Have you ever noticed a group of serious “bikers” out on the highway on a weekend? Somewhere  behind them you’ll see a support vehicle, usually a van, full of tools, food and drink, luggage, and with room to load on a motorcycle or two in the event of a breakdown. The man (or woman) behind the wheel is called the “road captain.”

Now think of you and your friends out for an afternoon trail ride. Among the four of you, you don’t have even a Swiss Army knife, let alone a flashlight or a Band-Aid. People worry more about bringing along sunblock than a roll of Vet Wrap. Did anyone think to grab a trail map, or leave word back at the trailers where you were headed?

Bikers obviously are superior to trail riders in the pre-planning department. What’s also interesting is that someone who owns a motorcycle is more likely to understand its mechanics than someone who owns a horse is likely to understand a horse’s mechanics. Just ask anyone who has lost a shoe on the trail.

Horses lose shoes for many reasons, and a lost shoe–or the cause of it–is the topic most likely to send a farrier’s blood pressure into orbit.

Myth #1. Always blame the farrier. Few, if any, lost shoes are the fault of the farrier. A professional-level farrier would have to make a concerted, sabotage-like effort to shoe your horse so badly that the shoe falls off. Of course, it can happen, especially if the