Within footcare, there are plenty of subjects that inspire debate. Handmade vs. manufactured shoes is one such subject. I think there is a happy medium within this debate that is manifested in a farrier who can find value and benefits in using manufactured shoes. This farrier, who also is skilled in the fire, can build a shoe and modify an existing shoe for specific needs and correctly apply either shoe to a horse.
With that middle ground in mind, we asked farriers in January about both their most common and most unique shoe modifications. The survey didn’t exclude any participant based on whether the shoes described were manufactured or handmade. The purpose was for those farriers to provide their insights on their shoe modifications.
We asked for the type of shoe, horses that need this application, steps for modifying and the need they are trying to address. The only guidance we gave was that the most common modification couldn’t be rockering or rolling the toe.
Throughout coming issues, we’ll isolate a single modification and share a few considerations on each from horseshoers. We also will enlist a farrier his or her step-by-step process for the modification, which will be posted on the American Farriers Journal website with video of this technique.
Considering overall shoe usage, we learned that out of the 143 farriers who took this survey, more than half build less than 25% of their shoes. Only 15 make more than 50% of their shoes. And about 30% of…