Skill And Practicality Meet For Concave Challenge

For this year’s Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise, this concave shoe with clips and stud holes will test you with plenty of elements


A frequent criticism of contest shoes is that they often lack practical use in everyday shoeing. Although I will argue that the lessons learned in making any shoe are transferable to your work, this criticism remains. With this in mind, I wanted to offer a shoe for this mail-in challenge that would have plenty of lessons, as well as practical use.

For the fifth annual Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise, sponsored by VICTORY, here is a concave shoe with clips and stud holes that has some tough steps, but will result in a functional shoe that can be nailed onto some sport horses.

The Judging Criteria

Here are some of the shoe’s aspects that we are going to
focus on as judges, in order of importance:

  • Size (match the measurements).
  • Nail fit and stud fit.
  • All forging elements are present in the shoe.
  • Flatness of the shoe.
  • Quality of clips.

More On This Concave Shoe

This shoe will teach finesse while giving you a useful shoe. Look at these views of the finished shoes to the right. I like forging challenges that feature concave stock. First, I like it in this challenge because you aren’t going to the drill press. If we didn’t use concave in this exercise, you wouldn’t have to stud punch — you could just drill holes. With the stud punch, you have to create the collars. I used to hate using concave on shoes I had to drill and tap because I didn’t want to put in…

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Craig trnka

Craig Trnka

Craig Trnka, CJF, is the founder of the World Championship Blacksmiths, a past president of the American Farrier’s Association and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame.

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