Not too many people know of this... it seems to be a central Illinois thing, but to me a horseshoe is, besides the obvious, a tasty dish. No, I don't eat cast-iron horseshoes. In Springfield, IL and the surrounding area, ask anyone and they'll tell you that a horseshoe is a piece of toast with some form of meat on it, covered in french fries and then smothered in cheese sauce. Generally you can get hamburger horseshoes or ham horseshoes at many bars and restaurants (not to mention high school cafeterias.)

This and Lincoln are about the only two things Springfield, IL has going for it. Yay, Springfield.

The first time I heard of a horseshoe, the food dish, I didn't think it sounded that appealing. I was told I had to try one while visiting the Springfield, IL area. I'll try most any food once, so I said what the heck. It was mighty tasty. The first style I had was a steak on Texas Toast with steak fries, I don't remember the type of cheese, but I think it was cheddar.

These things are so popular that you can even find them on the menu in local Steak 'n Shakes. From what I hear most restaurants, bar & grills, etc. in the area have these on their menus.

I have seen these on the menu of a Kreeger's in St. Charles, MO a few years ago, but I haven't found it in any of the other St. Louis area Kreeger's.

On a side note if you are ever in St. Louis try out a slinger.

A horseshoe is thought by some to have purposes other than to clad a hoof. Some people use horseshoes as a folk-magic amulet that will protect them from things like witches, the devil, and the evil eye. Should you wish to use one to aid your life you will have to prioritise, as a horseshoe is also a charm for good luck, but it can not perform both as a luck bringer and personal demon security system. Do you choose to have riches, or rid yourself of that darned evil eye?

If you choose the luck option be sure to place it with the end pointed upwards, so the luck doesn't spill out. To protect against sorcery and the like position it pointed downwards, and follow these suggestions (commonly used placings): Over a doorway to keep out evil spirits, in a chimney to prevent a witch from entering, or over your bed to stop that pesky demon, and nightmares, from bothering you. Once in place don't move it, or it becomes ineffective, and don't paint it because its iron properties are part of what makes it potent to the nasties.

Now you know the other use for the horseshoe I suggest you wander down into the village, visit the blacksmith, and stop off at the Inn for some mead before heading home to a more prosperous, or evil free, future.

In 1951, Benny Binion brought $2 million from Dallas, TX and bought the old El Dorado Casino on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas,NV, renamed it Binion's Horseshoe and a legendary gaming family was born.

The Horseshoe in Vegas is still famous for taking the biggest action in town and for hosting the World Series of Poker.

Family problems among Benny's children eventually led to daughter Becky Binion Behnen buying out all but 1% of her siblings' interests in the Las Vegas property in 1998. From the time of Benny's death in 1989 until Becky's takeover her brother Jack Binion had been running the Horseshoe. This buyout led to an estrangement of Becky from her brothers. Becky runs the casino along with husband, Nick Behnen and their son Benny Behnen, Jr. Jack retained the right to use the Horseshoe name in all areas outside of Nevada.

Another son, Lonnie "Ted" Binion, had his Nevada Gaming License suspended in 1986 after a drug conviction. In March, 1998 the license was permanently revoked for associating with organized crime figures. He was found dead in his million-dollar home on September 17, 1998 at the age of 55. He was a known heroin addict worth an estimated $50 million. Ted’s girlfriend Sandy Murphy, a one-time stripper, and her friend, Rick Tabish, both were convicted of killing Ted by forcing him to swallow a mixture of black tar heroin and the sedative Xanax.

Benny's son, Jack has opened up three Horseshoe Casinos: one in Tunica ,Mississippi another in Bossier, Louisana, and the latest in Hammond, Indiana. The Tunica property is well known for having lots of great poker action (including a daily pot limit game) and they host an annual Jack Binion World Poker Open event in late January, before the World Series of Poker.



Update: 2/23/02

I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas where I again stayed at the legendary Horseshoe Casino. The casino seems to have changed considerably since my last visit a few years ago. They have $1,000 limits on their sportsbook and the highest limit craps game they offered was $3,000. While these may seem like huge wagers it really pales in comparison to the places on the strip. The Horseshoe was always known for being the place that would take the largest action. Now I don't think any of the real big players hang out there at all.

The most recent news from the Las Vegas Tribune (written by Former Las Vegas City Councilman and Clark County Regional Transportation Commissioner Steve Miller) is that the Las Vegas venue of the Horseshoe is now having financial difficulties. The newspaper reported that they are over a year behind and $1.8 million in debt to the Fremont Street Experience, LLC, which runs the light show in the canopy covering the sidewalk between the downtown casinos. They have also fallen behind in other lease payments and payments to suppliers. A judge ordered 1.8 million dollars of the Horseshoe's money to be frozen, but the Horseshoe won an appeal to delay the freezing of its assets.

It is sad to see this venerable landmark in such a sorry state of affairs. It has been rumoured that Jack was offered a chance to buy back 1/2 of the Las Vegas property and he refused the opportunity. Jack's casinos outside of Vegas have been doing very well and it's understandable that he would turn down a chance to own a business that is in obvious decline.



Update: 1/12/04

The Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas was closed on January 9, 2004. An estimated 900 workers lost their jobs when the Horseshoe was unable to maintain a bankroll after U.S. marshals seized all of the available cash in the casino's cages Friday night, executing a federal judge's order allowing the Culinary parent union's health care and pension trust funds to seize as much as $2 million.

It's unknown how much cash was seized, but the total seizure was less than the $2 million authorized; a U.S. deputy marshal estimated the amount as about $1 million on Friday night.

Binion's future is unclear. The casino has been in financial turmoil for some time, and the IRS filed two separate liens - for $2.5 million and $5 million - last year for back taxes. They also have liens against them for debts owed to the Fremont Street Experience.

So you've gotten yourself a horse and discovered that it is very footsore on the rough. Or they've flung a shoe across the arena and onto the tennis court next door. (True story.) You've put the horse on the softest ground you can find (and now there's hoof prints all over the living room) and you need a farrier and new shoes. Well, I'm here to help you, with my limited experience of two horses and a two day workshop of farrier-ness.

First

The very first thing you should do is check your bank balance. Horse shoes cost about as much as an average pair of human shoes cost, but they last only two months. This is about 80 AUD and USD, and my research shows that it is about £40. You will be paying this once every two months. Do not looked shocked, you have your cake, now you have to eat it.

Now, you should find a farrier. Maybe search the whatever-pages for one. Or ask a friend! If you have friends who use the farrier, look at their horses' feet and decide if you like it. Don't bother too much about personality. The best farrier I know is also the most crass man I know. He's also not my farrier because you have to know people to get him to look at your horse's feet.

Second

What do you want your horse to be able to do in its shoes? If you currently keep them at grass and they just seem footsore, tell your farrier. Explain in as much detail as you want. Tell them what you want to do with your horse and any history of your horse’s feet that you know. Laminitis, seedy toe and other ailments will affect the type of shoe your farrier places on the hooves.

Also, think about going barefoot. In horse circles, this is spoken of like a cult. This is my very on-the-fence view on going barefoot: If your horse's feet can take it, go for it. It can limit the number of foot diseases your horse gets. However, beware that your horse will be extremely footsore for a very long time on anything harder than grass. If your horse's lifestyle suits barefoot it is a cheap option, for sure. Paddocked horses and arena-ridden horses can cope. You'll still need a farrier for six-twelve week trims.

If your horse has a hoof ailment you may have to let it go barefoot anyway.

Third

The farrier will arrive and request a flat surface. Concrete or shallow dirt is best. Since he doesn't know you or the horse, he will want the horse to be tied up, and for you to stand at the horse's head. This is important: stand on the same side of the horse as the farrier. If you don't, and it gets scared, it will run away from the thing that is scaring it. This will be the farrier and if you're on the wrong side you will get trampled on.

The farrier will look at the horse’s feet on the flat and maybe talk to himself a little bit about what needs to be done. He might say something or shake his head. That doesn't matter, he's here to fix those problems that he sees.

Your farrier will place the shoe on the horse's foot. A good shoeing involves a shoe being made to fit the horse's foot. A perfect shoeing would involve a forge and all that stuff which you see in Black Beauty. Because of this modern time we live in, this doesn't happen often. A farrier will buy a series of shoes of different sizes and when you book your appointment shall probably ask for the size and breed of your horse. Otherwise he could turn up with shoes fit for a Welsh Pony when you have a seventeen hand thoroughbred.

These stereotypical shoes will mean that they are not a perfect fit. A good farrier will spend a while putting them against the sole of the hoof and then banging them against his anvil to fix them. Chances are, the farrier will cut the hoof to fit the shoe.

Even with all of this the ends of the shoe will probably point inwards or outwards. Ideally, the outer edge of the shoe will follow the outer edge of the hoof, all the way to the end. Kudos to your farrier if it does, since its rather difficult without a forge.

A few things on how to check on your farrier:

There's lots of holes in a horse shoe, generally eight with four on each side. Most often only six of these are nailed on, depending on your activities and the hoof shape. If there are going to be seven, it should be the outside of the hoof that has more nails. This is to keep the shoe on the hoof when going around corners.

Only a small amount of the heel should be removed. Mostly it should be toe. Depending on the farrier (and the horse) your horse will receive a French Manicure (square toes) or the other one (rounded toes). Either or, it doesn't matter too much.

The nails should exit the hoof at the base. They should be about one third up between the the top of the hoof and the bottom.

The toe clip (part at the front) should be in the center of the toe.

Unless the hoof was already bad in shape there should be a straight line through the fetlock and pastern down through the hoof.

If any of these things aren't there question your farrier.

Fourth

Thank your farrier profusely. Your horse has new shoes! (And you are suddenly poor.)

Your horse will probably be footsore for a few days, especially if it hasn't been shod for some time. If pain persists for any longer than several days see your farrier again. The shoes may be on too tight, or too much of the sole may have been cut. If you don't like the farrier, maybe get a different one to come have a look at them, in case they seemed the sort to abuse you rather than accept that they cut too much off the hoof.

A good farrier will take time to find, unless you get lucky. Don't rebook another appointment instantly. Tell them you'd like to see how long the shoes last and ring them later if at all. If the shoes become loose in less than five weeks, if the horse is footsore for a long time or you just didn't like the farrier, find a new one.

Happy riding!

Horse"shoe` (?), n.

1.

A shoe for horses, consisting of a narrow plate of iron in form somewhat like the letter U, nailed to a horse's hoof.

2.

Anything shaped like a horsehoe crab.

3. Zool.

The Limulus of horsehoe crab.

Horsehoe head Med., an old name for the condition of the skull in children, in which the sutures are too open, the coronal suture presenting the form of a horsehoe. Dunglison. -- Horsehoe magnet, an artificial magnet in the form of a horsehoe. -- Horsehoe nail. See Horsenail. -- Horsehoe nose Zool., a bat of the genus Rhinolophus, having a nasal fold of skin shaped like a horsehoe.

 

© Webster 1913.

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