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How to Remove a Horseshoe

Why do horses wear horseshoes?

Horse hooves are like our fingernails, they require trimming and care just like ours. A horse’s hoof can also wear down faster and unevenly if they are not properly shod by a farrier. Horseshoes protect the hooves from uneven wear and tear. Most horseshoes are made from steel, and they are nailed into the hoof wall. The hoof wall is similar to a person’s fingernails. A loose horseshoe can worsen over time, potentially laming the horse if not taken care of by a farrier quickly.

As a horse owner you should understand how to remove a horseshoe. In the event that your horse’s shoe becomes loose, every horse owner should know how to remove a horseshoe from a horse in case you can not get a hold of your local farrier. Follow the steps below.

Horseshoe on a Horse
Removing a horseshoe is pretty easy. Learn how you can do it on your own with our quick and easy guide.

Removing a horseshoe

  1. Begin my moving your horse to a hard surface such as a concrete floor or a horse stall mat.
  2. If you are working on your horse’s front foot, position yourself as close as possible to the animal. Gripping the horse’s foot between your thighs.
  3. Use the narrow edge of the horse rasp to carefully saw off the nail clinches in the horseshoe. Hold the rasp parallel to the horse’s hoof wall. Try to remove a little of the hoof wall as possible.
  4. When a nail clinch becomes loose switch sides to another nail. Keep switching sides until each nail clinch begins to pop out of the horseshoe.
  5. Use the horse nippers in front of those nails until all of the nails have loosened enough for the horseshoe to come off.
  6. To remove a shoe from a back hoof, stand beside your horse, just ahead of his stifle and with your back to his flank. This reduces your chances of getting kicked. You want to keep your horse’s fetlock in your lap as you remove the shoe. Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 to remove the horseshoe.

Interested in learning more about horse tack and care? Check out our blog article “Horse Hoof Care Tips” on the Blain’s Farm & Fleet website.

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