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The Importance of Horseshoes

Here at Palmetto Carriage Works, we have some very powerful animals in our care. So it’s extremely important that our animals’ hooves get the proper care and attention both on and off the job.

Horses and mules wear horseshoes for extra traction and shock support. Horseshoes are metal, u-shaped plates that are usually made of steel, but sometimes they can be made of aluminum or even plastic. Our mules and small horses wear one steel shoe coated in rubber, while the draft horses wear a steel with rubber bolted on. They’re attached to the ground-side of the hoof with nails – but don’t worry! Our animals can’t feel the nails since that part of their hooves is not sensitive.

So how do we get our animals fitted for horseshoes? It’s no easy business! That’s why we have a professional farrier come to the barn twice a week to help us out. Farrier’s specialize in the preparation and fitting of the horseshoes on our animal’s feet. Since horseshoes come in many shapes and sizes, tailoring them to each individual animal is important. The horseshoes of our animals are changed every six weeks at a minimum to prevent them from coming loose.

In the event of a seriously injured hoof, the animal may be seen by both the farrier and the vet where a proper course for treatment, whether it be rest or specialized shoes, is decided. In the event of a thrown shoe, a boot is used to allow them to keep working until the farrier’s next visit to the barn.

Protecting our animals’ hooves with proper care and horseshoes is a job that we take very seriously at Palmetto Carriage Works. With the help of our farriers, we can do just that and ensure that our animals’ hooves stay happy!

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