When it comes to using keg shoes in general, Jeff Rodriguez of Golden, Colo., advises other farriers to carry a variety. “The shoes you will find perfectly suitable on one horse are counterproductive on another. When assessing prospective shoes, keep in mind, the size nails that best fit the shoes. If you need a #5 city head nail and are going to use a 0 shoe or smaller, you might need another shoe. The inverse is true, as well,” he says.

“A size 4 or 5 shoe needs to accept the proper nail to do a good job. You don’t want to find out about inapplicable mismatches in the field, and you never want to use an improper nail.

“Also consider that if you’re working in a large barn, along with other farriers, stay away from ‘exotics.’ If you want others to nail lost shoes on, it’s best to have something they can match.”

Pawlet, Vt., shoer Don Chandler advises farriers to carry several handmade shoes. “This sounds crazy, but it helps in a couple of ways,” he says. “It helps you shape keg shoes more efficiently because you look at shaping differently after you’ve learned to shape a straight bar to fit a foot. You start to see the shape of the foot and learn to make the steel flow around it, rather than seeing a keg shoe that needs to be bent here and straightened there.

“Learning to make shoes frees you up to carry less in your truck and still be confident you can shoe any horse that comes your way. I pretty much carry one brand of compromise pattern, wide-web shoes in my truck in sizes from 000 to 4, and several sizes of steel and aluminum bar stock. Any horse that can’t be shod properly with some modification of that keg shoe gets handmade shoes.”

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