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Strategies for Shoeing with Concave Stock

Hall of Fame farrier Bob Marshall shares proven forging tips


Pictured Above: There are two reasons why farriers shoe a horse — protection and traction, Bob Marshall says. “It’s important to remember that you trim the horse for support,” he says. “Shoeing has nothing to do with support.”

There is no doubt that farriers who hand-make shoes enjoy a fantastic advantage.

When you take the time to learn how to forge a horseshoe, it improves your accuracy on the anvil, your ability to see the horse’s foot and the proficiency to manipulate a shoe to fit that foot. As you develop those skills, you’ll get to the point when you’re working at a horse and you’ll recognize that the shoe is going to fit — and it’s on.

On the other hand, you don’t go through the process of making a keg shoe. A keg shoe covers a lot. You can plunk a great big, wide keg shoe on a foot and it covers everything. It’s not right, but it covers everything.

The concave shoe is the sports car — the Maserati, the Lamborghini — of horseshoes. It’s made for performance. Do you know where the word “steeplechase” originates? It came from two Irish fellows who had two horses that were basically equal in the standards — they were always the same.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Gaining proficiency in forging horseshoes improves accuracy at the anvil, the ability to accurately see the horse’s foot and the facility to 
    manipulate a shoe to fit the foot.
  • When turning concave stock, it’s critical to…
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Bob Marshall, RSS

A native of Southport, England, Bob Marshall has been crowned World Championship Blacksmith at the Calgary Stampede five times. The Mission, British Columbia, resident was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 1994.

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