It all depends on your perspective of the question.  If you are referring to the shoe selection and shaping of the shoe “hot” vs. “cold,” then my advice would be to trim, shape and measure the foot before going to the anvil. This will eliminate wasted work only to discover you’ve selected the wrong shoe size. 

If you were referring to the process of the burn, then my advice would be to ensure you take “the burn” into consideration and leave some foot during the trim to accommodate for it. This will keep you from trimming the foot too short. 

Burn at a grey heat so you can see what you are doing. Burn with an even heat and push evenly on the foot so you don’t ruin a balanced trim. Don’t over burn — it’s possible to damage sensitive tissue by transferring too much heat into the hoof. 

Here are a few tips for hot shaping and fitting, in no particular order.

Hot shaping:

  1. Make sure the shoe is uniformly heated.
  2. Make clips before you shape.
  3. Make modifications as you shape.
  4. Shape toe, quarters and heels in that order.
  5. Have a plan before you pull the shoe out.

Hot fitting:

  1. Fit in the same order that you trim, as it makes it easier to remember which foot you are on.
  2. Keep the old shoes and use them as a pattern. This will save you trips to the horse. 
  3. Don’t go to the horse with a shoe that you think is a close fit. Go when you think it will fit. This trains your mind and hands to get it right the first time. 
  4. Use half round nippers to fit clips.
  5. Fit clips before you fit shoe.

— Tim Shannon, Mereno Valley, Calif.

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