Solid 100-Year-Old Primer On Essential Shoeing Principles

Notes On Shoeing For Horse-Owners By Captain V.H. Scratchley

This book offers a rare treasure of sound, basic horseshoeing principles for the normal foot. Captain V.S. Scratchley’s goal in writing Notes On Shoeing For Horse-Owners in 1911 was to provide horse owners with the means to evaluate the work so they could “employ the best farrier obtainable.” He presents many good arguments for the need of frequent quality hoof care.

Misleading Book Title

The 88-page book contains reams of valuable information related to the practical aspects of shoeing a normal foot that will be of interest and value to farriers, regardless of their level of experience. It offers a snapshot of the highest level of horseshoeing standards and theory at the beginning of the 20th century — a time when the horse was still a major source of transportation and work.

The book does not deal in any way with the shoeing of abnormal feet. It simply offers plenty of details on century-old practices that can help you do a much of trimming and shoeing normal feet.

Besides consulting the standard texts of the day, Scratchley visited the shoeing forge of William H. Hill, AFC, in the small, picturesque town of Chagford in England’s Devonshire district several days each week for almost a year. These visits were used to research and revise his material to ensure the technical accuracy of the book.

As the farriery instructor for the Devon County Council, Hill was responsible for evaluating and overseeing the training of farrier apprentices throughout the Devonshire area. He was…

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