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Farriers/when to shoe a horse


hello sir. how can i say that my 2 year old horse is ready to wear shoes?how does a farrier assess the strength of the hoof? my local farrier told me that young horses should be lunged properly and turned out every day for 20 minutes to strengthen their hooves but didnt tell me how can he assess the hoof strength.

Hello Caine,

Generally a horse that is two years old has hooves that can handle shoes. Some breeds of horses are shod as early as one year. I don't know what you mean by properly lunged. That means different things to different people. I would recommend that you turn your horse out at least eight hours a day, if not more. You should try to ensure that different surfaces are available for the horse to walk on. Assesment of hoof strength comes with practice. It is not a precise assesment.



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Paul Roberson


I can answer questions about hoof care, shoeing, trimming, diseases or lameness of the hoof. I can answer questions about horse motion as it relates to normal movement. I cannot answer any questions that require or request a veterinary diagnosis.


I have been a farrier since 1992. I served three terms as president of the local farriers association. I have conducted research into equine biomechanics.I have been an invited speaker as a subject matter expert in hoof care at youth and adult horse extension programs through the University of Tennessee. I have guest lectured horse courses at the University of Tennessee. I have presented scientific papers on equine biomechanics to the Equine Science Society, the American Society of Animal Scientists Southern Section and the United States Department of Agriculture. I have been an invited speaker at multiple horse industry associations as a subject matter expert on equine biomechanics of the Tennesseee Walking Horse.

American Farriers Journal, Voice Magaazine, Journal of Animal Science

Kentucky Horseshoeing School; Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, University of Tennessee; Master of Science in Animal Science, University of Tennessee

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