Hammer & Anvil

Fishtail Forging for Calgary

Mastering this forging challenge will add a useful support device to your shoeing bag of tricks and also let you share in Calgary Mail-In Shoeing Exercise prizes

Believe it or not, it is already time to start working on another Calgary Mail-In shoe. This year, Marshall Illes and the rest of the committee have picked a deceptive little shoe called the fishtail.

Like many specialty shoes, there is a lot more to this shoe than meets the eye. However, it is a shoe that almost anyone can make with a little practice. It will also help you to improve your square toes since building a fishtail and squaring a toe have several moves in common.

I have made quite a few fishtail shoes in the past, but I had to reinvent my style of forging to make this shoe look like the diagram. I generally make this shoe by forging the bends in the bar prior to welding. I try to make nice crisp corners in the bends. You will notice that this shoe has rounded, softer bends. The first try using my old style of making this shoe was not successful, so I did some experimenting. The method I am describing in this article is one that I had never used for this shoe before. It was very enjoyable to play with finding a simpler way to make this shoe.

The fishtail is an exaggerated support shoe that can really help a horse that is in severe need. If you have a horse with an injured suspensory apparatus, you may find this shoe quite useful. It could also be used like a patton bar shoe, if…

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Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory is the owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo., and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame.

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