Discussions with a Farrier ~ Can you use clip on shoes?

While away with work at the weekend, the social media famous clip on horse shoes came up in conversation. (If you haven’t heard of these, read my post about them here.) One of the farriers made a very good comment about these new clip on horse shoes that they are going to have to be very careful about how they class and market these shoes.

This is because the law in the UK currently states that only a qualified farrier can:

  • Prepare the hoof for a shoe
  • Apply a shoe
  • Finish the foot after putting on a shoe.

There is a nice fine of £1000 for breaking this law with the exception of emergency cases, vets etc.

You might be wondering why this is linked to the new clip on shoes, they are clip on, not nail on after all. However the farriery act is currently worded as:

“the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the foot.”

This means that if these new clip on shoes were to be defined as shoes, not only would you need to have farrier out to prepare the foot to have these shoes put on for the first time. But every time you wanted to take them off, or put them back on, you would have to call your farrier out to do it for you – which means you might as well just use a hoof boot!

As I mentioned in my last post about these shoes, they are still in the crowd funding process and seem to be focused on the US market. However, after this discussion about the current legislation around farriery, I can’t see them coming to the UK market any time soon unless they are classified as boots, which since the hoof would need prepping for the Velcro tabs I think this is unlikely, or the UK law changed.


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