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This rope shoe dates back to the 19th century. It was made for horses working on the city streets. The concave shoe was nailed onto the foot. Then, the rope would be cut to length and inserted into the shoe with tar or pitch holding it in place. The rope could be replaced as necessary, but would compress after use. As these shoes were not very stable, they were often used as bar shoes to improve stability. The felt was applied over the bar on the palmar half of the hoof.
Pat Reilly, University of Pennsylvania, New Bolton Center Podological Museum