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How to Measure Hooves for Horseshoes

By Amanda Maddox

Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Since not all horseshoes are made by the same company, the sizes may vary. For instance, some brands' smallest size is a 00, or double ought, and others' may be a size 3. The measurements of each brand, however, are based on the length and width of a horse's hoof. Therefore, finding the length and width of your horse's hoof—in inches—lets you determine which size is correct.

Step 1

Fit your horse with a halter and tie him in a safe location. Stand beside your horse at his shoulder and ask for his front foot. While holding his foot in your left hand, clean all the debris away from his frog and out of the hoof with a hoofpick.

Step 2

Hold a tape measure in your right hand and measure from the tip of your horse's toe, or end of the hoof, to the back of the frog at the widest point. This measurement in inches is the length.

Step 3

Measure the widest part of the hoof from side to side. This is the width of the hoof.

Step 4

Write down the meausrments. Move around the horse and measure all four hooves, recording the results.

Items you will need

  • Halter and rope
  • Hoofpick
  • Tape measure that shows inches
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper


  • 💡 After measuring the hoof, contact the horseshoe manufacturer and get a detailed list of sizes.


  • When measuring a horse's hooves, exercise caution. Horses are fight-or-flight animals and may try to kick or pull away at any time.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images


Amanda Maddox began writing professionally in 2007. Her work appears on various websites focusing on topics about medical billing, coding, real estate, insurance, accounting and business. Maddox has her insurance and real estate licenses and holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting and business administration from Wallace State Community College.