Can’t Keep Shoes On!

Dear THP,

My pony is driving me mad, not to mention costing me a fortune as he simply can’t keep his shoes on! Just 3 weeks after he has been shod, I find him without a shoe – either lost in the field, or when we are out hacking or hunting. My farrier says his feet are in reasonable condition, but each time a shoe comes off it causes more damage to the hoof which makes it more difficult for the farrier to fit the next shoe, meaning he is more likely to lose it again. Any suggestions?

Claire, by email

Hi Claire!

We feel your pain! There’s nothing more frustrating than losing a shoe – and it always comes at the wrong time – just before an event, competition or planned trip out. You are right to seek your farrier’s advice, as he knows your pony’s feet best, but saying that there are some things you can do to try to help the situation.

  • Try to keep your pony away from deep mud that can pull shoes off by suction-power alone!
  • Avoid too much trotting on hard tarmac  – the concussion can cause the nails to raise, loosening the shoes
  • Ride and turnout in overreach boots which can help prevent front shoes getting pulled off
  • Wire fencing can be a problem if the pony paws at it and gets shoes stuck in the wire
  • Pick feet out daily -that way you will be able to assess the condition of the shoes and may be able to prevent loss by early detection
  • Use a good hoof product to keep them in good condition – the better the hoof wall the more chance the shoe has of staying on.

Hope that helps Claire! Good luck!

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