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The rusty one is exactly the same, except it has a bit of corrective work done on one heel, making me think it's probably off of a driving horse used on a light wagon, or a buggy. Well, it was dug by the county when they were cleaning a roadside ditch in front of the house. As far as I know, nobody has driven a buggy to the church next door for probably 70 or 80 years.My great grandmother drove a buggy to church up into the 1920's, but unless you are in Amish country, I don't think that went on much longer than that.
Judging by the amount of rust if nothing else, I'd say it goes way back over a hundred years, my guess is probably back to civil war time and perhaps before.I could go down and buy a shoe today that looks just like the one in the picture.So we are looking at what could be one hundred years difference between them, and they look exactly the same.Another test is steel makes lots of hot sparks when it's ground on, but wrought iron would be not as many very dull red grinder sparks.Whether the shoe has a crease for the nail heads, or punched holes for the nail head to fit in, or if it's corrective, or if it was used on a driving horse or saddle horse, none of that will do anything as far as dating. If it is a very large horse shoe, then it would be off of a draught animal, and you could possibley date it by finding out when they stopped farming the field with horses, which might be as late as the 1940's, or as early as yesterday if you are in Amish country. could you post a photo with a ruler along side so I could get an idea of the size?