Do you hot shape the shoes you place on horses?
Is this the case for every horse you work with?
I have worked all my shoes in the fire for 38 out of 40yrs of shoeing. It gives me a more precise fit & hot seating them gives me a stronger wall to deal with!!
—Joepaul Meyers, CJF
Absolutely hot shape almost every shoe I apply. My body and hearing thank me for it. Tap, tap, tap of the hammer vs BAM BAM BAM says it all.
I still hot shape and fit some horses for the people willing to pay for the show or when needed by the horse. After 40+ years of shoeing it is quicker and less costly to the client to shape the shoes cold.
I would say that I hot shape/fit the majority of the horses I work on. The way most keg shoes are made now a days the toe doesn't fit the horse. It must be heated up and tightened up. I also clip most of the horses I shoe and because I clip it's easier to fit hot.
—Douglas Hogue, CJF
I hot shape every steel shoe I put on, and some of the aluminum ones too. I hot fit every horse that can handle it, which is probably 95%. It saves my body and allows for a much more precise fit along with helping to reduce fungal and bacterial issues. Plus, I do a few alterations to every shoe before I even start shaping to the foot that I couldn't do without a forge.
40 years of hot shoeing. Southern hot, humid summers make hot fitting a necessitiy. Also, keeps me warm in the cold winter. Most of all, I was taught that way back in the day of hand crank coal forges.
Almost never hot fit, even when we were hot shaping and cliping all our shoes. Tried it, and it didn't help. we lose less shoes than most and our feet look as good as the ones that are hot fit. We sell our trucks out every 3 years and have to keep out all of that terriable smell. Now after nearly fifty years my lungs thank me every time I'm in a barn where another farrier is burning them on. If you think the horse dosen't feel that heat, just try to glue with Equilox and watch the horse respond to that small amount of heat, and I can still hold my hand against that foot. Besides as one of the guys that work with me says "my mother won't wash my clothes when I hot fit. Could be the best reason yet.
I've apprenticed with a "cold shoer" for 3 years. He is vehemently opposed to burning shoes on and usually shapes cold. However, when a modification is called for, he starts the forge and pounds shoes out like he does it all day long. It's efficient to work in a way you're familiar with, so I work the way I've been taught. If the shoe is manageable cold, I'll cold shape. I'm not going to pound a badly sprung, large thick shoe back into shape cold when I can throw it into the forge and work it hot. I think a well rounded farrier can shape and fit hot or cold efficiently. Skills take time to hone and I like to play in the forge at home, on my own time.
Every new shoe placed on a horse gets hot shaped. I do not hot FIT nearly as many as I cold fit. Most of mine would not tolerate it. I DO hot fit any horse that wears clips. They simply cannot be fit properly otherwise.
Hot fitting saves your body, gives your horse a more custom fit, and stronger walls on a repeated basis. Just a few things I've learned after 35 years. It never slowed me down it only enhanced my business. Work smart!
I shape all my shoes hot & hot fit as well unless it is requested otherwise.Your shape is much more accurate & is easier on your elbows & shoulders. 23 years & still going strong with no health issues in that area.
Both methods will work well if done appropriately and properly. Light steel can be easily cold shaped and fit if you know how to flatten a hoof. Heavier steel usually can not be well shaped cold. It much easier to burn clips in but not necessary. I see many hot fit shoes burned in that are not flat or have bumps into the sole, that aren't noticed by the shoer but certainly noticed by the horse.
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