Archived Issue

Holistic Horse Issue 111

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The Roadster Shoe: A Special Shoe…

“Roadster shoes were originally used on horses that would spend many hours working on the road. The shoe has a thicker toe to prevent slower shoe wear, helping the shoe last for the desired shoeing interval. Most shoe sizes are made out of at least ½” thick by 1” wide bar stock. Typically, these shoes will also have a toe clip to help keep the shoe in place and counter the extra friction caused by the calk and wedge that extends from the heel end of the shoe—downward to the ground for traction. The calk is positioned on the outside heel and the wedge is placed on the inside. A roadster shoe is a preferred choice in forging competitions since it has several elements that need to be properly formed.”
— Jacob Butler CJF, AWCF

Working toward mastering higher-level skills, such as this, is a great example of the commitment and precision necessary to obtain a specialist status in the farrier industry.

The Best Option?
Ultimately, the responsibility to choose the best option is up to you, the owners. Before you hit the road with your horse, it is imperative that you do some homework. A good place to start is to ask your farrier’s opinion. He/she should be able to offer some good advice on the best path forward. In some cases, it may require a specialist farrier. Expect a higher fee, as this type of shoeing requires more expertise and is labor intensive. As a general rule, when it comes to your horse’s soundness and performance, it is wise to remember that shortcuts to spend less will only lead to shortfalls that will cost more.

Bryan S. Farcus MA, CJF, is the creator of a select line of “Farrier- Friendly™” products and author of the Farrier-Friendly™ series of articles that appear in horse magazines throughout the US. Bryan currently works with horses and their owners in Ohio and West Virginia. He can be reached at

We would like to thank Korie Kalavoda of Bethlehem Carriage Company for letting our publisher drive along to shoot some pictures and a short video on hoof care for carriage horses. Korie is also a Natural Hoof Trimmer. She studied and practices the Ramey Method. Korie feels booting or synthetic shoeing is valuable to protecting not only the foot but all of the horses joints. These techniques also come with studs to help with traction. Go to: to see this interview.

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