Like the title says, my 3 year old thoroughbred has lost the same shoe twice now within 3 weeks. First time she lost it, she was galloping around the pasture with my other horse. She stepped on the back and it flew off. I got the shoe put back on (i actually got all of her feet reset because she due in about 2 weeks anyway). Today I got home from work, went out to feed and the same shoe is gone again. I'm not sure how she did it this time but its a good possibility she did it the same way.
She does wear pull-on bell boots 24/7, and they are the correct size. I scheduled the farrier to come out on Monday and I'm just hoping she won't pull it again. Any ideas as to why the shoe keeps coming off or suggestions on what to do about it?
As always, thank you all in advance!
There are a lot of reasons why a horse may pull a shoe and it can be as frustrating for the practicing farrier as it is for the client.
A few reasons include dorsal/palmar imbalance in the fore feet; excess caudal support/length; excess hind toe length; excess medial/lateral fit; interference/over-reaching. Environment can be a significant contributor. So can equine conformation. Sometimes it's nothing more than a horse hooking the heels on a fence line.
Dialing in a horse can be an exercise in compromise. Give them all the support and/or adjustments to caudal elevation that best benefits the horse and the risk of pulling a shoe seems to increase. Fit them tight or short and the shoes stay on to the detriment of the animal.
So, what can be done to improve the situation?
Proper fit is important. The trouble is in knowing what "proper" is for a given horse.
Make sure the shoes are boxed and safed! In my opinion, this is critical to keeping properly fit shoes on.
Make sure the shoe is fit and balanced as best as possible around the center of articulation. A 50/50 balance is considered ideal but not always possible.
If conformation is a factor (downhill, deep reaching, etc), make sure the heel buttress is covered but forgo length in excess of that coverage.
Reduce breakover length of the fores (setback, rolled or rockered toes). Increase load/unload timing on the hinds (Perimeter fit, slightly extended heels, etc). If the horse presents a downhill conformation, I may rocker the hind toes.
Hunter fit (tight through the heel quarters) on the fores. This may necessitate shorter shoeing cycles.
Properly fit bell boots can make a lot of difference, particularly for horses at liberty.
High nails, clinched small. If the horse does pull a shoe, we want the nails to come out clean. Small, thin clinches will unfold, allowing the nail to pull out without damaging the distal wall.
Clips can improve staying strength while reducing the number of needed nails but aren't appropriate for all horses. Avoid quarter clip use on horses with boxy (narrow) feet.
In extreme cases I may spoon the heels of the front shoes.
Patience while the farrier tries to figure out what works best for your horse. Presuming your farrier is reasonably competent, changing farriers will only mean repeating the "dial-in" cycle.
It can be a challenge. If it was easy, trimmers would shoe horses.