Ownership 101
Your farrier and your horse's feet

The old saying goes “no hoof, no horse” and it is so true. Hoof problems can keep your horse out of competition and foals with poor feet may be compromised and have little chance of being racehorses. A famous story is how A.P. INDY, the favorite, was scratched the morning of the Kentucky Derby due to a foot bruise.

Vigilant trimming of your foal’s feet can help correct leg deformities. On the flip side, feet trimmed improperly or not often enough can lead to leg deformities or cause injuries. A horse in training must be re-shod about every 4 weeks and a foal may need trimming as often as every two weeks. Yearlings are usually trimmed about every 3-4 weeks.

“Regular” shoeing includes hoof trimming and runs about $85-$150 per horse at the track, less at the farm or training center (the price depends on your locale and the farrier´s expertise). When it comes to “special” or “remedial” shoeing and procedures, farriers will charge according to their reputation, experience and what the local market will bear with charges for things like quarter crack patches and glue on shoes potentially adding $500 per month or better to your farrier expenses

Bar shoes are for horses developing hoof or quarter cracks and are $50- $100 per shoe, applied instead of “regular” shoes. There are various types of bar shoes, but all share the same design in that they are closed at the heal.

Quarter Crack Patches repair serious (and inevitable) hoof cracks – $300-$400 per patch, in addition to the “regular” shoeing. The cracks are wired together and a fiberglass or acrylic patch is placed over the wires.

Bonded Shoes are a variation of pads. The shoe comes with a shock absorbing material “bonded” to the racing plate. Usually adds about 20% to the cost of “regular” shoeing.

Glue on Shoes have become very popular in the last 5 years for horses with chronic foot problems. No nails are driven in the hoof. The shoes are glued on with high tech materials in an elaborate procedure. $300-$400 per shoeing.

Extension Shoes are used to help correct angular limb deformities of foals. They are usually glued on and run $75-$300.

Trimming of your horse’s feet where no shoes are applied for those horses out on pasture, yearlings and weanlings usually runs $20-$35.