The distinctive clank of a loose shoe is never a welcome sound for a horse owner. In most cases, a loose shoe will probably put your horse out of commission until the farrier arrives.
Tools of the Trade
Clinches: The end of the horse shoe folded over the outside of the hoof wall to secure the shoe.
Make sure you have a rasp and pull-offs or nippers on hand at your barn. These can be purchased at most tack and agricultural supply shops, or by asking your farrier.
Step 1: Pick up your horse’s hoof, and rest it on your thigh. If you have pull-offs or nippers, you can clip the clinches right where they bend on the outside of the hoof wall.
Step 2: You can also rasp each of the clinches individually.
|Step 3: Gently pry off the shoe with the nippers, starting at the heels. Pull on one side of the shoe at the heel, and then the other, alternating until the nails come out. Do not try to pull the shoe off in one tug as this may break off pieces of hoof wall or weaken the hoof by making the nail holes larger.|
Alternatively, you can use the nippers to pull each nail out one at a time. This will decrease the risk of breaking the hoof wall. Be sure to pull each nail out straight so you don’t enlarge the holes.
If your farrier cannot get to your barn immediately to replace the shoe, you may want to bandage the hoof for protection. Learn how here.
Special thanks to farrier Eric Johnson of Versailles, KY for his assistance.