Improve Your Skills for Horseshoeing Contests

Chris and Cody Gregory offer practical advice that farriers can implement in their everyday work


Pictured Above: Chris Gregory (right) always cleans up clips with a rasp before hot seating. “If you rasp up your clip after you burn, it will change your fit,” he says.

With two major contests — the World Horseshoeing Classic and the National Forging and Horseshoeing Competition — wrapped up, and the World Championship Blacksmiths about to kick off its 2019 slate, farriers are gearing up for another contest season.

Chris and Cody Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo., shared some tips at the 2018 Colorado Classic in Kremmling, Colo., that will help improve your skills at the anvil and the horse. You’ll find that many of them also can be applied to your everyday work.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Using a left-handed hoof knife (if you’re right-handed) to trim the right side of the frog will prolong the life of your knife.
  • Evaluate your shoe after hot rasping it to ensure that it is still level.
  • If the foot is ½ inch shorter than the shoe from the center of the toe bend to the end of the heel, the shoe will fit the horse’s foot.

Trimming Advice

The father-son team demonstrated their tips while trimming and shoeing a gelding’s front feet.

Chris begins by evaluating the right front leg, which is a little fetlock varus and the lateral toe quarter has broken away. The horse also has a history of suspensory ligament injuries that required two surgeries.

“Whenever you are competing or involved in certification, if the quarters…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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