he purpose of this article is to show how to nail the horseshoe back on that was either removed or lost. This article in no way shows or suggests a shoeing of a horse. One should keep in mind, that shoeing a horse requires certain expertise that can be gained only through proper education and mainly through years of experience. To be able to put the shoe back on that the horse has lost (ripped off), or the shoe that we had to remove for various reasons, like treatment of some injuries etc., can be very useful and helpful in many situations. I am sure that many farriers will appreciate a horseman that can do it and that they do not have to be bothered to make a run for just one shoe.

It is presumed that there is no damage done to the hoof when the shoe was removed or lost. Hence we can do the following, providing that we still have the shoe, otherwise the shaping of a new shoe would complicate the process and require more tools and skills. If the shoe is not straight, it must be first leveled off before nailing it, hence if we are removing the shoe, we should try to do it without bending the shoe (see pulling off the shoe). If the shoe is bent because the horse had ripped it off, then we have to level it off on some flat hard surface, if we do not have an anvil. As mentioned before, it is presumed that there is no major chipping off the hoof or breaking off the wall. If the foot is not severely damaged, we can use the same holes to put the nails in, which will make this process much easier even for a novice. Just put the nails in the same holes, starting on the nails near the toe, hammer them tightly into the channel (groove) and bend them (or twist them off); the nails are beveled, please make sure that you put them in the right way. After that, simply cut off the bent nails, clinch them and file them flush and even with the hoof wall. It is important that you groove the nails a little bit just at the place where you want them to bend/clinch, so when clinching they will not pull down on the wall and bend easy and flush. Pay attention to put the clinchers on the head of the nail, otherwise you could push the nail back down when clinching, since they are not in a fresh and tight holes. It is recommended that you acquire advice from your farrier, who will be for most part glad to show you how to put the shoe back on. This of course does not mean that you can shoe a horse, because the most difficult part in farriery is the trimming and setting of the hoof, which requires several years of experience. The nailing on the shoe can prove it self very practical and helpful in many situations and every horseman should learn how to do it.

Please make sure that you place the nail into the holes the right way. They are beveled at the tip, so they will come out. Should you insert the nail in the wrong way it will go inside the hoof into the laminae.

Insert the nail into the same hole if possible, make sure it is turned the right way, and then hammer it tight into the groove (channel).

Bend or twist off the nails.

Cut off the nails.

Make a slight groove in the nails at the spot where they will bend. In the same process remove some of the horn pushed out by the protruding nails.

Clinch the nails over and in case where putting them into the same nail hole make sure to put the clinchers at the bottom on the head of the nail that you are clinching, lest you will push the nail back down.

File the clinches smooth with the wall.


The tightness of the shoe depends on how tight is the nail head in the channel. Longer clinches do not make the shoe stay on better and they are unsightly.

Slightly rasp off the hoof before putting the shoe back on. Use the smoother side of the rasp, lest you remove too much of the horn

Make sure that the shoe is not resting on any part of the sole. If the sole needs to be cut, it is best if you call your farrier.

Tools Needed:

Suitable Nails (get few from your farrier)
(from the top down)
Nail Cutters


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