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Does your farrier hot shoe or cold?

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  • Does your farrier hot shoe or cold?

    I was reading the "good ole days" thread (or something similar) and people were talking about how their farrier hot shod (does that work?!) their horses back in the day.

    My farrier still does with my horses...is this not common anymore?!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

  • #2
    If my farrier has a lot of metal work to do, then yes, he definitely fires up his forge. My mare is *not good* with the smell of burning hoof (OTTB, ex broodmare...maybe an old memory?) so he does not generally place a hot shoe on her foot - or if he does, only once. If it's just a few bangs with a hammer, he cold shoes. Isn't this what most farriers do?

    Seems to be no sense firing up the forge for 4 bangs on a shoe, although I suppose if a farrier is going to be at one barn all day, maybe it is easier. My farrier doesn't do a lot of big barns, so I think unloading and setting up all the equipment is more work sometimes than just banging out the shoe while cold.


    • Original Poster

      My new farrier fired it up for just one horse. He makes his own clips and shapes his own shoes, so maybe that's why. He never buys shoes with the clips already on them.

      I've never had a horse react to hot shoeing! I wonder what happened to your mare. Or maybe just the smell is too much for her...it is pretty gross!
      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


      • #4
        My last farrier only did hot shoeing. My current farrier does both. None of my herd are shod but back when I had shoes on a few of them I remember being terrified to learn my former farrier only hot shoed. I had never, ever been around a farrier that did in all of my years of owning horses. And this was the first set of shoes for those particular horses. It all went well but I'm sure I was in a full blown panic attack to see the red shoe headed towards my horse.


        • #5
          Cold unless making clips or something needs to be shaped really differently - which are not any of mine...


          • Original Poster

            Haha it definitely IS scary seeing those red hot shoes going so close to a sometimes reactive animal! I've had multiple farriers that have done both, so all of my horses have been used to it and never had a problem.

            I've never asked why they choose to hot shoe over cold, but now im very curious. I would love it if some farriers on here would chime in!
            Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
            White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

            Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


            • Original Poster

              I think this new farrier decided to do hot because my horses hooves are a little rough right now--hot, dry weather and stomping flies has been rough. He moved a clip to a better spot on one shoe. Then made somewhat "custom" shoes for his hindend to attempt to help with interfering. However, the last farrier I had do him did hot on him too with no corrective shoeing at all...
              Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
              White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

              Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


              • #8
                I personally have never seen anyone cold shoe. Every farrier I have ever seen around here hot shoes.


                • #9
                  Ours does both, whichever is best for the horse at the time.

                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                  • #10
                    Old farrier did cold - new farrier does hot.


                    • #11
                      Mine does both, but always hot with clips. It really just depends on the horse.

                      The only reaction my guys have had is when they first smell the burning hoof. That's the only thing that's made them flinch
                      Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                      My equine soulmate
                      Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                      • #12
                        I've never had a farrier who cold shoes, but up until a couple of years ago I only had one mare, and she's quite hard to fit.. her feet are very small and "upright" for lack of a better word. My farrier also rolls their toes, puts his own clips on etc so it needs to be done hot.


                        • #13
                          My farrier typically cold shoes, though he does have a forge. Had a gelding for a while with a bad stifle and he hot shod him since he was making custom squared-toe shoes with trailers for the back.


                          • #14
                            I was always told you get a better "fit" with hot shoeing. The red hot shoe causes the hoof to kind of melt with the shoe. They apparently stay on longer and are more connected with the horse. I've never researched this, I just had two of my farriers tell me the same thing. Makes sense to me.
                            Per Equus Ad Astra
                            (through horses to the stars)


                            • #15
                              My mare is hot shod since she went back in steel shoes. I was given the same explanation as another poster, that it kind of levels out the hoof in correlation to the shoe so the shoe stays in place better.


                              • #16
                                Cold under normal circumstances, hot when necessary.
                                Click here before you buy.


                                • #17
                                  My farrier does both. My mare has aluminum up front, so that she does cold. My gelding gets hot shod. He has rim pads up front, so he is only hot shod up front when he gets new shoes which is about every other time. He always gets hot shod behind.
                                  I love cats, I love every single cat....
                                  So anyway I am a cat lover
                                  And I love to run.


                                  • #18
                                    Mine are all hot shod..with toe clips.


                                    • #19
                                      AliCat in gray, stuff deleted

                                      I've never asked why they choose to hot shoe over cold, but now im very curious. I would love it if some farriers on here would chime in!

                                      [The following is an updated essay I wrote 12 years ago in answer to the same question. Some things never change. ]

                                      Each and every time a farrier picks up a foot, the object of the exercise is always to give the horse what it needs to do whatever it does as efficiently as possible. Purists be damned, if I can give a horse what it needs cold, cold shoeing is my method of choice because cold shoeing is easier and much faster.

                                      Thirty-odd years ago, it was impossible to buy ready made shoes here in the States that were comparable in quality to hand forged shoes. All of the general-use steel shoes on the market were too narrow of web, had too shallow a nail pattern, and had the heel nail located too close to the heel. As a consequence, most of the farriers who shod show horses or did much veterinary farriery had to haul around a coal forge, a sack of coal, and an inventory of bar stock in order to get their horses hung up in what they needed to have on their feet.

                                      In the early eighties, two European manufacturers began making horseshoes that were about as well designed and made as anything most of us could forge by hand. Additionally, they came in lefts and rights and fronts and hinds, so there wasn't a hell of a lot of fitting necessary.

                                      The first shots of the Horseshoe Revolution had been fired and all one had to do to join in was find a supplier who sold the E-type nails for which the European shoes were punched. For a while, it was easier to get the shoes than the nails. Eventually, several North American manufacturers began making useful shoes as well, so a farrier now has a fairly wide choice of well-designed shoes from which to choose.

                                      About the same time as the Horseshoe Revolution, a fellow named Ken Mankel started marketing a portable LP gas-fired forge. Gas forges freed farriers from the tyranny of coal and made it much easier to acquire forging skills (tending a coal fire is an art unto itself), but many farriers did not see any reason to hone those skills because damn near anything a horse needed could be bought at a supply house.

                                      Occasionally, in some disciplines more than others, a horse still needs something that can't be bought or is so off-the-wall that an inventory might rust away before it's ever applied, so I believe forging skills are still a part of a farrier's job description. I see no reason to carry around an inventory of seldom-used shoes when they can be easily and quickly forged from bar stock if one has the requisite forging skills. A few pieces of odd-sized bar stock are a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to haul around than an inventory of #000's and #5's.

                                      Many farriers with only minimal forging skills manage to give most of their horses what they need, but eventually they'll run across a horse that needs an appliance that must be forged or fabricated, forcing them to either ignore the horse's needs or develop the requisite skills.

                                      We farriers spend an inordinate amount of time cussing and discussing the tendency of the younger generation to downplay the necessity of developing forging skills, but without a system of education and formal apprenticeship, the situation is not likely to improve.

                                      Most farriers are in agreement that hot-fitting shoes is the method of choice any time a clip(s) is involved because a burned-in clip is much superior to a cut-in clip(s) in terms of stability. In short-footed horses, a clip that sits on top of the wall is useless.

                                      A hot-fit shoe is more stable than one cold-fit because, assuming it's nailed on where it was fit, the wall is an exact mirror image of the shoe.

                                      In my experience, hot fitting is also beneficial when feet are too wet. A hot-fit shoe sears (seals) the tubules of epithelial cells which comprise the wall at the ground surface, so hot-fitting is usually the method of choice when horses are kept under too-wet conditions. (Read: bathed every day.) One seldom sees the "hoof hairs" indicative of keratin loss when wet feet are hot-fit on a regular basis.

                                      As always, the hard part is figuring out what the horse needs.

                                      Apologies for the length of the essay - you asked for the time and I've told you how to build a watch.
                                      Tom Stovall, CJF
                                      No me preguntes cualquier preguntas, yo te diré no mentiras.


                                      • #20
                                        One of my farriers hot shoes. The other farrier generally cold shoes, unless he needs to modify a shoe or something. They are both good. The shoes don't seem to stay on better with one method vs. the other. The cold shoe farrier is busier and I imagine can get more horses done in a day without using the forge every time.

                                        I had a horse that objected to the hot shoe and I don't know if it was the hiss or the smell or both. He was legitimately in panic-mode, not being naughty.

                                        I put a fan on a stall facing out (into the isle) and held his head right by the strong blowing fan. It blew the smell away and drowned out the sound and he was fine with hot shoeing. Gradually, I weaned him away from the fan all-together. Probably over 3 visits. Just thought I would share that idea.
                                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/