Do you know whether you’re punching the correct size nail holes in your horseshoes?

Hall Of Fame farrier Roy Bloom offered attendees of Monetta Farrier Specialties’ 20th annual Spring Fling an easy way to find out. You’ll need four simple items: a hammer, a horseshoe nail, a drift and an empty aluminum can.

When selecting a nail, the Drummond, Wis., toolmaker says select “your favorite nail in the whole world.” Turn an aluminum can upside down on a firm surface and tap the nail into the metal (Figure 1).

Stop tapping once the blade is inside the can (Figure 2).


Remove the nail and place the tip of the drift up to the hole (Figure 3). You also can do this to ensure that your pritchel is the correct size.

“The drift and the pritchel,” Bloom says, “match the shank of the nail.”

If the tip of the drift and pritchel fit in the hole (Figure 4), you’re punching for the correct nail. If they don’t, it’s time for some adjustments at the grinder.