Steve Kraus, an American Farrier’s Association Certified Journeyman Farrier, recently took over asinstructor in Cornell University’s horseshoeing program.

Kraus, from Trumansburg, N.Y., who is also a clinician for Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center, says proper nail alignment is important when driving nails.

“If you can not keep a shoe from sliding sideways or backward when nailing without using a clip on the shoe, you may be causing excessive strain on the hoof wall or the nail shank,” Kraus says. “You should be able to nail a shoe on without clips, keeping it in place, by using proper nail alignment. Place the nail in the center of the hole and align it straight to the hoof axis, not pointing toward the heels.”

Kraus also says you may find you need to change nail sizes or heads when you reset a shoe.

The expansion and contraction of the hoof during a shoeing cycle can cause the nail holes to enlarge,” he says. In such a case you may want to replace a city head nail with a regular head nail of the same size, or perhaps one size larger.

“It is not recommended to upsize nails more than one size,” Kraus warns, “Because the increased thickness of the shank could damage the hoof wall.

>>Return to the Farrier Tips archive