The 2023 International Hoof-Care Summit celebrates its 20th anniversary at this January’s event. This is also the ninth Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise, so I wanted to create a good challenge of solid forging elements for you. But as much as I want to push you out of your comfort zone with this exercise, I also want to create a practical shoe that you might find useful under the right circumstances. This is the perfect marriage: challenging your skill set and a finished product that can help a horse with a specific problem. Of course, we never want to apply a shoe that isn’t suitable for the horse or its needs.

This diamond-toe, reverse wedge hind shoe is a good solution for an older horse whose fetlock has dropped behind. It creates some relief for horses afflicted with this. For example, I’m working on an older gelding that is rode competitively, but his fetlocks are starting to drop. This shoe has helped this horse. I rarely see a shoe like this used for these horses, however. It is one of my favorite shoes because of the forging elements and its practicality.

When I judge the entries, I don’t want your shoe or the clips racked. Make a consistent reverse wedge. It needs to be thickest at the toe. When you create a wedge shoe, it is hard to maintain the section.

Thank you to VICTORY for sponsoring this challenge again. We’ll place the top finishers at the Summit. You’ll improve your skills and earn a free T-shirt just for entering. You may win the buckle. But remember, it isn’t about winning — it is about the journey.

Entering Your Shoe

To enter, simply make the shoe as described at, complete an entry form and mail it along with your shoe to: 

American Farriers Journal
Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise
16655 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Brookfield, WI 53045

Your entry must be received in the mail by Jan. 19, 2023.

If you are attending the IHCS, drop off your entry form and shoe in the Duke Energy Center near the IHCS registration area by 5 p.m., Jan. 24, 2023.

Each contestant will receive a free commemorative T-shirt. The top finisher will earn a belt buckle and free 2024 IHCS registration. Remember, you can watch an instructional video by Trnka making this diamond toe hind shoe at Good luck!

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Measurements: 4 inches at the widest part of the shoe, 5 ½ inches from the heels to toe, 2 ½ between heels, heel height at where measured is inch, and inch at the toe.