Most forge work these days seems to be for hot shaping manufacturer's shoes. How often do you make shoes for applications on horses?
For general purposes the regular keg shoe does is job well and quickly. However, for correctional and therapeutic shoes I still prefer hand made. With handmade shoes, there is no question as to whether or not that shoe is made for that horse, rather than just forced/stretched/shrunk into something close.
As a matter of personal choice, I have switched to handmade shoes whenever possible. Most of my clients horses are shod handmades all around some a mix. So am I the forge most every day.
For the last 30 years I've made 98% of all shoes I've applied in the coal forge.
Having learned to make shoes in the coal forge before learning to cold shape machine made shoes, and before the plethora of factory made specialty shoes were available, I confess that I modify factory shoes mostly these days. The time and therefore money saved is significant, especially when there is such a broad selection of factory made specialty shoes these days. However, I still not only draw my own clips out of preference for size and placement, but I also hand make my bar shoes fairly often in order to achieve the custom 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" fit that is not available with factory bar shoes. It also shows your versatility and expertise, impresses the "masses", provides valuable practice, and makes things more interesting!
I try to make at least one pair of shoes a day for a horse.
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