Even if you have been shoeing a certain way for years and have strong feelings regarding this subject, some farriers say they have benefited by changing their thoughts regarding modification of keg shoes.
“After cold shoeing for years on ranches where I worked, I assumed that this was the only way to shoe,” recalls Mooreland, Okla., farrier Chris Logan. “Late in life, I made a great decision to attend Montana State University’s horseshoeing school in Bozeman, Mont. While attending school in the 12-week course, it took me 10 weeks to learn that I must not rely on strength to shape a shoe, but finesse,” he says.
“Working with a forge brought a new perspective into my business that I was unwilling to previously consider. Not only did I realize that I was probably laming more horses than I was helping, but I assumed that I could level a shoe and make it work on any foot for any reason.”
Rochester, Ind., farrier Scott Stinson changed his thoughts on hot shoeing after a challenge. “I did almost no hot shoeing or shaping for the first 10 years of my caree,” he admits. “Then I was challenged by a well-accomplished farrier to take one horse a week when I have the time to spend 2 hours to complete a shoe job.
“I wasn’t excited about it as it only took me 45 minutes to do cold shoes. Within 6 months, I was doing 80% hot!
“I now hot fit 95 % of the time — the other 5% is only because the horse has not been instructed to behave on the rolling smoke show.”
He advises skeptical farriers to give it a chance. “Be patient with the clumsy tongs and yourself. In just a few weeks, you won’t believe the difference in how much better your shoes fit!”