How Much Does It Cost To Shoe a Horse

How Much Does It Cost To Shoe a Horse in 2024?

You’ve been around horses long enough to know those hooves need regular trims and new shoes. But have you price getting your horseshoe lately? Between inflation and the rising cost of materials, a routine farrier visit can take a big bite out of your horse budget these days. In this article, we’ll break down the current average cost for shoe a horse in 2024.

You’ll learn what goes into pricing those new shoes, regional differences across the country, and tips to keep your horse’s feet healthy without breaking the bank. With the right information, you can budget smart and keep your horse stepping comfortably all year long. Let’s take a look at realistic numbers for this essential equine care.

What Is Horseshoeing?

How Much Does It Cost To Shoe a Horse

Horseshoeing, or farriery, is essential for the health and wellbeing of horses. Horseshoes provide support and protection for the hooves. The cost of shoeing a horse depends on several factors, including the size and condition of the hooves,

Materials and Equipment

Farriers require high-quality tools and materials to properly shoe horses. They use a forge or furnace to heat horseshoes before shaping them to the hooves. Anvils, hammers, nippers, rasps, and knives are needed to trim and prepare the hooves.

Horseshoes are typically made of aluminum or steel. The cost of equipment and supplies can range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more for a farrier to get started.

Farrier Experience and Skill

An experienced, skilled farrier will charge more than someone who is just starting out. Farriers go through extensive training and apprenticeships to learn proper shoeing techniques. The average cost of a horseshoeing school program is $5,000 to $10,000. Continuing education and certifications also allow farriers to improve their skills and charge higher rates.

Frequency of Shoeing

Most horses need to be shod every 4 to 6 weeks. Shoeing too frequently or not often enough can lead to hoof problems and lameness. The total cost to shoe a horse for a year typically ranges from $600 to $1,200 or more, depending on the frequency. Some farriers may charge less for a horse that is shod more often, while others will charge the same rate regardless of frequency.

Additional Services

Farriers often provide additional services beyond just shoeing, such as trimming overgrown hooves, inspecting hooves for injury or disease, and consultation on hoof care issues. They may charge extra for corrective shoeing for horses with conformational issues or lameness. Medical hoof pads, synthetic shoes, and therapeutic shoes can increase the cost of shoeing as well.

In summary, you can expect to pay between $30 to $150 or more for a standard shoeing, depending on the factors above. Proper hoof care and shoeing are essential for the soundness and performance of horses, so choosing an experienced, reputable farrier is well worth the investment.

Factors That Impact Shoeing Costs

The cost to have your horse shooed can vary quite a bit depending on several factors. The type of horseshoe and any corrective shoeing needed are two of the biggest factors.

Standard steel horseshoes will typically be on the lower end of the cost spectrum. Aluminum shoes are more expensive, as are specialized shoes for corrective purposes or competition. Corrective shoeing, such as for hoof imbalances or injuries, also adds to the total bill. The more time and expertise required for your horse’s shoeing needs, the higher the fees will be.

The number of shoes needed is another factor. Most riding horses need four shoes, one for each hoof. However, some horses can go without hind shoes, especially if they are not being ridden. Removing two shoes from the total will lower costs.

Your farrier’s experience and qualifications play a role in pricing too. A certified journeyman farrier or master farrier with extensive experience can charge higher rates than an apprentice. However, an apprentice working under an experienced farrier’s supervision can still do a competent job at a lower cost.

Geographic location also impacts shoeing fees. Cost of living and demand for farrier services in your area will influence what farriers charge. Farriers in more rural locations often have lower overhead costs and charge less than those working in large cities or affluent suburbs.

With all these factors at play, you can expect to pay between $30 to $200 for a standard four-shoeing, and potentially $100 or more for corrective shoeing or specialized shoeing needs. The key is finding a skilled, reputable farrier who can meet your horse’s needs and your budget.

Average Cost to Shoe a Horse in 2024

The cost to shoe a horse can vary depending on factors like your location, the experience of your farrier, and the number and type of shoes needed. However, you can expect to pay between $200 to $500 to have a farrier shoe your horse in 2024.

Farrier Services

A farrier is a specialist who trims and shoes horses’ hooves. Farriers typically charge between $30 to $100 per horse shoe, so a basic shoeing with four shoes will cost $120 to $400. The total cost will depend on your farrier’s experience, your horse’s shoeing needs, and regional rates in your area.

Additional Services

If your horse requires additional services like corrective shoeing for medical issues or therapeutic shoeing to improve gait, the total cost will be higher. Corrective shoeing starts around $350-$500 per session. Therapeutic shoeing is often an ongoing process that can cost $300-$700 per session.

Frequency of Shoeing

Most horses need to be shod every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain hoof health and proper shoeing. At an average cost of $200 to $500 per shoeing, you can expect to pay $1,000 to $3,000 per year to have your horse shod on a regular schedule. The exact frequency will depend on factors like your horse’s hoof growth rate, activity level, and the type of shoes used.

Additional Costs

There are a few additional costs to keep in mind beyond the farrier’s services. You will need to invest in a basic set of four horse shoe which typically cost starts around $50. You should also budget for hoof care products to use between shoeings such as a hoof moisturizer and thrush preventative. A basic set of hoof care products will cost $30-$50.

To keep your horse comfortable and their hooves in good shape, regular shoeing and proper hoof care are essential. While the cost to shoe a horse is an ongoing investment, it will help ensure your horse remains healthy and able to enjoy an active lifestyle for years to come. Providing the best of care for your equine partner is well worth the expense.

Shoeing Costs for Different Types of Horses

The cost to shoe a horse can vary greatly depending on the type of horse and specific needs. For a typical light riding horse, you can expect to pay between $30 to $50 per shoeing, or $120 to $200 for a full set of shoes. Larger draft horses, mules, and horses with foot or leg issues may cost significantly more due to the extra time and skill required.

Light Riding Horses

The most common type of horse, used for casual riding and showing. A standard trim and shoeing with normal steel shoes will typically cost between $30 to $50 per hoof, or $120 to $200 for all four hooves. Regular shoeing every 4 to 6 weeks is recommended to keep the hooves balanced and the shoes secure.

Draft Horses

Due to their immense size and weight, shoeing draft horses requires extra effort and time. Costs usually range from $50 to $70 per hoof, or $200 to $280 per set. Draft horses may require special orthopedic shoes and pads to properly support their weight and prevent injury. They are often shod on a 6 to 8 week cycle.

Horses with Foot/Leg Issues

Horses with medical conditions like laminitis, navicular disease, or other foot deformities require custom orthopedic shoes, pads, and farrier care. This can increase costs to $60 to $100 per hoof or $240 to $400 per set. Severe cases may need corrective trimming and shoeing every 4 weeks with x-rays to monitor progress.


Mules have hooves that are often more difficult to trim and shoe due to their hardness and shape. Mule shoeing typically starts at $40 per hoof and may be higher, from $160 to $240 per set. Mules are usually shod on a 6 to 8 week schedule.

In summary, you can expect to pay between $30 to $100 per hoof for shoeing a horse, depending on its specific needs. For the average riding horse, plan on a cost of $120 to $200 for a standard trim and set of four shoes every six to eight weeks. Proper hoof care and shoeing are important to keep your horse comfortable, balanced, and performance-ready.

Below are tables illustrating average costs and frequencies associated with horseshoeing:

FactorAverage Cost/Rates
Initial Equipment$5,000 to $20,000 or more
Horseshoeing School$5,000 to $10,000
Annual Cost$600 to $1,200 or more
Standard Shoeing Cost$30 to $150 or more
Corrective Shoeing$100 or more per session

Regional Differences in Shoeing Prices

The cost of shoeing a horse can vary significantly depending on where you live and the availability of farriers in your area. Farriers in more rural or remote locations may charge higher prices due to increased travel time and costs. However, competition between farriers in urban areas often helps to keep prices lower.

The West and Midwest

If you live in the western U.S. or Midwest, you can expect to pay between $30 to $50 per shoeing, or $120 to $200 for a full set. Remote ranches in states like Wyoming or Montana may see prices at the higher end of this range due to a lower supply of farriers.

However, horse owners near major cities like Denver, Salt Lake City or Omaha may find more competitive rates from farriers hoping to build up their client base.

The South

Horseshoeing costs are often lower in the southern U.S., ranging from $25 to $40 per shoe or $100 to $160 for all four hooves. The year-round riding season and popularity of horse sports like reining, cutting and barrel racing has produced many accomplished farriers, especially in states like Texas, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

You’re more likely to get a bargain on shoeing if you board your horse at a large stable that can offer a farrier a full day of work.

The East Coast

If you stable your horse on the East Coast, plan on paying between $35 to $60 per shoeing, or $140 to $240 for a complete set. Costs are often highest in the Mid-Atlantic and New England, especially near major cities like New York and Philadelphia where the cost of living and doing business is greater.

However, the concentration of horses involved in show jumping, dressage and eventing in this region has also produced many highly-skilled farriers – you may pay more, but you’ll get premium workmanship.

As with any service, the skill, experience and reputation of your farrier will also determine how much you pay for shoeing. Don’t hesitate to get estimates from multiple farriers to find one with high-quality skills at a price you can afford.

Your horse’s health and performance depend on good hoof care, so this is not an area to cut costs if possible. With some research, you can find an accomplished farrier providing competitively-priced shoeing, no matter your location.

Additional Horseshoeing Services and Costs

Trimming Hooves

In addition to shoeing, your farrier can trim your horse’s hooves to keep them in good shape. Hoof trimming typically costs between $30 to $50 and should be done every 6 to 8 weeks.

Trimming helps remove excess hoof growth to prevent problems like cracked hooves, abscesses, and lameness. Your farrier will use hoof nippers and rasps to trim the hoof wall, sole, and frog of the hoof.

Corrective Shoeing

If your horse has a hoof problem like an abscess, injury, or conformational issue, corrective shoeing may be needed. Specialty shoes, pads, or other devices are used to help correct the problem, support the hoof, and promote healing.

Corrective shoeing typically costs $50 to $150 or more per shoeing, depending on the issue and materials needed. It often requires multiple visits to properly correct the problem.

Hoof Packing and Pads

In some cases, hoof packing, pads, or both may be applied after trimming or shoeing. Hoof packing is a defensive cloth, like oakum or pine tar, this is packed into the sole of the hoof.

It helps prevent infection, reduce pain, and promote healing. Hoof pads, like rim pads or frog pads, provide cushioning and support. Packing and pads typically cost $25 to $50 per application.

Glue-On Shoes

For some horses, glue-on shoes may be an option instead of nailed shoes. Glue-on shoes are attached to the hoof with special adhesives. They may be a good choice if your horse’s hooves cannot hold nails well or if hoof damage needs to be avoided.

However, glue-on shoes typically only last 4 to 6 weeks before needing replacement. They tend to cost $50 to $100 or more per shoeing, depending on the materials.

With regular hoof care and shoeing, you can help keep your horse sound, comfortable, and ready to enjoy all your riding adventures together.

While hoof care does require an investment, considering how much your horse does for you, their hooves should be a top priority in your budget. Keeping their feet in good shape will allow you both to stay on the trail for years to come.

Tips for Saving Money on Farrier Fees

Want to keep your horse’s hooves healthy without breaking the bank? Here are some tips to help lower the cost of shoeing your horse.

Ask about Barefoot Trimming

If your horse has strong, healthy hooves, barefoot trimming may be an option. Barefoot trimming, where the farrier simply trims and shapes the hoof, costs significantly less than applying horseshoes.

Barefoot trimming can help strengthen your horse’s hooves over time. However, it may not suitable for all horses, especially those on rugged terrain. Talk to your farrier about whether barefoot trimming could work for your horse.

Extend the Time Between Shoeings

For most pleasure and casual riding horses, shoeing every 6 to 8 weeks is typical. However, if your horse’s hooves grow at a slower rate and the terrain isn’t too demanding, you may be able to extend the time between shoeings to 8 to 10 weeks.

This can save you at least 1 or 2 shoeing fees per year. Be sure to have your farrier evaluate your horse’s hooves first to determine if less frequent shoeing is appropriate.

Use Horseshoe Pads

Horseshoe pads fit between the horseshoe and the hoof, providing extra cushioning and protection. Pads can help extend the time between shoeings by up to 4 weeks since they prevent excess hoof wear. They do add to the initial shoeing cost, but can save money in the long run. Popular pad options include rim pads, full pads, and gel pads.

Buy Horseshoes in Bulk

If your farrier allows it, buying horseshoes in bulk quantities can lower the cost. Many farriers receive discounts when purchasing larger volumes of horseshoes. Ask if they’re willing to pass any of the savings onto you. Buying in bulk may require an upfront investment, but can reduce the cost of each shoeing.

Trim Hooves Yourself

If you have basic farrier skills, trimming your horse’s hooves yourself in between shoeings can lower costs. Hooves grow at a rate of about 1/4 inch per month, so minor trimming may be needed every 4 to 6 weeks to prevent excess hoof length.

While hoof trimming is best left to professionals, basic maintenance trimming in between shoeings can help extend the time between professional trims and lower your total farrier fees. Be very careful not to cut the hoof too short, which could lead to lameness or injury.

Signs It’s Time for Your Horse to Be Re-Shod

If it’s been about 6 to 8 weeks since your horse’s last shoeing, it’s probably time for a re-shoeing. As a horse owner, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs that your horse’s hooves have grown out too much and their shoes are loose or causing discomfort. Re-shoeing your horse at the proper time is key to their mobility, performance, and health.

You should schedule an appointment with your farrier if you notice your horse favoring a leg or seems hesitant to move freely. Their shoes may have become loose or uneven, causing pain. It’s also time for new shoes if you see their hooves have grown out over the shoe by an 1/2 inch or more. Long hooves can crack and break off, injuring your horse.

Check if your horse’s shoes are still securely in place and flat against the hoof wall. Shoes that have been on for too long can become loose, twisted or bent out of shape, all of which need correction by a farrier. If part of the shoe is missing or a nail is protruding, it’s unsafe for your horse and needs immediate attention.

Listen for the telltale sounds of loose or uneven shoes like clicking, clacking or slapping as your horse walks. Those sounds mean their movement is being impacted and new shoes will allow them to walk normally again.

Inspect your horse’s hooves for signs of imbalance or uneven wear. Their hooves should wear down evenly all around. If one area is wearing faster than the rest, it can indicate an issue with the way your horse moves or stands. Your farrier can re-shoe them to correct imbalance and prevent problems.

It’s usually a good rule of thumb to have your farrier re-shoe your horse every 6 to 8 weeks. Staying on a regular schedule will keep their hooves well-maintained and their shoes fitting properly. If at any time something seems off, don’t hesitate to call your farrier for an adjustment. Your horse’s healthy hooves and proper shoeing are worth the investment.


And there you have it, folks. Getting your horse shod these days can really take a bite out of your wallet, but regular hoof care is crucial for their health and performance. While the costs may seem steep, remember that it’s an investment in your four-legged friend’s comfort and longevity. With a bit of research, you can find a competent farrier that fits your budget.

Never try to cut corners or stretch shoeings too far apart – it will only lead to bigger issues down the road. Take good care of your horse’s hooves, and they’ll carry you for miles to come. With the right farrier and a little budgeting, you can keep your horse happy and sound. Thanks for sticking with me through all the nitty gritty details – now go give your horse a carrot and keep on riding!

Recent Posts


How much would it cost to shoe a horse?

The cost to shoe a horse varies based on factors like location, farrier experience, and type of shoeing needed, ranging from $200 to $500 in 2024.

How much does it cost to put horseshoes on horses?

Putting horseshoes on horses can range from $30 to $150 or more per shoeing session, depending on factors such as the type of shoeing and additional services required.

How much do shoes cost for a horse?

Shoes for a horse typically cost between $30 to $150 or more per shoeing session, with variations based on factors like materials and farrier expertise.

How often do you shoe a horse?

Horses are usually shoed every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain hoof health and soundness, although frequency may vary based on individual horse needs and usage.

What happens if you never shoe a horse?

If a horse is not shoed regularly, it may experience hoof problems, lameness, and discomfort due to uneven wear and lack of support, affecting its overall health and performance.

At what age are horses shoed?

Horses can be shoed at any age once their hooves have developed sufficiently, typically starting as young as 6 months old, depending on hoof growth and conformation.

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