Tackling a loose shoe

horseshoe-2662773_1920Thankfully, a loose shoe hasn’t happened to me in a very long time but when it has happened it has always been at the most inconvenient time. Here are some tips for dealing with a loose shoe before the farrier arrives.

Helpful tools: Nail clincher, small hammer, duct tape or boot, rasp, and clinch cutter

Perhaps you noticed it as you were cleaning out your horse’s hooves just before your ride, which is when I always seem to discover mine, or maybe you heard it during your warm up at the beginning of your ride.  Regardless, for a shoe that is only somewhat loose often times all that is needed for a band aid approach is a pair of clinches and a small hammer. Just as you have likely seen you farrier do hundreds of times, tighten each of the nails with your clinch. For any nails that were slightly looser than the others, lightly tapping them down with your small hammer can do just the trick. Of course each situation is different but in most cases you won’t have to completely postpone your ride for a shoe in this condition. Instead, keep close to home, monitor the shoe often, and dial back your ride to something light on good footing.

Shoes that are moderately loose will cause your ride to be postponed. In this case the hoof and shoe will need to be wrapped. I’ve used duct tape with good success but it does have its limitations and will require frequent changes if it will come in contact with damp or wet surfaces or corrosive surfaces such as rock or gravel. Boots can be a good option of you have one that can be worn over shoes.

Shoes that are extremely loose will need to be pulled altogether. If you’re unsure how to do it correctly, have your farrier demonstrate the method for you the next time he or she is out for a regularly scheduled visit. Wrapping or booting the shoe may be necessary to protect the hoof until your horse can be reshod. It should go without saying that your horse should also not be ridden until your farrier has visited and reattached the shoe.

Even if your horse’s regularly scheduled visit with the farrier is weeks away, place a call to him or her alerting them of the situation and arrange for them to come out early before the loose shoe causes any damage.


Biosecurity Shortcuts – Six Easy Tips to Keep Your Horse Safe at Shows

Biosecurity Blog Post

You arrive at the show grounds the evening before the show begins. It’s late and you’re tired. You just want to get everything unloaded. But could you be putting your horse at risk just by putting him in a stall? The answer is yes.

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Treatment for your horse’s ringworm may be as close as your bathroom’s medicine cabinet

Ringworm Post

By now you know that ringworm (tinea) in horses is not actually caused by a worm. Instead, it’s a fungal infection whose symptoms may include scaly, crusty areas of your horse’s skin or raised, hairless patches usually seen along the sides of the neck or on areas where your saddle and/or girth come in contact with your horse’s skin. The fungus responsible is of the Microsporum and Trichophyton species. But did you also know that discovering a case of ringworm doesn’t always mean that you have to rush to purchase the latest and greatest over the counter treatment? Continue reading

Ovariectomies a Management Option for Mare Owners

The erratic behavior exhibited by some mares, especially during heat cycles, has long been a topic of discussion among equestrians. These erratic behaviors, in addition to other concerns such as population control, are just two of the reasons ovariectomies are being touted by The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. According to Dr. José R. Castro, ACVS Diplomate and equine surgeon with the UTCVM, “An ovariectomy refers to the removal of the ovaries.” The procedure is recommended for mares, ideally two to five years, which do not have a reproductive value. Continue reading

Water Tank Q and A

Most horse owners know that keeping a supply of clean drinking water in front of your horse is essential. Winter has its own set of challenges but as spring turns to summer, an entirely new set of concerns begins to arise. Although every situation and horse is different, on average the resting horse should drink one gallon of water for every one hundred pounds of body weight. The consumption of water not can, among other health benefits, keep your horse from becoming dehydrated. The following are frequently asked questions that I often receive from owners in terms of keeping a fresh supply of drinking water in tanks made available for pastured horses. Continue reading

Five Tips for Consulting an Equine Nutritionist

Perhaps your horse’s workload has recently increased and you are concerned about his maintaining a healthy weight as he transitions to a new lifestyle or maybe you have been monitoring your horse’s weight and realize that he needs to gain or lose a few pounds. If so, you may have considered working with an equine nutritionist. Equine nutritionists can be found working in a variety of areas including feed companies and land grant universities but wherever they work their goal is to provide nutritional information that will benefit the horse to its caretakers. Before you consult with a nutritionist, consider these helpful tips for making the time spent as worthwhile as possible. Continue reading

Successful Stall Rest

The words “stall rest,” when uttered by your veterinarian, are among the most dreaded in the equine industry. When prescribed, its positive goals are to prevent re-injury following an accident or illness while also promoting continued healing and the prevention of new injury. Horses on stall rest can develop such negative behaviors as cribbing, weaving, and stall walking as they seek to adapt to their temporary new lifestyle. With this in mind, our goals as our horses heal are to keep them happy and our facilities intact by diverting them away from such negative behaviors. Here are a few suggestions to help you to achieve both: Continue reading