Shoes or Reset
© 2006 Cherry Hill
Sometimes my farrier
puts the old shoes back on. I think he's just trying to save time.
Wouldn't it be best for my horse to have new shoes every time he's shod?
Sometimes it's better for your farrier to reset the same shoes. The wear
a shoe receives at the toe rounds the sharp edge of the shoe and is usually beneficial
to a horse's movement and is one advantage to resetting shoes.
Generally, if the shoe is wearing evenly from side to side, it can be reset until
there is no longer a deep enough crease remaining in the ground surface of the
shoe to protect the nail heads. Shoe wear is affected by the type of shoe
(size, thickness, material), how much the horse is used, how the horse uses his
hooves (e.g. does he drag his toes?), how much the horse self-exercises and in
what manner, and what type of footing the horse travels over. Some horses
will wear out a set of steel shoes in five weeks, with very little riding time,
because of the way they exercise. Horses with vices such as weaving, pacing,
or pawing have unique and usually accelerated shoe wear patterns. On the
other hand, certain horses' shoes might show so little wear that the same shoes
can be reset three or m ore times.
With every step a horse takes, the weight on the hoof causes the heels of
the hoof to expand. As the weight is lifted, the heels return to their original
shape. This repeated movement wears grooves in the surface of the shoes.
If the grooves are worn so deeply that there is no longer a flat surface to support
the freshly trimmed hoof (photo 5-26) new shoes are required.
If optimum traction is critical for a performance and the old shoes are worn smooth,
new shoes may be requires.
More often than not, a shoe will have to be reshaped, however slightly, before
it is reset onto the trimmed hoof. Most farriers charge the same for a reset as
for new shoes because it takes at least as much time to clean and reshape the
shoes for resetting as it does to prepare new shoes. As long as the shoes
will support and protect the foot and provide necessary traction, it only makes
good sense to reset them.