How Much to Shoe a Draft Horse: Comprehensive Price Guide Draft Horse Basics

Are you wondering how much it costs to shoe your draft horse? Look no further! In this comprehensive price guide, we’ll cover all the basics of how much to shoe a draft horse so you can make informed decisions about your equine friend’s hoof care.

Draft Horse Basics

Belgian beautiful heavy draft horse

Draft horses are known for their incredible strength, large size, and gentle temperament, making them ideal for pulling heavy loads and participating in various equestrian activities. In this section, we’ll explore some of the breed characteristics, and the significance of their size and weight on shoeing costs.

Breed Characteristics

These majestic animals come in various breeds, such as the Clydesdale, Friesian, and Belgian Horse, each possessing unique traits and appearances. Draft horses have a strong and sturdy build, which enables them to carry out tasks requiring immense power and endurance. Due to their muscular frames and distinct attributes, these horses demand specific shoes and care, tailored to their needs.

While draft horses are versatile and can be used for work and leisure, it’s important to remember their primary purpose is pulling and carrying heavy weight. For this reason, their shoes and overall hoof care play a critical role in maintaining their health and performance.

Horse Size and Weight

The size and weight of a draft horse contribute significantly to the cost of shoeing. Due to their stature, which can reach 17-19 hands high (68-76 inches at the withers), and weight, which ranges from 1,500 to 2,200 pounds, these horses require larger, more robust shoes compared to light or medium-sized breeds.

Their shoes are primarily designed to support their immense weight and protect their hooves from excessive wear and tear. They may also require additional features, such astoe and heel caulks, to provide extra traction during pulling activities.

The cost of shoeing a draft horse can vary depending on factors such as the region, specific breed, shoe materials, and farrier’s fees. On average, shoeing a horse costs around $130 for a new set of horseshoes, but this figure can reach up to $200 or more for draft horses with particular requirements(source).

It’s essential for draft horse owners to understand their horse’s specific breed characteristics, size, and weight, as these factors directly influence the cost of shoeing. Proper care and investment in suitable horseshoes will help ensure these gentle giants remain healthy, comfortable, and ready to tackle any task.

Shoeing a Draft Horse

A magnificent draft horse in his meadow

Shoeing a draft horse is a specialized task that requires a thorough understanding of the horse’s unique needs and the specific techniques required for proper shoeing. Before delving into the costs associated with shoeing a draft horse, it is essential to explore why shoeing is important, the different types of horse shoes available, and the shoeing process itself.

Why Shoeing Is Important

Shoeing a draft horse is crucial for various reasons, including protection, traction, and maintaining proper foot and leg health. Draft horses often work on hard surfaces, such as pavement or fields, making their hooves more susceptible to wear and tear. Shoeing them protects their hooves from excessive wear and chipping, promoting longevity and overall hoof health.

Furthermore, shoeing improves traction, especially when engaging in activities like driving on paved roads or working in snowy conditions. Draft horses are typically heavy, powerful animals, and shoeing helps ensure their safety and stability during work or performance.

Types of Horse Shoes

Several horse shoe types are used for draft horses, each designed to serve a specific purpose:

  • Keg Shoes: These are the most common type of horseshoes, and they come in various sizes to fit the needs of different breeds, including draft horses. Keg shoes provide general protection and support for everyday wear and work.
  • Borium Shoes: Borium is a hard, wear-resistant material added to horse shoes to improve traction on slippery surfaces like pavement or snow. Borium shoes are a popular choice for draft horses engaged in driving or working in these conditions.
  • Scotch Bottom Shoes: These shoes have a thicker base to encourage high stepping action in show horses. Scotch bottom shoes exaggerate the motion of the horse’s feet, making them ideal for exhibition or competition purposes.

The Shoeing Process

The shoeing process for a draft horse begins with a thorough examination of the horse’s hooves and legs to assess any potential issues. The farrier then trims and shapes the horse’s hooves to ensure a proper fit for the selected type of shoe. In some cases, a farrier may need to make custom shoes to meet the specific needs of the horse.

After preparing the hooves, the farrier attaches the shoes to the horse’s feet using nails or alternative methods like glue, depending on the horse’s needs and owner’s preference. Properly shoeing a draft horse requires skill, knowledge, and experience, often leading to varying costs in different regions and among individual farriers.

The average nationwide cost of shoeing a horse, including trimming and applying four keg shoes, is $142.09. However, this price can rise when considering factors like custom shoe requirements, special materials like borium, farrier expertise, and regional pricing variations.

Factors Influencing Shoeing Cost

a Farrier with nail and hammer

When considering the cost of shoeing a draft horse, several factors come into play. The overall expense can vary depending on location, experience of the farrier, frequency of shoeing, and additional services required. In this section, we will discuss these factors in detail to help you better understand the potential costs associated with shoeing a draft horse.


The geographical location where you and your draft horse reside will significantly impact the cost of shoeing. Pricing can vary due to local demand, cost of living, and availability of farriers in the area. For example, shoeing costs in a rural area may be lower than in an urban environment, where farriers may charge more due to higher living expenses. Similarly, remote locations may have fewer farriers available, leading to increased prices as a result of limited options and possible travel fees. One source explains that prices can range from $80-$200 for four shoes, depending on your location.

Experience of the Farrier

The level of experience and expertise of the farrier can also impact the cost of shoeing your draft horse. Hiring a highly skilled, well-known professional might be more expensive; however, this could be a worthwhile investment for your horse’s long-term health and well-being. It is essential to research and choose a certified farrier who specializes in draft horses to ensure proper care and shoeing techniques. The farrier’s experience and reputation should be taken into account when evaluating their rates.

Frequency of Shoeing

Another factor that influences shoeing costs is the frequency at which your draft horse requires new shoes. On average, horses need shoeing every six to eight weeks, or more frequently if they engage in heavy work or have specific needs. Keep in mind that cutting back on shoeing costs can lead to more expensive healthcare costs in the long run, so it is essential to stay on top of your horse’s shoeing schedule. The frequency of shoeing will directly impact the overall annual cost of maintaining your draft horse’s hooves.

Additional Services

Beyond basic shoeing, your draft horse may require supplementary services that could add to the overall cost. Some of these services include:

  • Custom-made shoes
  • Specialized shoeing techniques for specific health issues
  • Hoof trimming and maintenance
  • Clips, pads, and trailers

These additional services can increase the price range of fully shoeing a horse from $100 to $150 or more, so it is crucial to consider these potential costs when calculating your total expenses.

Average Shoeing Costs

Two draft horse grazing on meadow

The cost of shoeing a draft horse can vary depending on several factors, such as the farrier’s experience, location, and whether special types of shoes or additional services, like clips and trailers, are needed. Generally, average shoeing costs range between $100 and $150.

Cost Breakdown

Shoeing costs can be broken down into a few essential components:

  • Trim: Trimming the hooves prior to shoeing is important. The cost of trimming a horse’s hooves can range from $35 to $50, depending on the location and farrier.
  • Horseshoes: New horseshoes for a draft horse can cost between $60 and $155. Expect to pay more for custom-made or specialized shoes, such as borium shoes or Scotch bottoms.
  • Farrier’s fee: Skilled farriers may charge a higher fee for their expertise. Fees can range from $30 to $100 or more, based on the farrier’s experience and location.
  • Additional services: Extra services, like clips or trailers, if needed, can add to the overall shoeing cost. Fees can vary depending on the service and farrier.

It’s important to consider these costs when budgeting for your draft horse’s care, especially if your horse has specific shoeing needs.

Potential Discounts

Some farriers may offer discounts or reduced rates in certain situations:

  • Multiple horses: If you have more than one draft horse or are part of a group in need of shoeing, you may be eligible for a discount by having all the horses attended to at the same time. This can save the farrier time and travel expenses.
  • Location: Farriers sometimes offer lower prices to clients who live closer to reduce travel time and expenses.
  • Regular appointments: Scheduling regular appointments with the same farrier can help build a rapport and may lead to discounted rates in the future.

Discussing your specific needs and concerns with your farrier can help you find the best approach to maintain your draft horse’s hoof health while minimizing costs.

Proper Horse Care

A heavy draft horse suitable for farm labor

When it comes to draft horses, proper care of their hooves is crucial for their overall health and performance. This includes regular farrier visits, proper hoof care, and maintenance.

Regular Farrier Visits

For draft horses, having a farrier visit every six to eight weeks is essential to ensure their hooves are in the best possible condition. The farrier will perform routine hoof trimming, as well as shoeing when necessary. Shoeing is not only important for the horse’s comfort but also for protecting their hooves from wear and tear, especially during work or riding activities. Regular farrier visits are vital for early detection and prevention of any potential hoof issues that may arise in the future.

Hoof Care and Maintenance

Proper hoof care is crucial for a draft horse’s overall well-being. Regular cleaning of the hooves is necessary to prevent the accumulation of debris, mud, and manure that could cause infections, such as thrush or abscesses. Additionally, regular trimming helps to keep the hooves in proper shape and supports the horse’s overall posture and balance. It is also important to monitor the hooves for any signs of damage, cracks, or irregular wear, which could lead to more severe issues if left untreated.

In terms of shoeing, the cost to shoe a draft horse will depend on various factors, including the quality of the horseshoes, regional pricing, and the farrier’s expertise. The average cost for shoeing a horse is around $130 for a new set of horseshoes, which can reach up to $200 or more depending on these factors(source).

Other potential expenses to consider are additional forge work or special shoe modifications, which may be required for some draft horses. Customizations, such as rockered or square-toe shoes, may cost around $6.23 per shoe, while general forge work charges could be around $24.37 per hour(source).

To summarize, proper care for your draft horse’s hooves, including regular farrier visits, attentive hoof care, and maintenance, is essential for their overall health and performance. Additionally, being aware of the costs involved in shoeing your draft horse can help you better manage your horse care budget while ensuring their hooves remain in excellent condition.


In conclusion, shoeing a draft horse may come with different costs as compared to a typical horse due to their size and particular needs. To get an accurate estimate for shoeing a draft horse, it’s essential to consider factors such as the farrier’s experience, location, and potential additional requirements, like custom-made shoes or addressing specific hoof-related issues.

The average cost of shoeing a horse ranges from $100 to $150, while some equestrians might pay between <$80 to $200 for four shoes depending on their location and relationship with the farrier. Draft horses, being larger and often requiring specialized care, may end up incurring higher costs for shoeing. It is crucial to find a knowledgeable and experienced farrier who can efficiently work with draft horses and address their unique needs.

Additionally, it is vital to consider the importance of regular hoof maintenance and the impact it has on a draft horse’s overall health and performance. Ensuring proper shoeing and care will minimize the risk of injury and promote long-term wellbeing. In conclusion, while shoeing a draft horse may come at a higher cost than a regular-sized horse, investing in quality care and materials will ultimately pay off in maintaining the horse’s health and comfort.