Shoeing Racehorses at the Track

No matter what devices farriers use, their goal is the same: to give each horse the best opportunity to run to his potential. Here’s how they help racehorses succeed on the track.
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shoeing racehorses
Even though the aluminum shoe is lightweight, it still protects the foot well. Horses at racing speed are hitting the ground with great concussive force, which is why very few racehorses compete barefoot. | Photo: iStock

Just as a saddle must fit both horse and rider, a horseshoe must fit both athlete and sport. A Clydesdale pulling a wagon in a parade down a paved street requires a much bigger and heavier shoe than a hunter-jumper performing in a manicured dirt arena.

Likewise, Thoroughbred racehorses wear specialized shoes that protect their feet without interfering with their speed.

Most horses that require shoes wear some version of a steel plate, but not racehorses

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Written by:

Tracy Gantz is a freelance writer based in Southern California. She is the Southern California correspondent for The Blood-Horse and a regular contributor to Paint Horse Journal, Paint Racing News, and Appaloosa Journal.

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