Ambrose Gordon

Modifying Keg Shoes: Special Cases Call for Special Measures

San Antonio area farrier makes the case for thinking outside the box and why you should keep your iron-working skills fine tuned


STAYING SHARP. Ambrose Gordon, the San Antonio area farrier, preaches the virtues of continuing farrier education and the importance of practicing to keep your forging skills sharp. The veteran shoer says that staying fine-tuned with your iron-working skills helps prepare you for unexpected problems in the field.

Ambrose Gordon, a farrier from Kerrville, Texas, located just outside of San Antonio, regularly does therapeutic shoeing work with veterinarian and boarded equine surgeon David Dutton from Hill Country Equine Clinic in Borney, Tex. The two have come up with some unusual shoeing prescriptions over the years that have challenged the forging skills of the veteran farrier.

One particular shoe was even more unusual because it included materials from a famous motorcycle maker.

Two-Foot Trauma

The case in question involved a very valuable filly yearling that was having supportive problems in both front feet.

“It’s always an easier situation if you just have a problem in only one foot,” says Gordon. “Then you’ve got support limits you can use. When the horse is broken down in both feet, it becomes really tricky. You probably don’t have a sling there to hold the horse up. So you have to figure out how you can hold the horse up while you’re working on one foot at a time.”

Gordon and Dutton decided what was needed was some sort of a “sling shoe” with straps that came up the side of the foot and an inner tube that would force it forward.

“It seemed to be…

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