Horses are shod for several reasons: to increase the traction and grip of the feet, to protect the hooves against wearing down faster than growing, to modify the action of hooves and legs and improve the execution of the different gaits, or to correct deformities. This multiplicity of causes and benefits of horseshoeing has brought about a huge revolution in the shoeing methods that are taught in farrier schools, and in the manufacturing of horseshoes, nails, implements and tools.
It is important to highlight that well adjusted shoes guarantee the correct stepping action and favour the “pumping mechanism” of blood flow, which will result in strong and healthy hooves. The outer heel of the horseshoe must be wide enough to protect the hoof’s heel, which is exposed to a great pressure. This is why good-quality horseshoes are made with a different form for left and right. The outer edges and nail holes must also be taken into consideration. Horses have a thicker wall on the outer part of the hoof, which means that the distance between the nail hole and the outer edge changes (it must be drilled more to the inside to avoid nailing into the hoof wall, which would cause cracks). The nail holes must have the proper angle in order for the horseshoes to be firmly held and to prevent them from moving or falling.
The horseshoe catalogue, even of those which we could call “normal”, is huge. There are many steel models, depending on their shape, thickness, flanges (their position and number), as well as multiple sizes, ranging from pony horseshoes to those for work horses. But there are not only steel horseshoes. We can also find horseshoes made of plastic, of rubber-lined steel and, above all, of aluminium. The latter search a lighter weight, which is important, for instance, in horseracing and, especially, for orthopaedic horseshoes, which nowadays count with a very wide-ranging catalogue.
As we have seen, it is not so easy to make good-quality horseshoes and, moreover, the evolution has been very dynamic in the last fifteen years. The market is now full of new horseshoe models and other products and innovations. LUPA has already been selling a wide variety of horseshoes for many years, together with nails and all types of implements, complements and tools for horseshoeing. We believe it is very important to count on solid and trustworthy suppliers who do not hesitate to invest in research and new technologies, such as those that work with us. In this way, we have been able to include in our offer innovations such as aluminium horseshoes, plastic horseshoes, rubber coated horseshoes, orthopaedic horseshoes, plastic pads, polyurethane resins, copper-coated nails and many other innovations which are beneficial for specific uses and are here to stay.
The same can be said of nails, which come in many different shapes and sizes to adapt to the different types of horseshoes. Together with the horseshoeing implements, complements and tools, the offer has no end and is intended for very specific customers: our farriers, who are the professionals to whom owners, coaches and riders entrust the health of their horses’ hooves.
A lot of problems can be prevented with the daily care of hooves and the farrier’s regular control. Taking good care of hooves is a combination of frequent controls, daily cleaning by the groom or rider and the appropriate trimming by a qualified farrier who uses good quality horseshoes and nails. Mainly for farriers, but also for anyone interested in this subject, we have created several sections in our STORE which we have called “horseshoes and farrier material” and that encompass a great number of articles.