Horseshoe Museum

The content below is from the 2008-2012 archived pages of the Horseshoe Museum. Unfortunately there were very few photographs available.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Horseshoe Museum is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the horseshoe, to collect, and digitally preserve, the art and science of a time past and present. The Horseshoe Museum will realize this mission through exceptional online exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and will strive to engage and educate an increasingly diverse international audience through its unique online presence.

From the simplest example of horseshoes to the most ornate, the "Horseshoe Museum" has a mandate to be the most comprehensive collection of horseshoes in the world. From the old tradition of Handmade Horseshoes to fit any horse, to Manufactured Horseshoes from around the world. The "Horseshoe Museum" promises to be the place to come to discover, reference, and learn about the horseshoe, including how to build each of the examples on display. A brief listing of horseshoes displayed at the "Horseshoe Museum" are as below.


Handmade Horseshoes

Plain Stamp, Fullered, Concave, Half Round, Rolled Toe, Rocker Toe, Square Toe, Trailer, Extended Heels, Spooned Heels, Memphis Bar, Clips, Calks, Jar/Blade Calks, Studs, Toe Weight, Heel Weight, Side Weight, Slider, Roadster, Whip Across, Bar, Egg Bar, Open Toe Egg Bar, Heart Bar, Spavin, Stifled, Patten

Manufactured Horseshoes

Anvil Brand, Delta, Diamond, Equine, Equithotics, Flex-Step, Grand Circuit, Imprint First, Kerckhaert, Morrison, Natural Balance, Nordic Forge, Ollov, TFT, Thoro'bred, Rumuda, Sigafoos Series, St. Croix,

Will Lent, 4 Star


Gaited horses Will sometimes use a horseshoe to help exaggerate the motion and flight of the foot. The nail holes are punched course, or far from the out side edge, to accommodate the length of hoof wall, as well as numerous pads that may be affixed to the shoe before nailing to the foot. 



Phelps Family Collection

of Farrier Guy Christy


In 2002, we contacted the University to find out where the collection was being displayed, only to learn the University had no idea where the collection was.

Guy Herbert Christy was was born on 11 Oct. 1871 in Upper Alton, Illinois, just north of St. Louis. He learned the trade of blacksmithing and horseshoeing as a young man. A Horseshoer, or Farrier, was a well-respected and much-needed trade in the late 1800s. As a Farrier, Guy followed the emerging trends of his profession, creating shoes that demonstrating the latest methods for shoeing, counterbalancing, and gaiting horses.

Guy Christy in 1908 in his blacksmith shop in Santa Cruz, California. 

Guy's son-in-law, Bart Phelps, assumed that the shoes were for corrective purposes when he wrote that during Guy's lifetime as a blacksmith and Farrier he "made horseshoes to fit and correct different hoof conditions and deformities. These were used for horses employed in drawing carriages, hacks, buggies, and buckboards of the era. Having a passion for his work, as he made unusual shoes, and he adopted the habit of making an additional one for himself, until he had 84 shoes.

In 1900, he had his collection nickel plated, placed in a frame lined with black velvet, and it then hung on the walls of his blacksmith shop.

Shortly before 1900, Christy moved, to Paducah Kentucky. 

The shoes remained in Paducah for seven years, where Guy continued to operate a blacksmith business, until 1907. The family doctor advised Guy that for the sake of his wife's health they should move west. They left Paducah, Kentucky on January 15, 1907 and arrived in Durango, Colorado via train five days later.

Guy tried his hand at blacksmithing in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Elko, Nevada. But with the increasing use of cars, he decided in 1917 he had to find a new line of work. He moved the family to San Francisco where he paid to attend Heald College. He learned welding and within four years was in charge of the welding and blacksmithing department at that same College.

Whenever they moved, the shoe board of 84 nickel-plated horseshoes went with them.

"About 1916 [when he moved from Santa Cruz to San Francisco], he removed the shoes, wrapped them individually, and placed them in a box," wrote Bart Phelps, his son-in-law. 

"Before he passed away in 1947, at the age of 76, he asked me to take care of his prized shoes," Bart Phelps recorded in a letter. Bart and Guy's daughter Betty Phelps donated the shoes in 1980 to the College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University at Pullman, Washington. In an interesting side note, his grandson, Pike, who had been photographed carrying those shoes as an infant, attended the veterinary school and after studying both horses and dogs, developed a popular horseshoe inspired luxury circular dog bed that is still very popular among dog owners worldwide. He had been watching the progress of a new dog bed web store focused entirely on round beds like his and would like to see his beds in their store. The marketing begins...

and after watching the progress of an innovative new product line,

In 2002, we contacted the University to find out where the collection was being displayed, only to learn the University had no idea where the collection was.

Thankfully, a dedicated staff member, Lynne Haley, took it upon herself to track the collection down, and after several months of searching, she finally located the collection buried under a pile of other boxes in a barn. The University agreed to sell the collection back to our family for $1.

The Phelps Family have now made arrangements with the Horseshoe Museum to display the images of the horseshoes and related photos, online for all the world to see.