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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
  • Differences front and back horse shoes
  • What is the difference between a front and hind horse shoe

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    04-18-2012, 01:42 PM
  #11
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfina    
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!
That's more of a preference for the shoer. Some like pre formed shoes and some like to make their own.
     
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    04-18-2012, 02:14 PM
  #12
Showing
^^Exactly. My Dad always preferred the pre-shaped keg shoes. My brother, on the other hand, prefers the universal ones.
     
    04-19-2012, 12:47 AM
  #13
Weanling
There are certainly front versus hind pattern shoes, whether keg (pre-manufactured) or handmade.

As already shared, there are also a few "compromise" patterns intended to be used on either end of the horse. Farriers call these "frinds". They're not a front or a hind... they're a frind.

St. Croix lights are an example. The frind shoe is popular with farriers who have a preference for cold shoeing or are less skilled in the forge.

As previously shared, the difference between a front and hind pattern shoe is due to the difference in how a horses front feet are shaped as compared to the hind feet.

The hinds will tend to be more "pointy" at the toe with the heel quarter radius farther back relative to the middle of the shoe.

The fronts are more rounded or oval shaped at the toe and will have the radius change occur closer to the center of the foot (ideally).

The front and hind hooves are shaped different because the coffin bone inside that hoof is different. The difference is a consequence of limb function... support (fronts) versus propulsion (hinds). Remember... horses are, for the most part, rear wheel drive.

Now here's the fun part.

What is lesser known is that there are also right and left patterned shoes!

In fact, whether handmade or keg, almost all properly shaped horseshoes will have a front right, front left, hind right and hind left pattern. They are not interchangeable.

Why is this?

Because the hoof wall is typically straighter on the medial side than the lateral side. The lateral side (outside) will usually be more rounded or bolder. This difference in medial/lateral shape is a consequence of how a horse loads.

Yep, it all goes back to that bio-mechanics thing.

Even those keg shoes that are not sold in right/left patterns should be shaped to reflect that difference in the feet. The right/left patterns are more visually obvious in front feet than in the hinds. Keg shoes sold in right/left patterns will often have a manufacturers stamp on the outside branch of the shoe to remind the farrier which side is which.

If the shoes are not sold/marked as right or left patterns (many aren't), some farriers will use a punch to create a small dot on the lateral branch of the right shoe. Again, this helps to remind the farrier which is which when he's finished shaping and carries the shoes back to the horse.

I mark my shoes for left/right (actually just the right shoe) and add a punched dot each time I reset a pair of shoes. That helps me remember six weeks later how many times, if any, I've reset those same shoes. One dot means I put them on new at my last visit. Two dots, I've reset the same shoes once; three dots they've been reset twice and it's almost certainly time for new shoes. I rarely get two resets out of a pair of steel shoes. I never reset aluminum.

So... does some of this information give you pause to wonder at just what your farrier is doing when he shoes your horse? Does he shape the shoes with front/hind/left/right patterns in mind or does he just nail 'em on cold and rasp the foot down to match the pre-manufactured shape?

Is he shaping the shoes to fit the foot, or is he shaping the foot to fit the shoe?

More to the point, does he/she know or even care about the difference?

Do you?

Your horse certainly does!

Cheers,
Mark
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    04-19-2012, 07:59 AM
  #14
Weanling
WOW Mark..

Thanks soooo very much for the tutorial!! That was very interesting and informative!

My farrier usually comes while I am at work. Although I have watched him before and he does hot shape them, and burn them onto the hoof. We usually get one reset per pair! (I may not have used the correct terms)

I will have to try and have him come when I can be there so I can ask him multiple questions.. you have given me enough info to make me dangerous!!ha!!

Rhonda
     
    04-19-2012, 09:41 AM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by RhondaLynn    
WOW Mark..

Thanks soooo very much for the tutorial!! That was very interesting and informative!

My farrier usually comes while I am at work. Although I have watched him before and he does hot shape them, and burn them onto the hoof. We usually get one reset per pair! (I may not have used the correct terms)

I will have to try and have him come when I can be there so I can ask him multiple questions.. you have given me enough info to make me dangerous!!ha!!

Rhonda
If he's taking the time to hot shape and hot fit your horse, you can safely bet the farm that he well understands the difference between front/hind/left/right patterns.

As a sidenote, the AFA requires that the certification shoe board display (one of the three part certification exams) must present a combination of front and hind patterns. The rules changed, effective May 1st of this year, in that the certification candidate must supply the original patterns with those same patterns cut to accommodate clip placement and size.

The AFA just raised the quality bar... again.

Hopefully, forum readers are starting to get the idea that there's a lot more to good farriery than just nailing a piece of steel on a horse's foot.

Cheers,
Mark
     
    04-19-2012, 10:30 AM
  #16
Trained
Love Mark's post! I always wondered why my farrier punched holes into my horse's shoes...
Is it also normal for the lateral side of the hoof to be less "fleshy" than the medial side? Because the medial side is more weight bearing?

My horse right now actually has shoes from two different continents on his hooves. The fronts are a shoe from Germany and the hinds are a shoe from the US.
     
    04-19-2012, 10:51 AM
  #17
Weanling
Thanks Mark.

My farrier is a young guy, just got out of school about a year ago from some fairly well known one in oklahoma.. I know he does a good job and has gone above and beyond at times for us. I just had a friend say her horse had front/back shoes and never knew that.. NOW I KNOW!!

THANK YOU!

Rhonda
     
    04-19-2012, 10:59 AM
  #18
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by RhondaLynn    
Thanks Mark.

My farrier is a young guy, just got out of school about a year ago from some fairly well known one in oklahoma..
Probably Five Star Horseshoeing School. Tell your farrier to tell Dusty I said hello! Yeah, Five Star is one of the best and Dusty Franklin is as good as they get.

Quote:
I know he does a good job and has gone above and beyond at times for us. I just had a friend say her horse had front/back shoes and never knew that.. NOW I KNOW!!
Knowledge is power!

Quote:
THANK YOU!

Rhonda
De nada, por nada, con placer!

Cheers,
Mark
     
    04-19-2012, 11:04 AM
  #19
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Love Mark's post! I always wondered why my farrier punched holes into my horse's shoes...
Thanks for the flowers.

Quote:
Is it also normal for the lateral side of the hoof to be less "fleshy" than the medial side? Because the medial side is more weight bearing?
Yep and yep.

Quote:
My horse right now actually has shoes from two different continents on his hooves. The fronts are a shoe from Germany and the hinds are a shoe from the US.
Must be a veeeeery long backed horse!

Cheers,
Mark
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