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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

question to Cavalry specialists


von Smallhausen

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Dear Friends,

Yesterday I found this horseschoe close to a pillbox in the La Bassee area. I put it ( uncleaned) on my scanner. Is this a military or civil horseschoe. Would appreciate your thoughts please.

kind regards,

Jef

post-64837-0-42832500-1313693418.jpg

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I know only about American farrier practices, so I can't say whether the same applies elsewhere. The shoe is a type of 'egg-bar' shoe, designed with a closed end for use when the horse needs some corrective treatment, most often to the hoof or perhaps to the lower leg. Because the egg-bar cannot be hot- or cold-shaped to the horse's hoof it has to be sized and fitted very carefully by a skilled remedial farrier and not by just a blacksmith or shoeing-smith. I would be surprised if in wartime this would happen, so my guess is it is not a cavalry shoe.

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Would the Veterinary Corps have remedial farriers at some level? Presumably there is some balance between the cost of remedial work and the value of the horse? (And presumably the General's (personal?) horse would have qualified for some remedial work?)

David

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Further to my earlier post, a couple of additional thoughts: Does anyone know 1) when egg-bar shoes were first used in Europe? 2) Jef: is the shoe forged or cast? If it is, I think this would indicate a shoe much later than WW1, when I think shoes would have been hand-made from flat bar. (In fact even in the early 1990s my American farrier always hand-made his shoes for my Quarter Horses this way.)

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Surely an army horse that required that much intensive work and a specialist shoe wouldn't have been much use.

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Surely an army horse that required that much intensive work and a specialist shoe wouldn't have been much use.

I imagine an experienced gun team lead horse or even a cavalry mount would have been well worth treating. IIRC the veterinary corps ran a large convalescent system for injured animals.

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