How To Pull Horseshoes

Learn to pull horseshoes for your horse’s safety. A loose horse shoe needs to be removed. If you’ve noticed that a shoe is wiggling or clinking when your horse takes a step, you’ll need to remove it. Don’t worry…with the right tools and technique, you can do it!

If your horse is showing signs of lameness, call your vet. Your horse could be injured.

If the shoe is askew, pull it. Here’s what you’ll need:

Gloves to protect your hands
Shoe puller, hammer and clinch cutter
Hoof boot or slipper

1. Lay out your tools where you can reach them, but your horse can’t step on them.
2. Put your horse on cross ties or have a helper hold him.
3. Straighten the nail ends. This will let you pull the nail through the hoof without damage. To do this, put the narrow blade of the clinch cutter against the bend in the clinch. Bend them open or cut them off.
4. Pick up your horse’s hoof. Pull the nail heads out with the shoe puller. Remove the nails that you can (some won’t cooperate) and discard them safely.
5. Loosen the shoe heels. Slip the shoe puller’s jaws between the shoe and the hoof’s heel. Push the tool inward, towards the center of the sole. This is important — prying outward can cause damage to the hoof wall!
6. After you’ve loosened both heels, pry the toe loose, using the same inward push.
7. Repeat this inward prying wherever there are nails then remove the shoe.
8. Put on a hoof boot or make a hoof slipper.
9. To make a hoof slipper, center a wad of padding over the sole. Wrap the edges up around the hoof wall. Hold it in place with an elastic bandage then cover it with duct tape.
10. Confine your horse in a well bedded stall or grassy paddock. Make an appointment with the farrier.

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