‘H’ Is for Horseshoe

‘H’ Is for Horseshoe

A horseshoe is a U-shaped metal plate usually nailed through the insensitive hoof wall – anatomically akin to the human toenail – which protects the horse’s hoof on hard or rough surfaces. While some claim the ancient Romans as inventors because the horseshoe is mentioned by 1st-century poet Catullus, there is a find dated to the 5th century AD of a horseshoe, complete with nails, found in the tomb of the Frankish King Childeric I at Tournai, Belgium. Around 1000 AD, cast bronze horseshoes with nail holes became common in Europe. In 1835, the first U.S. patent for a horseshoe manufacturing machine capable of making up to 60 horseshoes per hour was issued to Henry Burden.

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”
― Benjamin Franklin

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