.

    That being said, I wouldn't elect to teach a regular lesson on a horse missing a shoe. & if someone has a loose shoe I'll generally either pull it or tape it until a ferrier can come out. Don't like the loose, in-between, stage.



  10. #10
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    Dec. 1, 2012
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    Depends on the intensity of the ride whether you finish your lesson with one off. Don't start a ride if you know your shoe is off though. I've had them fall off in the ring when I've ridden and in classes. I don't usually notice in courses but will finish the course and then take the horse home with no damage to the hoof(in a sand ring, don't know what other surfaces might do).

    I don't think you'd be in danger for finishing a ride with a shoe off. Riding with so loose of shoes that they can come off isn't a great idea either. Could tear up the foot when they fall off but then again, depends on horse and intensity of workout. If a horse's shoes are minimally loose, I might ride lightly, knowing they wouldn't come off. If its missing a shoe, won't initiate a ride.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippolyta View Post
    I always wondered this: when someone throws a shoe in a class at a show & they call in the farrier, who I assume is paid by the show itself, does she/he also get paid by horse owner?
    Yep! Before my guy started going barefoot, we pulled a shoe standing at the in gate waiting to go into my class. The klutz stepped on his own foot and scared himself

    They held the class while the farrier came and tacked it back on. We weren't charged at the time but it was added to our bill when we paid at the end of the weekend. That was a lovely surprise...
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate


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  12. #12
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    Anytime a shoe is loose the horse should have movement minimized as much as possible. Some hooves are strong and will be ok but the nails moving around within the wall will do some damage. On a good hoof you might not really notice much but the wall around the nails will be weaken till it grows down. On a less than ideal hoof you can damage the wall to the point it needs to be rebuilt. $$$ As a farrier I would prefer the horse be stalled till I can get out as it makes my life easier to work on strong undamaged hooves.



  13. #13
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    Personally, I don't ride mine with a clicking shoe that is starting to wallow around the clinches chipping the hoof. Matter of fact, if you can hear it? It's too loose to ride with. Potential for doing more harm to the foot then any good for the horse with the ride. But that's just me. Crap happens, of course, but I never start a ride with a loose shoe., no matter how bad I want that ride, it's not in the best interest if the horse.

    I seriously question somebody sending a horse out to give a lesson with a clicking shoe chipped around the clinches and charging for use of the horse. Two people, trainer and BO charged for use of this one for the admittedly inexperienced OP, one didnt even bother to look at it and the other even looked for something to keep the shoe on.

    OP, you were right to question that and you would have been right to ask for another horse at most barns...of course most barns would not have brought it out that way in the first place.

    Perhaps you can try a few other barns in your area.

    ETA if a shoe comes off during the lesson? Then it depends. In back probably OK, front you stop unless you like using a treadmill with one shoe and think the horse would too.

    And the show farrier typically PAYS the show a percentage of all work performed. Like the vendors so, yeah, you asked for the service instead of scratching and taking it home so you pay.
    Last edited by findeight; May. 25, 2013 at 08:18 AM.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  14. #14
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    I have a relevant question: is there any problem riding a horse, walk only on a gentle trail (grass and dirt), when he's missing one shoe? Horse pulled shoe yesterday and of course farrier not available until Tuesday. Friend and I scheduled to meander around her farm on her horses today.



  15. #15
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    Riding with a loose shoe is not ideal, but it isn't dangerous or scandalous either. Horses lose shoes periodically--in the field, in the ring, on the trail, etc. and most typically--unless you have a horse with bad feet, a special corrective shoe job, or clips that could dig into and bruise the horse's foot if the shoe is twisting--there aren't any serious consequences. Personally I'd usually put a horse with a loose shoe up in a stall and get the farrier out or I'd pull the shoe myself and turn the horse back out, but I wouldn't have a heart attack over someone doing a lower level lesson on a horse with a slightly loose shoe.

    Riderwriter, personally I'd have no problem hacking or doing flat work with a horse with good feet with a missing shoe if I couldn't get my farrier out right away.



  16. #16
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    No, just a lite light hack, NBD. Maybe even a WT lesson or making the choice with your own horse.

    But the average lesson on a horse you are charging the rider to use? I don't think it's a great example of horse management or professionalism if its loose enough to be clinking. Could be a sign of...minimal...management by those counting on newbies to not notice or think its the way it's done in a good teaching barn.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippolyta View Post
    I always wondered this: when someone throws a shoe in a class at a show & they call in the farrier, who I assume is paid by the show itself, does she/he also get paid by horse owner?
    Yes, the horse owner pays and it costs a FORTUNE. The horse I mentioned above actually pulled two shoes at one show once. Went in ring, pulled one front shoe. Got that one put back on, went back in for another class. Pulled the OTHER front shoe. Scratched from the hack, got the other shoe tacked back on, and called it a day. I don't recall exactly how much it cost (was in the mid-90s), but I believe it was in the hundreds.



  18. #18
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    Personally, I probably wouldn't ride my horse with a loose shoe, especially one that appears to be taking some of the hoof wall with it.

    I don't think that there's any real inherent danger there per se, but I'd rather just not have to deal with the headache of a possibly lame horse afterwards and a bigger problem for my farrier to try and fix. If that were my lesson horse, I probably would have pulled the shoe and gone ahead with some light work.



  19. #19
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    Sorry I re-read the op and my first post was an it depends situation. If my horse clearly has a loose shoe I'll have he BM look at it = and she can usually clinch it back on tight enough for a light ride or if it's really loose she might pull the shoe off - as you don't want to knowingly risk having the horse step on one of the nails. I say knowingly vs the times the horse might lose it in the field. If we pull the shoe, then no riding and the farrier is great about coming out to replace a shoe even if it's not his scheduled day.

    IME I'm not sure if a show has to pay for a farrier to be at a show - I would assume they would as there's no guarantee of work but the few times I've needed a farrier service at a show I've paid for it last time was at a horse trial and I think I paid around $50.



  20. #20
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    The show farrier (and vet) work on a retainer from show management, similar to what you would pay a lawyer to start work for you. Like the layer who then bills you by the hour, the vet/farrier bill you per service... and the circuit shows want a percentage of that from the farrier at least (no idea on the vet) just like they do any vendor. The retainer is just to cover their expenses taking off to be at the show in the very unlikely event their service are not required . Obviously a multi day show is going to be more lucrative for both farrier and the show's cut then a 1 or 2 day. And, yeah, they have a good 30% or more mark up on what it costs at home. Something I understand the reasoning for and suck up and pay without comment.

    Most of the show farriers are in what Id call the "master farrier" category and can quickly understand that hoof and follow what the home farrier has done. That's kind of an art- even if they'd do it differently, it has to match the other 3 feet and the exsisting trim and shoe/pad selection.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


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