Many farriers like to shoe feet a little full, not only for expansion in the heel area, but also so the horse won’t overgrow the shoe between appointments. Mark Voorhis, a farrier from Portland, Ore., says he likes to decide how full to fit a horse based in part on how fast its feet grow.

“It may look like I’ve left a lot of extra room for expansion on this particular horse,” he told us during a "Shoeing For A Living" day. “But because I’ve shoe him a lot, I know that he’ll fill that all in by the time I come back to shoe him again.”

Voorhis says just how to fit horses in “a balancing act,” particularly in the often wet weather of the Pacific Northwest.

“You have to consider each horse, their hoof condition and how they’re used,” he says. “You know with some horses, if you fit them too full, you’ll probably have to go back and put on a lost shoe. And the problem may not be just nailing the shoe back on, but whether you’ll even have enough hoof wall left to nail to.”

"Our Shoeing For A Living" day with Voorhis will be featured in the July/August issue of American Farriers Journal.

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