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In the December 2021 American Farriers Journal, the description of how to make a Saddlebred shoe with a forge welded toe clip was interesting to see and read. There is always an alternative method to doing a task that may stray from the normally accepted procedure.
I learned that task in horseshoeing school under Lester Hollenback. I am not sure where he learned it from but it was taught as a “Chicago clip.” The Chicago area was a large Saddlebred area and as large as some of the areas in Kentucky. Those farriers at the time, Ralph “Bud” Carmein, Warren Fontaine and Ron Dyer, were all very handy at welding those clips on. In southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky, John McGinnis was the expert.
All these old timers welded the clip on the foot side of the shoe. Not all Saddlebred shoes have rolled toes. If the ground edge was to be maintained then welding on the foot side made a lot more sense, so that became the standard practice. Having won a few of those classes in my time and making a career of shoeing that style of horse, I still weld them on the foot side. When I learned to weld those clips, we just welded on a flat section of steel and drew out the clip after welding. I struggled for several years with that until one of my mentors, Stanley Kler, showed me how to weld the section on an angle and cutting…