Equinamity-A Revolution in Horse and Rider Training

Equi-note 34 Horseshoeing-why is it a scandal?

Horseshoeing-why is it a scandal?
Horseshoeing-why is it a scandal?
Horseshoeing-why is it a scandal?



The selection of photos shown above indicate a range of shoeing problems. They range from incorrectly fitted clips, incorrect angles, both lateral and anteroposterior, incorrect rasping of sole and toe, and inappropriate shoe type. In addition, one of the hooves shows an incorrectly treated injury.


This standard of shoeing would be disgraceful wherever it was found. However, these examples have been taken from leading international competitors as well as from sport horses in national stables. They should show shoeing at its highest standard. And if these horses are being failed, what hope is there for the less fortunate?


Extensive research has been conducted from these two key sectors of the horse population, and key findings will be presented.

Horseshoeing-four main areas of concern

The research conducted on these groups of competitive horses indicates that there are four main areas of concern about their shoeing:

-the extensive use of side clips on their front hooves

-incorrect hoof angles, both lateral and anteroposterior

-distorted hoof capsule contours

-ineffective/risky shoe shapes


These four conditions are highly influential on a horse’s soundness and comfort. This is because aspects of poor shoeing impact both the welfare and performance capability of the horse. They will result in lameness, sub-standard performances and reduced productive years. Of course there are other shoeing issues, such as nailing, clenching, rasping and shoe placement which affect the hoof; they will be addressed in subsequent posts.


With each of these four key aspects of shoeing, there exists a full range of possible problems. They extend from slight to very serious. As the severity of the mistake(s) increases, the negative impact on a horse’s health and performance also increases. A negative effect may occur with just one of the conditions; but it can easily be amplified if two or three are combined, which is often the case.


The blog posts which follow delve into further depth to explain both why these conditions have arisen, and their effects on the horse.

The identities of competitors

The identities of competitors have been concealed. This has been done so that riders, trainers, owners, farriers, connections with high public profiles would not be embarrassed. This is because the shoeing situation represents a serious criticism of their standard of care. It is made even worse by another important fact. This refers to the extent of the shoeing problems. Because of this, owners, riders and trainers are probably unaware of the actual damage being inflicted on their horses.


These photos have been taken at random from recent major international competitions and at prominent country stables. They show horses originating from an extensive range of countries. This makes it possible to draw significant conclusions about shoeing standards around the world.


It is also essential to add that these problems have existed for many years. This is clear since the research conducted for this blog investigated shoeing using historical sources over decades. And the same problems are consistently revealed.


Also, the problems are apparent irrespective of the current ages of the blacksmiths/farriers; they commit the same mistakes whether they are in their 20’s or 60’s. The suggests that some fundamental training methods have remained largely unchanged during the last few decades.