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FIT TO STICK. Proper fullering and punching for a snug nail fit are essential to reliable shoeing.
It’s easy to overlook punches and fullers, tools that are beat on every day, often abused and replaced relatively often. But remember, Chip Hunt says, “The main thing holding a horseshoe on is a nail head that fits the shoe. It’s the nail head fitting tight and contacting with the shoe on all four sides of the nail.”
A tight nail-to-shoe fit depends on correctly chosen and used punches and fullers, so farriers should carry an assortment of sizes to accommodate the different sized hooves they’ll shoe. “One punch won’t do every job. The punch you would use for a 1/4-inch-thick shoe won’t work to punch a No. 10 nail into a 1/2-inch-thick shoe,” says Hunt, a certified journeyman farrier who manufactures a line of tools carrying his name, Chip Hunt Tools, in Brazil, Ind.
Roy Bloom, also a certified journeyman farrier who manufactures a line of tools, recommends that farriers focus on the basics when buying these essentials. “The object of the punch is to punch the hole for a particular-sized nail, so what you’re after is a tool that meets that requirement. Does it fit the nail that you plan to punch for? Does it punch the right-sized hole, and is it set up well? For the most part, they all are. There isn’t going to be much deviation from one manufacturer to the next,” says Bloom…