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14013 Georgia East Hwy 136
LaFayette, GA, 30728


At Georgia Horseshoeing School, we train farriers by providing knowledge and skill at the highest level. Using the latest technology, we provide farriers with the best education possible. Learn corrective horseshoeing, hoof repair, gait analysis, blacksmithing and business management for horseshoers.

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Are you Drowning Your Horses Hooves?

Ginger C.

Link Casey, Certified Master Farrier & Educator

This topic was selected due to the constant wet weather this summer in and around our area in Georgia.

Ironically, upon submitting this article, Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas. Horses and Cattle are not always mentioned on the daily news, but we know they will be in need of care as the water recedes and the ground has a chance to dry up. As part of a farrier referral program, the BWFA, farrier association wants you to know that we are available to help. Contact their website at  BWFarrier@gmail     or call 706-397-8047. 

Horse owners often think that losing a shoe or having a rotten foot is 100 percent the farrier’s fault.

That being said, there are some things that the farrier might miss to cause these things to happen, but with good farrier work it then comes down to the responsibility of the horse owner to maintain the condition of the horse’s feet in between the farrier’s visits.

The environment
In many parts of the country this year, there has been an abundance of rain and moisture, causing the feet to swell. What this translates into is that the hoof absorbs the moisture and it will swell like a sponge. With the swelling, the hoof expands more than normal. Being that the foot is expanding more due to the moisture, the clinches move outward with the foot. Then when the foot dries the hoof condenses down to the original size. The clinches do not move back in with the foot. This in turn causes the clinches to have a popped-up appearance.  Once the clinches become loose, this means that the shoe is now loose and will shift on the foot. As the shoe continues to move on the foot, the clinches continue to become loser and the shoe will fall off.  As shown in this photo with the popped-up clinches. This is never ending day in and day out occurrence.

popped up clinches 1.jpg

The horse owner is responsible for regulating the environment that the horse stays in.  With more exposure to moisture, not only does it swell the foot and pop up the clinches, it spreads the most common bacteria in horses’ hooves known as thrush.  As the thrush becomes worse this also causes the hoof walls to become weaker than they are supposed to be and causes shoes to fall off. They are simply not strong enough to hold nails.


Bottom (sole) of this foot is rotten with black thrush around the white line and nail placement areas.

To translate farther; when wet outside, keep your horse inside. When dry outside, your horse can remain outside. Now, I know what you are thinking; my horse does not stay outside 100 percent and my clinches are still popped up and I am still losing shoes. This is due to the 10-12 hours of standing in dewy wet grass overnight. They are constantly standing in wetness, therefor the clinches will pop up. Bathing a horse to often provides too much moisture in the hooves, cleaning out the hooves more often with a hoof pick and a simple wire brush will help greatly between visits. If standing in tall grass allowing the hair to remain wet, then "scratches" will sometimes show up which is the scabby and scaly, fungus mess that you see on the fetlock.  

So, if your farrier has been having an unusual problem keeping shoes on your horses, do them a favor and regulate the time your horse stands in moisture of any kind. That being said, you also don’t want the hooves too dry. It is best to consult your farrier in order to determine a good moisture balance for your horse.  They see more hooves than any other equine professional in a day so yours are probably not the worst, so let’s try to make them the best.

Short courses are available for Horse Owners and Riders, Trainers, novice & professionals: to learn more about healthy hoof care.

“A Happy Horse = A Happy Owner!”

Submitted by:
Link Casey, Certified Master Farrier & Educator
Casey & Son Horseshoeing School, Farriers’ National Research Center, La Fayette, Georgia
More “Healthy Horse & Hoof Care Maintenance Articles by Farriers” can be obtained at   and

We welcome your questions for future feature articles    706-397-8909