Front shoes and Back Shoes????

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Front shoes and Back Shoes????

This is a discussion on Front shoes and Back Shoes???? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Should a horse have one or two toe clips on back feet
  • Hoof boots on the back feet of horses

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    04-18-2012, 12:04 PM
Front shoes and Back Shoes????

I was not sure where to put this quesiton... so I just picked a spot.. I have just been informed by a friend.. that there are "front" shoes and "back" shoes. I was dumbfuzzled to say the least.

I knew the farrier heated and shaped them to fit the foot. But did not realize that there was a specific "front" and "back" shoe.

Is this information correct? If so can someone give me a quick tutorial? As far as I know my farrier has basic sizes and weights. He then heats and shapes the shoe putting on clips or whatever he wants to it.

We just had the horses shod so won't see him again for a few weeks and I am dying to know the truth of the matter.

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    04-18-2012, 12:13 PM
Yes, there are specific front and back shoes. That's why if you've ever seen horse shoes being sold anywhere (TSC, Southern States) they're marked 'front' or 'back'.
    04-18-2012, 12:14 PM
I don't think your friend meant there are different shoes for front hooves and back hooves...usually when somebody says front shoes, they mean the front hooves have shoes. There is no difference in the shoes, but the shape of the front feet are usually a little different from the back feet so the farrier has to tweak the shape a little more.
I think that's what she meant, but no, same shoes lol.
    04-18-2012, 12:17 PM
I don't know about this side of the Atlantic but in the UK front shoes have a single toe clip, and backs have two.

Front and rear feet are usually different in shape, so yes shoes are different
    04-18-2012, 12:25 PM
Green Broke
It can be both. Shoes DO come in front and back shapes. The fronts being more round and the hinds more triangular. But basic keg shoes can be a "compromise pattern" that is kind of like a in-between shape so you can use them on either end of the horse.

When I used to shoe my horses all the local stores carried where the compromise shape and I had to try to shape them (cold) to fit the hooves. It was a pain trying to get them to fit the feet properly. Fonts and hinds would have been so nice!

Generally for basic use such as trail riding, we don't use toe clips in the USA. There are farrier that do it but it is mostly for specialized horses (like racing) or because the hoof has a specific need. But the average horse doesn't wear toe clips.
    04-18-2012, 12:26 PM
It greatly depends on the brand, actually. If you buy keg shoes (shoes that are pre-shaped and machine prepared), they usually are available in either front or back shapes. The fronts are generally more round/oval and the backs are generally a bit more triangular in shape with a more squared off toe.



However, there are some that are sold as "universal", like this one

Where it is the responsibility of the farrier to shape it to fit either a front or back hoof.

Truthfully, though, I would be very concerned about any farrier that didn't shape a shoe (even a keg shoe) before putting it on the hoof.
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    04-18-2012, 12:35 PM
Yes - depends on brand and use.
    04-18-2012, 12:38 PM
Thank you so much everyone.. it appears my friend was correct.

My farrier shapes my horses shoes, with heat and puts clips on all. They tend to stay on better with the clips. I assume he has a general shoe and shapes it for each foot, but I am not sure!!! I am going to ask when he comes back.

I grew up in S. Texas in the sand.. as kids we NEVER used shoes.. in fact never even had a farrier. (we were poor). It was a eye opening experience to watch a farrier at work when I moved to N. Georga and HAD to have shoes where I ride.

I am continually learning!

    04-18-2012, 12:42 PM
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Truthfully, though, I would be very concerned about any farrier that didn't shape a shoe (even a keg shoe) before putting it on the hoof.
Agreed, Robs. My farrier uses front and back shoes for JJ, but always shapes the shoe prior to nailing it on the foot.

JJ currently only has front shoes, but I'll probably put back shoes on him again once he's being ridden more consistently. Stupid TB feet...... The Arabs are barefoot.
    04-18-2012, 12:54 PM
Green Broke
I never knew there were "front" and "back" shoes. My farrier spends forever and a few days shaping each shoe before he puts it on so I thought they were all the same within each type of shoe. Hmm... farrier is coming out this week, I'm going to ask him about it!

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