Never Turn Horses Out Together Wearing Hind Shoes

Never turn out horses together in a field when any horse has hind shoes on.

If I punched you in the jaw with my fist you will remember how much it hurt.  If I punch you in the jaw wearing brass knuckles (as in the header picture) then I will break your jaw and that could possible kill you.  Same punch, different material.

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Never turn out horses together in a field when any horse has hind shoes on.

If I punched you in the jaw with my fist you will remember how much it hurt.  If I punch you in the jaw wearing brass knuckles (as in the header picture) then I will break your jaw and that could possible kill you.  Same punch, different material.

Horses kick each other all the time leaving swellings and cuts but the materials of the hoof and skin often create glancing blows.  But when a metal shoe is attached to the hoof the chance of breaking bones is greatly increased.

Next time you are around a horse I want you to feel to areras.  The first is above the knee on the front limb.  Feeling the upper arm on the inside of the leg above the knee you will feel a large area where the bone is only covered with skin.  There are no muscles covering this area.  The same is true for the second area I want you to feel which is above the hock on the inside of the upper hind limb (the gaskin).  Only skin covering bone.

These two unprotected areas are where kicks commonly occur.  As the two horses position themselves to deliver hind kicks, their bodies turn at an angle to each other.  The hind kicking hoof misses the near limb and proceeds to the inside of the far limb hitting above the knee or hock in this unmuscled area.  This is where the leg fractures occur and in any horse greater than 600 pounds (275 kg), surgical repair cannot be performed and the horse is euthanized.

A true story.  I told Marie to not turn horses out together with hind shoes.  She was my elder and was well known for her horsemanship in the area along with her husband.  They were the “old timers” and she responded, “I’m not worried about it.  These mares have been turned out forever with each other and if they haven’t kicked each other by now they never will.”  She laughed and went on with her business.  One month later she called with a sobbing voice with the words, “Geoff, you were right.  I think my mare has a broken leg.  Come now.”  The mare had been kicked in the forearm on the inside above the knee and the bone was shattered.

Every horse with a broken leg in the forearm or gaskin had always been turned out with another horse wearing hind shoes.  Marie’s story will happen to you too if you continue to turn out horses with other horses wearing hind shoes.

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