How Often Do Horses Need New Shoes? Why & When Need to Be Changed

All livestocks and domestic horses cannot survive without regular hoof care. However, unbalanced hoofs are apparent from ligaments, tendons, and internal working of hooves.

In that case, re-shoeing the horses would be your only choice. Conversely, many people do not know how often do horses need new shoes.

How Often Do Horses Need New Shoes? When Need to Be Changed

Most importantly, we should not avoid hoof care. If we do not maintain our horses’ hooves properly, they will have to walk using the clown shoes. Doesn’t matter if your horse is shod or unshod, all the horses need hoof care every time.

If you see, most domestic horses are not able to wear their hooves as intended. For this reason, they require shoes and re-shoeing. Other than that, you must keep in mind when you will have to change them. On the other hand wild horses not need to shoeing or re-shoeing.

In this article we will be telling you when you should change your horse’s shoes and how to maintain their hooves.

Why Is Re-Shoeing Important?

Why Is Re-Shoeing Important

Whenever you keep shoes on your horse’s hooves, do not forget to do their perfect maintenance. Besides, you should give a bit more attention when your horse remains barefoot.

However, hooves grow while having the shoes on. This is like growing nails even while putting on nail polish. In times of growing the hooves, the nails start to become loose which are kept inside the shoe.

Anyways, re-shoeing and regular hoof trims will help your horse to remain in a good condition. Alongside, it will maintain the balance of horses by replacing all loose nails.

Some Significant Points That Tells Us To Re-Shoe Our Horses

Significant Points That Tells Us To Re-Shoe Our Horses

As a rule of thumb, horse owner should change their horse’s shoes after every six months. Other than that, there are some signs that tell us to reset our horse’s shoes. Let’s see what they are:

  • When nails that push from the hoof walls are not strong enough.
  • When nails protrude from out the shoes from inside rather than the first time putting them on.
  • If a shoe comes off or gets loose constantly.
  • When hooves start to overgrow the shoes or get out of shape.
  • If your horse’s shoe becomes worn unevenly or too thin.
  • If the horse’s shoe gets twisted on the foot.

Whenever you see these types of signs, it means your horse’s shoe definitely needs a reset. But if you are noticing the above signs and yet not resetting your horse’s shoes, that would be a bad idea.

Well, these signs tend to be visible if it has been a long time of wearing that shoe. However, it may also occur that your horse’s shoes can wear or twist and the nails may get loose prematurely.

Well, the general guideline for having good hoof health is six weeks. This six weeks is the duration of trimming a barefooted horse. However, there are some horses that need to be re-shoed sooner, whereas some shoes go a little longer.

Also remember not to keep the shoes on the hooves for months and months. Or else it can damage hooves and these overgrown hooves may damage the soft tissues, such as- ligaments and strained tendons.

Unshod Or Barefoot Horses

All in all, barefoot horses require everyday trimming. There are some surfaces that are not responsible for wearing the hooves down. Such as- saddle bedding and pasture.

Thus, it would be relevant to trim the hooves in every three or four weeks, and maximum six weeks. For instance, there are some horses that wear their feet on abrasive surfaces. In that case you must give them light regular trimmings or frequent trimmings.

Shod Horses

Nevertheless, shod horses have a definite duration to reshod. That is, every four to six weeks. It doesn’t matter if your horse has worn shoes or not. You must maintain this duration in every irrespectives.

For this reason, you must take help of your farrier to make sure that your horse does not get too long in the middle of shoeing. Whenever a horse works intermittently, do not keep it shod continuously.

There are some horses that go well with front shoes only, whereas many horses do not need shoes at all. Again, you will see some horses that do lot of hard work, are left unshod.

How To Re-Shoe Horses?

How To Re-Shoe Horses

Usually, the farriers pull shoes off when the horse’s shoes are reset. Moreover, they will trim the hoof growth and shape the hoof. Lastly, they will nail the same shoes of their horse back on.

You will not see any natural wear on the hooves, but if your horse is barefooted, its hooves will grow faster. At that time, the farriers will reshape your horse’s shoes, especially when the need of correcting the shoes arise

Farriers can reset shoes unless there is no excessive wear in the metal. Well, the wear in metals depends on what type of terrain you are riding on. However, horse shoes last by one to two resets if you ride on abrasive surfaces, e.g. rocks. Again, these shoes can last if they are used on random surfaces, like- grass.

Another significant point to re-shoe is, when you see the shoes have become thin. Anyways, the cost of initial shoeing is more than the re-shoeing.

For How Many Days Do Horseshoes Last?

There is a definite time when the horses’ heels go above its past shoe. Again, hoof injury is another reason which tells us to change our horses’ shoes.

Likewise, the horseshoes get twisted frequently which is also a crucial reason to change the horseshoes. But if you see, a horseshoe will last up to eight weeks, and this is the maximum duration.

Anyways, the average time of lasting a horseshoe is six months. However, it would be a wise choice if you change your horse’s shoe within four weeks.


Hoof care is important, especially when the farriers try to change the domestic horses from shod to unshod. Before that, you have to know how often do horses need new shoes.

Generally, people forget to maintain the exact duration of changing their horse’s shoes. But try not to exceed six weeks, if possible change the shoe within four weeks or check how old a horseshoe is.

Just like the shod horses need to get re-shoed after frequent times, the unshod horses aso need like that. On the contrary most people avoid resetting the horse shoes when they are unshod and do not remain concerned about it.

As a result, the horses’ hooves get damaged and lead to deterioration of the body. So make sure you are giving new shoes to your horse’s during the preferred time.

Up Next: Get a good quality horseshoe for flip.

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