Hall of Famer Billy Crothers Shares His Approach to Building Concave Shoes

Repetition is key to master forging skills

Whether making shoes for your inventory or trying to improve for competition, practice and repetition are key. The more shoemaking you do, the higher your skill level will increase and the more efficient you will be at fitting shoes, says International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame farrier Billy Crothers.
Crothers offered tips to improve practical forging skills at the Indiana Farriers Association annual meeting at Janssen Veterinary Clinic in Sheridan, Ind.

This how-to article focuses on a concave shoe forging demonstration — but many of the principles the Welsh farrier introduced have broader applications. Crothers chose concave because it’s suitable for many horses, easy to modify and can provide traction on a variety of terrain. He also finds it’s an ideal shoe for practicing basic forging skills.

“It’s a great piece of steel you can learn how to forge shoes with and will encourage you and inspire you to go on and make more shoes,” Crothers says.


Watch Billy Crothers build concave shoes at

Half the battle is knowing exactly what you are going to do, before you do it.

“That steel only stays hot for so long,” Crothers says, “so you have got to be very positive and very decisive when it comes to hitting the steel and turning. You also have to…

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Kristen Kubisiak

Kristen Kubisiak has been a writer and photographer with newspapers and magazines for 15 years. A native of Wisconsin, she served as the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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