Tips and precautions for horseshoeing
The hooves of a horse are like the second eyes for the animal, they require careful maintenance. Horseshoes serve to protect hooves from damage. Due to the constant growth of a hoof, a horseshoe should be changed regularly.
The need to protect hooves arose when people began to use horses for transportation of cargo and horse riding. Hooves of domestic horses get worn out faster than they grow (this does not happen in nature).
The various parts of hooves grow differently and if you don't take care of the limbs; uneven growth can lead to serious health problems. To date, it is a problem for most private owners to shoe a horse because it is much harder to find a good blacksmith today than it was back in the 20th century.
Hooves are a very sensitive part of the horse’s body.
When putting a horseshoe on, it is especially important to mind a few precautions: a farrier must wear special protective gaiters made of thick skin. Holding the legs of horses in an uncomfortable position, people are constantly at risk of being hit by a hoof, it is especially dangerous when there are sharp objects in the hands (including nails). Restless horses shall be bound with ropes before replacing horseshoes.
A set of forging instruments consists of two parts: tools for making horseshoes and tools for putting them on hooves and nailing horseshoes.
After taking the necessary precautions, the process begins of preparation for putting a new horseshoe on instead of the old one. The hoof must be thoroughly cleaned, dead skin removed. The hoof is cut and filed with the help of forging tongs. Filing is done with a long straight instrument which works as a rasp.
A horseshoe is adjusted according to the hoof form and then, after smoothing the contact edge of the hoof, it gets attached to it. Also, another way to shoe horses was found, it implies gluing a horseshoe instead of nailing it. A prerequisite for this is that every nail weakens the hoof and that may eventually lead to a reduction in the health of the animal. However, in fact, fixing a horseshoe with nails is still the most common practice.
There are different kinds of horseshoes for various breeds of horses. For race breeds, horseshoes are made of lighter material. Also, an important detail is the presence of different types of horseshoe thorns which contribute to greater coherence with moist soil, rocks and snow-covered terrain. For some species (especially the American riding horse and Tennessee walking horse), there are special weighted horseshoes which allow the horses move high in the arena by increasing the step.
Source: Server Dean, Horse Beauty; Judith Draper, Horses and Horse Care