Last updated: August 17, 2021

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It consists of a metal plate with a curved shape. With this shape it adapts to the foot of equines, mainly horses, acting as a kind of "shoe" for them. This is done to protect their feet from various factors that can deteriorate or damage their health, such as sharp stones.

At ReviewBox we know what your most frequent needs are as a consumer. That's why we make every effort to find out and sort out all the information that may be of interest to you. We guarantee that what you will read below will allow you to make the right choice when you make your purchase.


  • A horseshoe is a U-shaped piece of metal that is used to attach to the feet of equines or domesticated animals of various kinds. They are used to prevent them from damaging their hooves and to maintain their balance.
  • There are many versions of the product depending on the type of animal that uses them. You can find them for horses, for cows or for oxen. Each one caters to the specific needs of each animal.
  • You should take into account what material it is made of and its size. The way it is placed allows you to know if it will last long or short, or if it will fall off easily. You can also add high or low reliefs with names or figures, as the material they are usually made of allows it.

The best Horseshoe: Our Picks

Buying guide

When it comes to horseshoes, we are talking about a rather exclusive item. It is rare for non-specialists to be interested in this, and those who are, are either starting out in racing, transporting supplies in the countryside or in a specific activity. So that you know everything you need, we will guide you in the following section.

Horseshoeing can require professionalism (Photo: Wavebreak Media Ltd /

What is a horseshoe?

A horseshoe is a curved, U-shaped piece of metal. It is used to be embedded into the hoof of an equine or pack animal to add strength, comfort and care to its movement. They are known to be used on horses, which are the main users, as they prevent damage to their legs.

Although this product has its users in the animal world, this is not its only use. In the countryside, and later in the city, a game that began in the United States became popular. They are thrown on a stick stuck in the ground with the purpose of stringing them on it. This is called "the game of horseshoes".

What are the advantages of a horseshoe?

The product has many virtues. The first of these is that it offers the animal that uses them a long-lasting safety. The animal will have better balance and will receive less damage to its hooves, which can break or crack if they are not used.

As a game, it contributes to socialisation. In addition, many people add a rustic touch to their homes by using these objects as coat racks, attached to the wall, which is becoming increasingly popular.

  • Maintains the vitality of the animal that uses it
  • They can be found in different prices in the market
  • They have a very long durability
  • As a game they contribute to socialize and have fun
  • As an ornament they give a country style to the house
  • Some materials are of lower quality
  • Those that need nails must be placed by a professional
  • They are relatively difficult to get
  • Those that are fitted without nails can fall down
  • Some are too expensive

Horseshoes for horses, cows or oxen - what should you look out for?

Like everything else, this type of item has several versions depending on how useful it is for a particular type of customer. It should be said that none of the variants is better than the others, as it depends on the animal that is going to use it. Some can be used by several types of equine, but this detracts from the professionalism of the product.

Horse shoes. The best known and most widely purchased of all. They can be made in a multitude of materials, among which aluminium and plastic stand out. Depending on the performance for which it is used and the projected duration, one or the other is used. It should be noted that it is the first component that is normal and desired.

Cow shoe. In these cases, the main focus is on maintaining the health of the animal. The animal can be moved frequently and, except in industrial farms, can be left outdoors for hours at a time. In places with unstable ground it is necessary to have these parts.

Oxen horseshoes. These animals can still be used for tasks such as ploughing or various domestic activities in the field. And in all cases, they need a shoe to protect their legs. In these cases, always thinking about the transport of elements and the weight they must bear, they are manufactured with greater hardness and resistance.

Horses Cows Oxen
Duration 3-5 years 2-3 years 2-3 years
Resistance Medium High High
Number of spikes 4 4 or more 4 or more
Weight 200-300 grams 250-400 grams 250-400 grams
Size Mixed Small Medium

What is the game of horseshoes?

The game of horseshoes consists of throwing one of these objects at a stick that is stuck in the ground. Whoever manages to hit the most wins. It is ideal for socialising in the garden at home or for recreation during a visit to the countryside or a day in the park. It is quite easy to play.

It began to be used for this purpose in the United States, when it was used as a form of recreation on southern farms. It didn't take long for it to become popular in the rest of the world and today many toy manufacturers make them and include the stringing stick as well.

What about horseshoes for decoration?

This is a newly developed form of use for this type of article. It consists of adding other details to a horseshoe to make it usable only as an ornament, or as a homemade prop. This is the case of those who attach hooks to them to turn them into coat racks. They can be nailed to the wall if they use the nail method.

Many manufacturers customise these objects to their own taste or to the customer's taste. Some have names, designs, high or low reliefs, among other complements. All these elements make it an item that can be used for decorative purposes.

How much does a horseshoe cost?

This type of product has, for some varieties, a high cost in relation to what the average consumer may assume at first. For the same reason, and to warn you, we have decided to establish two strata where to locate its possible price. These are the high and the medium-low.

High level. These are generally artisan creators, or high calibre manufacturers of international stature and professional recognition. It is very rare and difficult to find them at these costs, but their quality and durability is high.

Medium-low level. In fact, there are companies that can make them in whole sets of up to 8 or more units, that is, for 2 animals. In these cases they also have a shorter life span or are made in a simple way, such as plated.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of horseshoes

When it comes to hardware like this, it is important to always have all the information covered. That is why it is imperative that you look at all the possible details that can be observed in products of this type. This way you will avoid disappointment, or worse, putting your animal's life at risk by choosing something unsuitable.

Here are the features that you should take into consideration as a priority when choosing one of these goods. Take note of them to ensure you make an effective and long-lasting purchase to protect your pet.

  • Material
  • Size
  • Placement method
  • Personalisation


There are basically 2 components with which this type of articles are made. Each of them offers different features to the product. In other words, each one is designed for the animal to carry out certain activities.

Aluminium. It is one of the lightest and most widely used. It is commonly plated to further enhance its functions. Among them is to give horses the possibility to compete in races, thanks to its lightness and resistance.

Plastic. Some creators opt for this material. It is not common, frequent or recommended, because it is something that deteriorates very quickly. In addition, it should be taken into account that, generally, if this material is used, it is done thinking that it is something temporary while a fitting of another element is found.


Animal feet are just as varied as human feet. For this reason, there are no specific measurements to ensure that the product fits precisely on the hoof of a particular animal. It is recommended that you are clear about what they are.

If you are using a professional who can customise your product, you can offer them the measurements they should use to make it. If not, take this into consideration by measuring the size of your pet's hooves.

Fitting method

It is important that you take this detail into account because several things depend on it. The first of these is how difficult it is to put the product on, but also, and more importantly, that the product is properly attached to the equine's foot. In other words, depending on the method used, it is more or less likely that a shoe will be lost.

Nails. This is the most effective way of fitting, and if nails are used, it is always with the long term in mind. Horseshoes made in this way have holes, often 4, 5 or more. In these holes, a professional inserts the nails and attaches them directly to the animal's leg.

Tongue. Tabs are high or low reliefs that protrude into the curvature of the product. They are used to "join" it so that it fits directly into the hoof. They do not require the intervention of a professional to put on, but can fall off much more easily.

Depending on how they are fitted they last longer or shorter (Photo: Terrance Emerson /


Some manufacturers add extra details to their creations. Aluminium, the component from which these pieces are often made, is a highly malleable mineral that allows other elements to be added. This is very useful if you want to give personality to your horse's shoe.

Names, figures, among other things can be added. This, of course, if you go for custom manufacturing. If you buy it online, you can also add particular features by using a blacksmith that suits your tastes.

(Featured image photo: Marina Lohrbach /