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Trimming and Shoeing

Draft horses & scotch bottom shoes
Post At
08/27/2006 - 4:01 P
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reply from
Don Klase
I happen to live in an area of the country where the nearest practicing farrier working with scotch bottoms is over 4 hours away. I do have an old timer nearby to give advice, be his health is not the best, especially to be nailing on shoes. Where can I find books, articles, or videos on preping the hoof for these shoes and techniques for nailing them on correctly?
Reply at
08/28/2006 - 8:56 P
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reply from
Nicholas Denson
A number of years ago, Mike Wildenstein made a couple of videos on draft horse shoeing. The most notable is Fundamental of Draft Horse Shoeing, however, prior to that he made a video that covered Scotch bottoms. I don't know where you can find it, or even if it is still available. You could try contacting Mike at the shop at Cornell. He is on vacation until September 5th, but I'm sure he'd be able to help. Rather than post his phone number, I'd suggest calling Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine, Ambulatory, and getting transferred to the shop. Hope this helps. I will note that, personally, I don't believe in scotch bottom shoeing, and believe, though I'm not sure, that Mike doesn' either. However, the reason for this post is simply, If you must shoe with scotch bottoms, the more information you have the better, though I do not endorse the practice.
Reply at
08/28/2006 - 7:26 P
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reply from
Don Klase
I've heard about a half a dozen opinions some positive and some negative, with regard to scotch bottoms. Mostly they were emotional - not what I would consider based upon fact. We used keg shoes earlier this year coming out of the winter months. For my horses, they seem to be more comfortable with the scotch bottom. Here's what I observed:

1. The kegs didn't seem to stay on well and in the end caused more problems with hoof wall breakage. We switched back to the scotch bottom (because we had to) and the shoes stay on.

2. We did use two different farriers to apply the shoes, and perhaps that has something to do with one type having an advantage over the other.

3. The kegs needed nail hole resizing to fit a Capewell size 10 nail. This could be a contributing factor to the shoe loosening. The scotch shoes did not require resizing.

4. We did not pad the kegs as we had difficulty with the nail position, and hole size. Some of the scotch shoes were padded; maybe 1/3 of the horses had this.

So I'm trying to eliminate the guesswork out of having my horses shod. I don't really care if the shoe is keg or scotch. I do care that my horses are comfortable and can do their job without adverse problems.

I think Mike is coming to a farrier continuing education seminar in my area. I'll track him down through that. Thanks for the note and your time to respond to me.
Reply at
09/ 1/2006 - 9:50 P
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reply from
steve kraus
I've shod many draft breeds with Scoth Bottom shoes and made most of these shoes before any were available comercially. Like other horseshoes, Scotch Bottom shoes are often misused or the cause of abuse due to ignorance of their proper use by both owners and farriers. The SB shoe is intended to enhance the hoof as well as give more support to the large horses that wear them. The show ring(judges) have caused ignorant owners to demand oversized shoes put on overgrown or artifically built up feet. This practice is a perversion of what would otherwise be good, sound, shoeing practice.

The advantage of the SB shoe, if properly used, is better nailing on full fit, halter and hitch horses. Stupid judges have decided to award horses with excessively large hoofs, no matter what the conformation or artifical build up. The hind version is even more misunderstood and abused.

If yoy want further help on specifics, contact me.
Reply at
09/ 1/2006 - 11:16 P
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reply from
Troy Heath
Right on Steve I agree to every thing that you listed about the ignorance that the judges have created in some of the horse owners. I do a fair amount of the big horses my self. I dont believe in some of the full blown scotch bottom shoes. A couple of questions for you though

1 What is the use of the horses, road work,show hitch farm work?

2 What nescictates the need for pads on some but not the others with the S.B. shoes?

I have found that I seam to use the Kerchart light draft shoes and have good luck keeping them on. Just because the holes are not big enough is not a reason for them to not stay on. With these shoes I use a mustad e8 nail and have good luck. I try too use the smallest nail possible to keep the shoes on. I also hot fit these shoes to burn in the toe clips which will take a lot of pressure off of the nails.

even when i do set a type of schotch I still only use an E8 nail.
Reply at
09/ 2/2006 - 10:06 P
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reply from
steve kraus
The size of the steel cross section determines the appropriate use. Large halter horses need the fullest fit to be competitive, hence wider steel punched further inside the web. Pads can also be added to "grow' the size of the foot. Pads could also be used for hitch horses for shock absorbtion doing road work. Hitch horses should not be fitted as full as halter horses, especially if more natural movement is desired. Too heavy a shoe might detract from handy hitch work. But a heavy shoe could also provide high action for the lead horses, again to impress the judge. Working horses would never need a SB shoe, but beveling the branches could be useful to avoid pull offs.

Heavy shoes are made from 11/2" x 1/2"or 11/4"x 1/2". Lighter one are made from 3/8" stock You need this wider stock to account for the bevel and coarse punched nail holes. There is no one shoe for all horses.
Reply at
09/ 2/2006 - 11:48 P
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reply from
Don Klase
Thanks for your posts Steve and Troy. First, we don't use the shoes to impress any judges. We are not involved in serious competitions like you might see in the mid west or east. The reason we used the SB was two fold. 1) The farrier I am using has probably 50+ years with them and almost 0 years with the kegs. He was raised on a farm in Iowa and worked the show circuit for many years. So the horses were either barefoot or in SB. 2) Due to a very bad winter here, our horses really had some breakage that was difficult to control. The pads were used with the SB to help grow out their feet.

Now having said that, we are not trying to use overly large shoes. I think our largest front is about a 9 matched with an 8.5 in back. I don't intend to go large, and I don't need to.

So I need to learn how to trim and set up the foot for the SB shoes as I don't know how long my 73+ year old farrier will hold out. Any advice or contacts on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
Reply at
09/ 4/2006 - 8:46 P
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reply from
steve kraus
Don, there are some very good options on the market for non SB draft shoes. Kerchaert and Werkman make some very nice shoes that are punched coarse enough that you drive a nice high nail. You can contact suppliers all over the place for them . You won't have to resize the nail holes either. They also come toe clipped and front and hind patterns. Takes all the work out of it. Makes the job easy if the horse behaves well. You can also take a grinder and put a beveled edge on them like a SB. They also come in light or heavy styles. How's that!
Reply at
09/ 4/2006 - 8:54 P
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reply from
steve kraus
I forgot to mention the trimming. Dress the toes back so they are blunt. You will have to heat the shoe and blunt the toe to match. Keep the heels trimmed to the widest part of a modestly trimmed frog. Fit the shoe with enough heel length and width to support the leg and not loose the shoe. On the hinds, back the toe up alittle and fit the outside full as possible. Trim the inside slightly low and encourage a modest flair laterally. This arangement puts the support as lateral as possible to support those wide hips. Now go to work.
Reply at
09/ 4/2006 - 9:51 P
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reply from
Don Klase
I did try the Kerchaert shoes, but we had to resize the nail holes. I recall we used Capewell 10. Do you find another size and or brand that works better?

Also our soil here is pure clay - it really robs the hoof of moisture. Outside of padding everyone, are there any tricks to preventing hoof cracking due to the dryness?
 

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