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I just read Travis Powell’s letter on “Manufactured Horseshoes Are Fine But....” (Page 8 of the September/October American Farriers Journal issue.) I feel the need to respond.
There is a famous quote “correlation does not equal causation,” and I think Powell and others with similar views may need to consider this.
The fact that we do not need to start from scratch with every shoe does not mean we no longer build shoes. Nor does it mean we lack the will, knowledge or ability to modify shoes.
We are living longer and working to an older age. Some of us are perfectly capable of shoeing several horses a day to a high level of quality. However, I could not stand up to the wear and tear of pounding shoes out for every horse.
I am fit, strong and have no pain other than tired muscles at the end of the day. But that would not be the case if I made all my shoes from bar stock.
I modify every shoe. Most fronts get a French roll, all heels are boxed to allow me to fit fuller, many hinds get a square toe, some get a lateral extension and the shoe’s web is determined by the horse’s build, job, and the footing where it works. There are also therapeutic cases with collateral ligament issues, hock issues, ring bone, etc.
The fact that I choose to simplify and minimize the required labor in no way indicates a lack of…