Lost Shoe Lucky?

For all the driving I’ve done in Amish communities, I’ve never spotted a horseshoe on the road like this.  Maybe I’ve run over them before and just didn’t notice.  If so, I have been lucky.

Amish Horseshoe

Do horses often lose shoes on the road?  The reader who shares this photo says yes: “Horses always leaving these behind.  I ran over this one today, glad the nails were pointed down.”

Farriers are the men in Amish settlements who shoe the community’s horses.  You can read more and view photos in this report on a visit to an Amish farrier at amishworkshops.com.  An excerpt:

Once the horse’s hooves were trimmed and cleaned, Marlin went out to his cart to work on the horseshoes. After selecting appropriately sized shoes, he used a propane torch to braze gritty patches of Drilltec (tungsten carbide) onto the bottom of each horseshoe to prevent slippage and wear.

Tungsten carbide, but no mention of throwing on a layer of super glue, just in case. The account is quite detailed, and interesting if you’ve ever wondered just what shoeing entails.

In other horseshoe thoughts, last week I visited a historic mill in North Carolina for a wedding reception.  The site featured a working mill, a covered bridge, and a number of log cabins.

A friend wondered why you often see horseshoes hanging over the entranceways of old buildings, as was the case at the mill site.  Something to do with luck, I assume?

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    14 Comments

    1. Yes, luck it is

      And always hang facing up so the luck won’t run out.
      I was told it came from the time when everyone used them, and when one was found, when hung it was more likely to be found by it’s owner like a hubcap hung on a fence today. Since they are custom made for the hoof, it would be “lucky” to find the missing shoe.

    2. City Slicker

      Lost Shoe Lucky?

      Off the top of my head, I’d say a lost shoe is NOT lucky for the horse or the owner.
      It probably makes the farrier happy, though..

    3. City Slicker

      Lost Shoe Lucky

      …and if the farrier replaces the tungsten carbide stip on a shoe, does that constitute an “Amish Retread”?

      Think I’d better have another cup of coffee so I stop the mental wandering and wondering!

    4. Retreads

      Actually a friend of mine designed and patented a shoe with replaceable rubber type inserts on the bottom. So you’re not wandering!

    5. garrett

      lost shoe

      I was walking down a country road in Middlebury In and I found a horse shoe, I kept it, if I read the article on Amish fences, being a hanger for lost items I would of put it up, I keep the shoe in my room as a reminder of a wonderful day.

    6. rick

      more shoes than luck

      I walk a 6 mile loop about 5 times a year through the Amish country of New Wilmington, PA. It’s pretty rare if I don’t find at least 1 shoe per walk. There’s one I see every time because it’s totally embedded in the road. I didn’t find one last time but considered myself even luckier as I found a palm-sized bird nest made of horse hair.

    7. Mary Yoder

      Lucky Shoe

      Fining a shoe is very lucky, but when the horse throws the shoe you generally find out if you are paying attention, as it clinks and the horse shifts while running, if not stumbling.
      Our horse hasn’t thrown a shoe for years because we don’t wait so long to re-shoe him.
      By the way my husband shod horses for 34 years, the horses can be very soft hoofed and be more prone to losing a shoe.
      Going back to find a shoe is hard to do, unless you had gone only a few miles. The hanging up for luck is beyond me, never heard of it.

    8. Lapp

      Lost shoes

      Finding lost shoes along the road is not common, nor should it be. It happens as often as it does because of a lack of proper hoofcare…either the farrier did sub-quality work, or the owner failed to get it reshod soon enough.

    9. Alice Mary

      Feelin' lucky

      We have a Farm & Fleet store approx. 15 miles from here, and I used to shop there at least monthly. I always liked to look at the horse shoes & other farm animal-related equipment, wondering how it was used. Bought a couple of shoes there for craft purposes–yes, a horse shoe hung above a door like a “U” is supposed to be “lucky”, filling up with luck; if you were to reverse it, I guess your luck would fall out (yikes!). I bought a sheep bell on one trip there, which I have had tied to the backyard gate for about 22 years now.

      Shoeing is an art, not just a skill, it seems. It amazes me that farriers have such good rapport with horses, considering the trimming, nailing, cleaning, using such sharp objects!

      I feel lucky to be catching up on A.A. again, now that my 9/25 surgery is done. There were some complications, so “overnight” turned into 3 nights. Worst part was having to lie flat on my back for a full 24 hours. Eating in that position was a challenge (the nurse started me out, cutting up the meatloaf & transferring veggies into a cup—I ended up with broccoli in my hair, on the bed…good for a laugh, and we did!)

      I’ll be home another 10 days or so (am NOT in a hurry to get back to work). I hope to catch up and keep up with these posts in that time. So glad to be back!

      Alice Mary

    10. City Slicker

      Alice Mary/Feelin' Lucky

      Glad all went well. Continue your recuperation.

      1. I second that. Glad you’re through it, Alice Mary.

    11. Alice Mary

      Thank you, City Slicker, for your kind words. 🙂

      Alice Mary

    12. Sandra Kathleen

      @ Mary Alice

      I hope your recuperation goes with no hitches…and, that returning to work after all this time will not be too big a shock! 🙂

      1. Alice Mary

        Thank you, too--

        Erik, Sandra Kathleen, thanks for the “good vibes” you’re sending me. I am feeling better & stronger this week than last. I have a couple of Dr.’s appts this week and then, if I get the “OK”, it’ll be back to work next week. (I hope I survive the “shock” of being back at work. I am, however, lucky that I have a lot of good friends there, so it shouldn’t be too traumatic!) 😉

        Ever grateful,

        Alice Mary