All about horseshoes and forging horses

Presenting a modern race horse without a horseshoe is almost impossible. Today, as before, not a single stable and not a single equestrian club can do without a koval. These iron semicircular plates are not only a symbol of happiness, but also a kind of "shoes" for any horse. Find out what they are, as well as how to shoe a horse, videos and photos will help in full.

Choosing the right horseshoes

What is a horseshoe? For many of us, these are ordinary metal plates with holes. But for a real horseman - this is an essential attribute of horse equipment. This simple, but for so many centuries a practical object protects the hooves of horses from erasing and breaking. And if an animal hurts a hoof, then it will not be able to walk or run normally.

Horses have been shod in metal plates for more than two thousand years. According to historians, for the first time the Celts and Gauls began to use such a subject. A more modern version appeared around the VIII-IX century in Italy and France. Initially, they were used only for horses that moved on the hard surface of urban roads.

The very essence of the horseshoe is that it protects the hoof from excessive friction on a hard surface. Conditions of hard work and movement on hard, stony ground leads to the fact that the stratum corneum is erased faster than growing new. It can cause pain and suffering to the animal. However, an incorrectly picked horseshoe can do more harm than help. That is why it is important to know what kind of "shoes" are needed directly to your horse.



A standard horseshoe consists of an outer and an inner branch, an upper and a lower surface, a nail track, nail holes and a cuff. Previously, the manufacture of only one metal platinum was a very difficult, time-consuming process, requiring an enormous blacksmith’s experience. However, in modern conditions, horseshoes are often created industrially and have standard parameters.

There are 13 sizes of standard horseshoes from 00 - the smallest, up to 8 - the largest (00; 0; 1; 2; 2.5; 3; 3.5; 4; 4.5; 5; 6; 7; 8). For the front legs, they are rounded, for the hind legs - oval. They can also be equipped with spikes. Most often they are used for working horses and for winter. Spikes are distinguished in two forms: conical and H-shaped.

The structure of the standard horseshoe

For race horses

Horseshoes for racing and sport horses, as well as for trotters, are made according to individual measurements by hand. Such a plate should be lightweight not more than 80-120 grams and thin - 8 mm. It is made of special spring steel. For competitions on a slippery track or on wet ground, horseshoes are used for horses with a special trapezoidal section.

For competition and dressage

For this sport also use thin and light horseshoes. Moreover, their thickness should not exceed the horn wall and protrude beyond the hoof. Heel branches on the front plates are also beveled inward. For the rear hooves used plates with beveled cuffs and straight hooked part. The front legs can be forged with the horseshoes of Berezovts.

For runs and horse games

Runs and games, as a rule, are complex tests for speed and endurance. Therefore, horseshoes for horses are selected according to the weather. A weighted version is poured for dry and warm (up to 300 grams), for wet weather - coal plates with massive branches. But with thorns horseshoes are strictly prohibited, as they can cause injury.

For trotters

Light horseshoes are used for trotters, but with different weights. For the front legs, always choose heavier (210 grams), for the hind legs - 120-180 grams. This contributes to the correct course of trotters. The width of the plates is chosen at least 8 mm and a thickness of 4 mm.


These horseshoes are used for damaged hoofs to reduce the load when walking. Also, such plates help to correct hoof defects or correct horse movements. Special horseshoes are selected individually for the purpose of the veterinarian.

Learning to shoe an animal

Proper horse shoeing is not just the ability to firmly nail a horseshoe, but, above all, the ability to properly handle the hoof. This process can be called a manicure for the horse, as it involves clearing, trimming and filing of the stratum corneum. Even if the horse is not forged, every four or five weeks it needs to saw and clean the hooves. If the horseshoe itself has not yet worn out, it can be fitted again. This is done either hot or cold.

Interesting! Many people think horses hurt when they are shod, but it’s not. Metal nails are driven into the stratum corneum and an absolutely insensitive zone. Therefore, the animal does not feel any discomfort.

Essentials for a blacksmith

The work of a blacksmith requires great skill and jewelry accuracy. He should be able to clear his hooves, file, determine the size of the horseshoe with great accuracy, forget the nails correctly. Only one mistake - and the horse may begin to limp. Moreover, every blacksmith should have knowledge of the anatomy of a horse's limbs. Very often it is necessary to solve serious problems and correct them with the help of horseshoes.

Today, a blacksmith can be found in any equestrian club and in any stable. Also, many craftsmen are engaged in private activities with the departure of the house. First of all, he must have special tools, without which the work will be impossible. See the diagram and video. In large equestrian complexes, horses are forged in specially designated areas near the machine. At home, you will need to find a dry, well-lit and peaceful place.

Step-by-step instruction

Before starting to shovel a horse, the hoof should be washed, cleaned from dirt with a special hook. Only then can the animal be brought to the machine. Most of the horses stand calmly, but there should be no other horses or food standing near it. For aggressive and excited horses use a special machine with a tether.

All tools of the blacksmith can be divided into two groups: for the manufacture of horseshoes and for hoof refueling (shoemakers). Since we will use horseshoes ready-made, we will need only shoemaking tools. This is a hammer, wire cutter, trimmer, rasp. All of them can be seen in the photo and video.

  1. In order to put a new horseshoe, you must first remove the old one. To do this, the blacksmith takes the correct position: as if saddles the back leg of the horse or bends the front, as in the video.
  2. With the help of tongs, you need to grab the lambs of the nails and pull them out. After the horseshoe is removed.
  3. Now you can proceed to the cosmetic part. It is necessary to trim the entire excess corneous layer on the hoof with trimming pliers, as shown in the video.
  4. After that, the hoof knife is taken and all the excess inside is removed: corns and cornea of ​​the sole. Care should be taken not to touch soft tissue.
  5. The hoof wall is trimmed with a chopper.
  6. We take a rasp and properly align all the irregularities, as if polishing the inside. This is clearly seen in the video.
  7. Now we take a horseshoe, we split it to red color and we apply each to our hoof. Thus, platinum leaves a mark on the stratum corneum, which is the fitting. That is how you can check whether the horseshoe is consistent with the width and length of the hoof.
  8. If there are any extra parts or protrusions after fitting, they are cleaned and trimmed.
  9. Now go to the "pereobuvanii" hooves. We put a fold or a rubber layer under the horseshoe, take the necessary nails and nail the plate to the stratum corneum. The protruding ends of the nails behind the top layer of the hoof are bitten off by nippers.
  10. If necessary, the spikes are screwed into the special holes as a last resort.

After forging, it is imperative to see how the horse moves, whether it is lame and evenly stepping on all four legs. Only after that the shoeing process can be considered complete. See the video for more details.

Video "Checked for yourself: how to shoe a horse?"

In this video you will see the whole process of forging horses. All stages that each blacksmith goes through will experience the program leader.



Popular Categories