Daryl Bean, an American Farrier’s Association Certified Journeyman Farrier from Ovideo, Fla., often deals with soft hooves, due to the humid Florida climate. She offers the following advice for nailing on shoes on this kind of hooves.
As most farriers do, she tries to use as few nails as possible. She’s found that a combination of hot-fitting and well-placed clips usually enables her to keep shoes on with just four or five nails.
She prefers to use the nail holes closes to the toe of the shoe. This further reduces hoof wall damage.
She’s also found that if a horse does manage to pull a shoe with the nails in that position, it usually pulls the shoe cleanly.
“When the nails are further back, a pulled shoe is more likely to take a lot of hoof,” she says. For that reason, she won’t use the heel nail on a keg shoe unless she absolutely has to.
When resetting shoes, she also takes them to her rig, where she uses a drill press to clean out the nail holes and make sure they have the pitch she wants.
Because the wet and humid climate of Florida tends to weaken hoof walls, she makes a point of pulling nails individually to minimize hoof damage when removing shoes.
We spent a day “Shoeing For A Living” with Bean in early January. The article will appear in our March issue.