Found Objects – Horseshoe

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:

IMG_2311 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:

IMG_2315 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.


26 thoughts on “Found Objects – Horseshoe

    • 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 πŸ™‚

  3. 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. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Sarah πŸ™‚ 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!

  4. 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 πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: Treasure From My Garden | Journey To Ambeth

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