by Budweiser Clydesdale Blog Staff | Dec 09, 2013
The “clip clop” of the gentle giants can be heard and felt sometimes before the Clydesdales are actually seen. That legendary sound is produced as a result of the shoes that the Clydesdales wear on their hooves. Each of these shoes weigh an approximate 5 lbs. and can last about a year on the West Coast hitch. Therefore, we make sure that our horses are reset every six weeks in order to safeguard the hooves against any possible danger the road may pose.
Although trimming a foot may seem like a daunting and frightening task, trimming a horse’s foot is much like trimming your finger nails. When done properly, it does not hurt. In fact, when performed the right way, trimming will not be felt by the Clydesdales at all! Hence, it is extremely important for this process to be executed by an experienced handler or groomer to guarantee that the trimming is painless. With practice, the procedure can become a rather simple one and one that can further solidify the bond between handler and horse.
First, the shoe is carefully pulled off the horse. Then, the growth from the last six weeks is trimmed off, and finally, the shoe is put back on. There is a leather pad between the foot and the shoe that serves as a cushion to protect the foot and absorb some of the shock from galloping and jumping. This area is also filled with hoof packing to prevent dirt and infection from affecting this delicate area. Afterwards, Drill-Tec is applied to the bottom of the shoes to increase traction and prevent slipping on pavement. This process is what keeps the Clydesdales’ feet healthy and “clopping” down the road.