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A farrier’s eye for seeing shape is one of the underrated skills that farriers develop. Yet, a farrier’s eye and the ability to efficiently work the horn of the anvil often go hand-in-hand.
Learning to efficiently shape a shoe to a hoof has one of the largest learning curves in shoeing horses. International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member Dr. Doug Butler of Crawford, Neb., wrote Shoeing in Your Right Mind to help farriers train their eyes to see balance, symmetry and asymmetry.
The late J. Scott Simpson, a fellow Hall of Famer from Walla Walla, Wash., studied five basic hoof shapes that corresponded with P3. The work done by both of these iconic men in the industry will help train your eye and develop a system for shaping shoes.
This article will discuss elements of hoof and shoe shape, and techniques to effectively create that shape using…