by Budweiser Clydesdale Blog Staff | Dec 19, 2013
Loud clomping of shoes and the earth shaking under foot lets everyone know that the majestic Clydesdales are coming down the road. To be able to make this remarkable sound, the Clydesdales’ hooves must be well protected and continually maintained. We have our horses reset every 6 weeks by farrier John Soto. Every 2-3 resettings the Clydesdales get new shoes. Since we are a traveling hitch, John flies in to wherever we are to make sure the Clydesdales don't miss out on their pedicures!
Horse hooves are very similar to human nails. Just as we have to trim ours, horses need theirs trimmed, so that they can have good conformation, not only in their hooves, but in their legs as well. Due to the amount of time on pavement, the Clydesdales wear horse shoes which weigh approximately 5 lbs. a piece. The sturdy shoes make it possible for horses to tread over cement and other rough surfaces without the worry of the shoes growing thin too quickly. Most of our traveling team wears size 9 shoes, which are about the size of dinner plates. In the front of the shoe there is a toe clip which helps keep the shoe from slipping off the hoof as the 2,000 lb. horses gallop and move around. Borium is welded to the bottom of the shoes for better traction on slick pavements, which is crucial for the pulling of heavy loads and cargo, such as the 4-ton wagon that the mighty Clydesdales often pull!
In addition to the shoe, we add a leather pad in between the shoe and the horse's frog, or sole of the hoof. This helps cushion and protect the more vulnerable frog from being injured by any hazardous debris that may be on a road, like glass or metal. Each pad and shoe is exclusively shaped for each individual horse in order to obtain the perfect fit every time!