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How can I keep shoes on?

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  • How can I keep shoes on?

    Hi, I am free leasing a horse for the summer and I am having the time of my life trying to keep a shoe on his front left hoof. He's a quarter horse but I think he's got some thoroughbred in him. Anyways, he's been with me for about 2 weeks and he threw a shoe almost immediately after coming to my farm. I had the farrier come out last Wednesday and he put new shoes on both of his front feet. Today after I went out and rode him I noticed that he had pulled that same shoe. He's only had the new shoes on for 5 days. He gets turned out with bell boots and I don't know what else to do I was going to try and duct tape the shoe to his foot after he got his new shoe on as well as keep his boots on. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    Talk to your farrier. He may want to glue on for a few months to help them hold. Does the horse need to have front shoes on? If not, he may do better transitioning to barefoot. I know my mare needs them, and so we battle the elements, but if he doesn't, it will make your summer more fun...

    That being said, you need to keep his feet dry. The wet to dry to wet to dry of the spring is what pops shoes off. Invest in some sort of sealer (like tuffstuff) and apply every other day to help prevent the foot from absorbing all the moisture and then drying out.

    If you can regulate his turnout, keep him inside until the dew dries and then out he goes until dusk. Keep him in if it's going to rain, and keep bathing to a minimum. No more hosing after a ride, but sponge baths, so you have control over where the water goes and how much.
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


    • #3
      I don't know if you can tell how the shoe is coming off, but in addition to above suggestions you might consider fly spraying the crap out of him. I have a TB that will literally stomp his shoes off at flies and bell boots don't really do much for that!


      • #4
        If Farrier does hot shoeing, you may be able to have him try some of the shoe modifications, "tricks" that could help rear of shoe be less grab-able. Or ideas that get the front hoof up and out of the way of hind hoof FASTER, so there is nothing to grab and pull off the shoe. Yep, probably cost you extra for those shoes.

        With this kind of problem, ask Farrier to keep the clinches VERY SHORT, so they don't take hoof off with the shoe. Short clinches let go easier, do little to no damage to hoof as they come off. No, this doesn't help keep shoes on, but does leave you hoof to put shoe back onto.


        • #5
          Your farrier should be able to recognize any imbalances the horse may have that would cause him to keep pulling shoes. A good farrier will want to see the horse go before and after a reset.

          IME a horse that keeps pulling the same shoe has some sort of imbalance that needs to be addressed. FWIW I absolutely do not like quarter clips. When the horse pulls a shoe it takes a nice chunk of foot with it. I've also had them almost get the shoe off then step back down on the clip... not good.
          Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
          Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
          "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


          • #6
            I recommend using Keratex hoof hardener. Aim for the nail holes, and only the bottom half of the hoof. Once I used that for a couple months, 2-3 times per week, shoes stopped coming off and the hoof strengthened. Stick with bell boots 24/7.
            "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
            as a thoroughbred horse."

            -JOHN GALSWORTHY


            • #7
              I second the Keratex. My gelding was losing a shoe each cycle. Within 2 weeks of using the Keratex, his feet improved enough to keep the shoes on. Even my farrier was impressed. Usually all the moisture dries/weakens the foot out causing the nail holes to crack, Keratex seals the moisture out.


              • #8
                What does your farrier think is the problem?


                • #9
                  The farrier needs to look at the shoe and see if he can determine how he is pulling it. From the side or from behind or is he twisting it off running around and turning really sharp like a maniac. This will help him determine what maybe going on also. Are you sure the bell boots fit well? It's best if they touch the ground behind the heel when standing.
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                    The farrier needs to look at the shoe and see if he can determine how he is pulling it.
                    I agree. It makes a big difference as far as possible solutions. My farrier would have very different approaches for a horse that over-reaches and repeatedly steps on his front shoe v. a horse with crumbly walls that won't hold a shoe. A glue-on shoe might help in the 2nd case, but not if the horse is just going to step on it again.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BoyleHeightsKid View Post
                      Your farrier should be able to recognize any imbalances the horse may have that would cause him to keep pulling shoes. A good farrier will want to see the horse go before and after a reset.

                      IME a horse that keeps pulling the same shoe has some sort of imbalance that needs to be addressed. FWIW I absolutely do not like quarter clips. When the horse pulls a shoe it takes a nice chunk of foot with it. I've also had them almost get the shoe off then step back down on the clip... not good.
                      to both parts above
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                      • #12
                        As previous posts have said ... This is not a question for you to answer. Your farrier is supposed to have the knowledge and technique for solution to the problem. If not, get a new farrier.
                        Equus makus brokus but happy


                        • #13
                          Yes the bellboots should just touch the ground at the back of the foot. If they are too large they will bunch up when the foot hits the ground and can cause rubbing . I like the gum colored boots that are double thickness at the bottom. They seem to be easier to get on and off and will take more of a beating than the other colors for some reason.

                          IMO if your farrier wants to fit him too tight or too short to keep him from pulling his shoes, you need a farrier upgrade.
                          Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                          Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
                          "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


                          • #14
                            Bell boots protect the heel bulbs from damage by overreaching. As the OP has already seen with her own situation, bell boots do NOT prevent a horse from pulling shoes. This is a dirty little secret that the bell boot manufacturers don't want horse owners to know.

                            IME it takes some detective work on the part of the farrier to determine why a particular horse is pulling shoes. There are many variables to consider and not all variables apply to every shoe loss situation.

                            In my practice I assume responsibility for figuring out why a horse pulls shoes and adjusting the variables under my control to keep shoes on a horse. I've never expected a horse owner to figure out how I can keep shoes on their horse - they pay me to do that.


                            • #15
                              Talk to your farrier. There may be a way to shoe him so that he is less inclined to pull his shoes.


                              • #16
                                Technically speaking, the "less inclined" feet are, the sooner they come off the ground relative to the limb position under the body. 'nuther words, knocking the heels down a degree or two results in backing up the base of the footprint, shortening the caudal length of the limb, and entering the heel lift portion of the stride before the hind limb has fully protracted.


                                • #17
                                  Obviously discuss the issue with your farrier, but I will third the Keratex recommendations. I use both the Hardener (on the lower half of the hoof wall...cover the nail holes) and the Gel (upper half of the wall and sole). Hooves are fantastic and we've not lost a shoe in almost two years.
                                  *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BoyleHeightsKid View Post

                                    FWIW I absolutely do not like quarter clips. When the horse pulls a shoe it takes a nice chunk of foot with it. I've also had them almost get the shoe off then step back down on the clip... not good.
                                    If you have chunks of foot come off every time a shoe is pulled with quarter clips.... The shoe didn't fit.

                                    Side clips, quarter clips, toe clips, nails, glue... They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Generally speaking, there should be enough foot and the clip should be small enough so if the horse does step on it it doesn't become a huge problem.
                                    Eric Russell CJF


                                    • #19
                                      My farriers recommendation would be to apply Turtle Wax to the hoof as often as possible. He swears by it for horses who continuously loose shoes. His explanation was that it kept the dew from the grass from softening their feet especially during the summer when they are out at night and the horses feet are exposed to the morning due! Worked for my friends horse! She was loosing shoes every other week. She started applying the Turtle wax religiously and now she goes the full 5-6 weeks between shoeing without a lost shoe in over a year!
                                      The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thank you so much for all the advice! I will be sure to try it on him!