How to Help a Horse with a Thrown Shoe

If your horse has thrown (lost) a shoe, it's important to act quickly if you want to keep the hoof in good shape and the horse sound. Your horse's health should be your top priority.

Steps

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    Check that the shoe is totally off and that the nails are out.
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    Remove the nails carefully if they interfere with the horse walking.
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    Take your horse up to the barn or other well lit area.
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    Check the hoof again. The horse may have stood on a nail and driven it into his sole.
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    Wrap the hoof in a medium-sized diaper or gamgee (padded wound dressing)
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    Wrap the diaper/gamgee with stretchy vet wrap.
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    Wrap the vet tape with duct tape.
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    Turn your horse out to pasture or put him back in his stall.
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    Call the farrier as soon as possible to have the horse re-shoed.

Tips

  • There are also hoof boots that are very useful with thrown shoes or to hold on dressings.
  • Check the shoes every time you pick out the horse’s feet. See How to Pick a Horse's Hoof in Related wikiHows.
  • If possible avoid turning or riding out in deep mud as this can pull the shoes off.
  • If the horse regularly loses shoes then is probably due to poor horn quality. Talk to your farrier about alternatives like, ‘stick on’ shoes and barefoot management.
  • If your horse loses a shoe on an endurance or trail ride, you can use an easyboot as a temporary solution.

Warnings

  • Don't ride your horse until he has a real shoe on.
  • When a shoe has thrown, sometimes a piece of hoof comes away as well. If there is any bleeding treat as with any other wound and call the vet. The horse will probably need antibiotics, as any infection in the hoof is very dangerous and painful.
  • Remember to search for the lost shoe, because there may be sharp nails sticking out. If it is in the pasture, it is most likely you will only find it when you or your horse treads on it, so search thoroughly for the shoe. Horses have an amazing ability to cause themselves harm.

Things You'll Need

  • Horse with a missing shoe
  • Medium-sized diaper or Gamgee
  • Vet wrap
  • Duct tape or hoof boot

Article Info

Categories: Horse Care