After all the patching I finally got to play the new European version of free to play Lotro for about an hour last night. Too early to say too much about it except that first impressions are all positive. I started the Volume 3 epic quest chain in the hope that it would soon bring me to the new region but I was soon distracted from my mission when Volume 3 book 2 offered me this lovely item as one of the reward choices.
Since the release of this chapter in the US almost two months ago there has been feverish speculation on the forums as to what it actually does. Now we Europeans have gotten in on the guessing game. Guesses include that the horse shoe might improve critical hit chance in combat, might improve a players chance in fellowship loot rolls, might improve drop rate of rare items, might improve the outcome of legendary weapon deconstruction plus a whole host of other suggestions both intriguing and ridiculous. Turbine has remained tight lipped except for a dev named MadeofLion's provocative assertions that the horse shoe has been "thoroughly tested" and that "it does have a verifiable in-game effect".
Numerous players claim to have done exhaustive experiments to support their ideas while yet more are convinced that the horseshoe has no effect other than to give you a buff icon indicating that you have it equipped (which is a verifiable in game effect).
Most player seem happy enough to join in the guessing game fun but a few are quite annoyed. It is easy enough to fall into a min-max mind set in an mmorpg and not knowing whether or not they are passing up on a 0.1% extra chance to critical hit is excruciating for some. I should point out that equipping the horse shoe is not without cost. In the first place you need to choose it instead of some moderately valuable weapon scrolls as a reward for the Volume 3 Chapter 2 quest. In the second place the horse shoe fills your pocket slot depriving you of the more obvious buffs that a normal pocket item can bring.
Turbine are playing a slightly dangerous game here messing with their customers heads and for that reason I am pretty convinced that the horse shoe does nothing (other than the aforementioned buff icon). Most of the other suggestions would be just too imbalanced to contemplate.
I still intend equipping the horse shoe the next time I de-construct some legendary weapons though.