A horseshoe is a fabricated product, normally made of metal, although sometimes partially or entirely of modern synthetic materials, designed to protect a horse’s hoof from wear. It is nailed to the palmar surface (ground side) of the hoof, through an insensitive hoof wall that is akin to a human toenail in shape. The fitting of horseshoes is called shoeing and is conducted by a professional farrier, who specializes in the preparation of feet, assessing potential lameness issues, and fitting appropriate shoes including remedial features where necessary.
The earliest recorded use of the horseshoe dates to ancient Rome. The shoe was originally nailed to the hoof as an aid to the horse’s traction in poor or rocky terrain. Domestication of horses exposed their hooves to environmental conditions that were different from the hard, abrasive and dry terrain of their ancestral homeland, making shoes a necessity for the animal’s continued health and survival.
There are many variations of the basic horseshoe design to serve a variety of purposes. For example, a fuller front horseshoe has a central crease that fills with soil for additional traction. A rim horseshoe is similar but has a deeper and more expansive crease that extends all the way around the shoe for added traction. A slider horseshoe has a bar along the heel to protect the heels and bulbs of the foot from excessive stimulation that can cause laminitis.
It is thought that the luck of a horseshoe depends on its orientation. The horseshoe is pointed down during the waxing cycle from new moon to full moon when it is believed to be charging or “filling up” with luck. Then, when the next lunar cycle begins, the horseshoe is turned upside down to “dump” out the stale luck and begin again.
The legend of how the horseshoe sandwich came to be is a little less well documented than its fame, but most Springfield residents agree that the dish was invented in the 1920s at the Red Lion Room in downtown Springfield’s Leland Hotel by a chef who had the cooking version of writer’s block. Today, the sandwich is a staple of restaurant menus and is an emblem of Midwestern hospitality. It can be served as a breakfast, lunch or dinner entree and is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to being tasty, the sandwich is also nutritious and can be prepared in a variety of ways. In fact, it is one of the few foods that can benefit both the mind and body. This is because it contains both protein and B vitamins. These are essential nutrients for cellular repair, muscle growth and metabolism. Additionally, it has a good amount of calcium and iron, which are both important minerals for bone development and maintenance. These are just some of the reasons why horseshoe sandwiches are so popular.