With all the preshaped shoes on the market today, it is easy to find a shoe to fit most of the feet you encounter in your everyday shoeing, often with little or no modification.
There are pluses and minuses to this fact, though. Often, those shoes aren’t quite a perfect fit. But a lot of farriers will compromise on the fit of the foot because the preshaped shoe they have selected is close to the hoof shape.
The area I’ve found to be most often compromised is the toe. This brings me to my shoe modification.
I find that almost all of the preshaped hind-shoe patterns on the market have a very square toe (Figure 1). Some brands are worse than others as far of the severity of that shape. But with all of the hind feet that I have encountered in my years of shoeing, I have yet to find one that actually has a square toe.
That means you have to make a compromise when using this preshaped pattern on the hind foot. You either have to set the shoe back from the toe of the foot until the square edges of the shoe meet the toe quarters of the foot, or simply fit it to the end of the toe and let the square corners of the shoe extend past the border of the hoof at the quarters of the toe.
Figures 2 and 3 show a…