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FPD, Inc. Field Guide for Farriers
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Standardbred Race Horses

Best Shoes for the Job

KerckhaertThere are two types of Standardbred racing gaits. The Trotter moves in a diagonal beat, with a front leg and opposite side hind leg moving in rhythm. The Pacer moves front leg and hind leg of one side in unison. The challenge for farriers shoeing these horses is to balance the shoeing and shoe choice in a way that helps keep the horse moving at a maximum speed in their respective gaits. Different track surfaces require shoes with different features. Because the shoes are very light, and the horses train and race frequently, it forces the shoeing cycle of these horses to be much shorter than riding horses and even Thoroughbred race horses.