Can anybody tell me why some farriers use the hot method for shoeing and some don't? My horse seems to prefer no heat. Or is it just my imagination? I've been told that they can't feel the hot shoes when applied but I'm not so sure of that.
Not trying to pretend to be a professional, but I can tell you opinion that is popular among people who use traditional shoeing, not barefoot [who almost completely don't support horseshoes]. I mean - in my country.
hot shoeing is seen more as the way of higher quality farrier than cold, also cold being consider somewhat "lazy".
applying hot shoe allows the shoe to take more precise form of the hoof, as farrier can adjust it. rather than trimming hoof to fit the shoe, which could happen in case of cold shoeing.
well - also - would any horse stand still, if placing a hot shoe would be hurtful? or when nails are hammered in?
saying again - i'm no professional, just expressing the popular opinion.
I am told that hot-seating the shoe draws out and seals out moisture, which can benefit horses in wet climates by strengthening the horn.
Personally, I'd be a little leery of a farrier who "only shoes hot" or "only shoes cold." I think a good farrier should shoe the horse according to its individual needs.
For example, yesterday when my farrier started working on my thin-soled TB, he thought he would apply a regular steel shoe and hot seat it. After preparing the hoof and carefully testing sensitivity, he instead chose a wedge pad with impression material and sole-relief plate, and fit the package cold.
My horse is also a thin soled (but not terribly thin) TB with under-slung heels. He's had the wedge pads with the dental impression material as well. He appeared to go well with that combo. But now I have him in natural balance shoes with no pads (maybe front pads next shoeing) and the new farrier used the cold shoeing method. I think my horse prefers the cold shoeing method because he behaved alot better for the shoeing. In the past when they would fit the hot shoe he would try and pull his foot away until he realized he wasn't going to win that battle and then he would let the farrier fit the shoe. I also think the smell of burning hoof bothered him. All in all the cold shoeing procedure was more pleasant and he stayed relaxed.
A good farrier is a good farrier - whether they shoe hot or cold.
A good farrier arrives on time, the shoes stay on for more than 5 weeks at a time, the horse is handled with care, and the horse is certainly not lamed by the visit for even one moment.
Hot shoes are popular here in the UK. If the shoe is burned on to the hoof for too long, I know it can cause it to dry out, which may lead to cracking and the only reason to burn the shoe at all is to test the fit of the shoe to the hoof.
It is certainly true that cold shoes have to have the hoof made to fit the shoe, and hot shoes can be adjusted to fit the hoof.
Some thorougbreds are very touchy though and prefer cold shoeing - and many race horses here are cold shod. More and more people here are goinf barefoot too, but it seems that not all horses can take that either. We have a lot of road work to do here and that can make the barefoot option less easy to manage.
Remedial shoeing could be more tricky with cold shoeing perhaps? Not sure on that one!