A few months ago, I mentioned in a post that we were digging out an old raised vegetable bed at the end of our garden, in preparation for a new garden room/shed and decked area. In the course of the excavation our daughter was pottering around, poking through the piles of earth and rubble for items of interest – coloured stones, bits of old pottery, a small plastic teacup all taking her interest. Then, more recently, she found this:
It’s a horseshoe, obviously. At least, I think it is. Rusty, with most of the nails still in place, and surprisingly light. But it seems a bit smaller than the average horseshoe:
As you can see, it would easily sit on the palm of my hand, and I’m not a woman with freakishly large hands or anything. So now it’s got me thinking. Our house was built in the 1930s, but before that this area was all forest, running along the valley to what was then a small village about two miles away.
I wonder whether it came from a small pony, perhaps belonging to a child. Or a dainty palfrey, mount of a lady. Or something else altogether. Potential stories abound. Whoever the mysterious rider was, it must have been annoying to have their horse lose a shoe in the middle of the woods.
And now, however many years later, it’s turned up again. So, horse-y bloggers out there, what do you think? Is this a rather small horseshoe? Or is it normal size? While I love horses, I’ve never spent any great amount of time with them, so would love to know more.
I’ve never seen one so small. It isn’t shaped like a mule or donkey shoe either.
It’s a bit of a mystery, isn’t it? Although a couple of people have posited that it’s actually from a shoe for a person, so perhaps that’s what it is? My mum thought maybe an old clog.
That’s tiny. Less than 10cm wide suggests Shetland pony size to me. But the shape seems odd; I’ve never seen one quite like it. I wonder if perhaps it’s actually a shoe heel. I can’t link an image but if you google “men’s horseshoe taps and cleats” you’ll see what I mean.
Thanks Louise 🙂 I did have a look and they are similar indeed. And then my mum thought maybe it was from an old clog. So the mystery deepens?
That’s Shetland pony sized, and an old design, though that in itself is unusual, because I can’t think why they would have shod a Shetland pony back before there was too much road work to wear their tough little feet down.
I guess it could have been a pony that pulled a little child-sized carriage (wealthy kids would have had those to play with).
I thought of a child’s horse too. But now a couple of people have suggested it could have come from a shoe – so the mystery continues…
Thanks for your input 🙂
How curious, never seen one so small does make you wonder. But I’m no expert. Good luck with finding out more…
Thanks, Marjorie 🙂 It is a bit of a mystery – but then I do enjoy a mystery. Am now wondering whether it’s come from a person’s show, like an old clog.
Intriguing Helen, the stuff of stories!
Straight from the bottom of the garden 😀
The mystery deepens! It looks tiny but as I know nothing about horses I’ll wait to what others think…I feel the tingle of a story from the first photo though.
Thanks, Annika – yes, I think there’s a story in this too… or several, even 🙂
That is quite small but I know very little (nothing) about horses. It definitely could be a heel of a shoe as Louise mentioned. What a great find, either way! I love unearthing mysterious objects. 🙂
Thanks, Sarah 🙂 Yes, it’s a cool little find, isn’t it? My mum thinks it might be from an old clog. The mystery continues…
Hope you’ve had a nice weekend!
Maybe it was lil Sebastian https://youtu.be/h-PUW6y4F6c
Hahaha, maybe it was! 😆
I love your ring lol!
Thanks, Kristin – hubby did well with it, I couldn’t say no 😀
Yeah he did!
There used to be hobbits in those woods! And they had hobbit-sized horses!! O_O
Yes! hobbitses – that has to be it! 😀
What a lovely relic from the past, and wouldn’t it be lovely to learn its history? If only it could talk …
I know! It was a cool thing to find in our garden – whether a horseshoe or human shoe heel, it certainly has stories to tell…
Looks like the size for a small pony – perhaps shetland or similar. Although the fact that you mention it is very light seems odd. Also the sides seem straighter than the horseshoes I have seen, which tend to curve inwards more and most have rounded ends. I think it might be an old “horseshoe heel plate” for a human shoe or boot. Fascinating find!
Thanks for your insight – I’m starting to think it might be from a human shoe, rather than a horse, as well. A few more finds have hinted that there was something related there at one point – I’ll clean them up and do another post about it soon 🙂
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