Danny Ward

Round Nails And Not-So-Round Holes

When you change a keg shoe, you need to pay attention to the nail holes as well


CHECKING NAIL FIT. Danny Ward checks the fit on a nail after cleaning out the nail holes while modifying a keg shoe. Ward says it’s particularly important to check the head fit. That’s Mequon, Wis., farrier Red Renchin looking on.

WHEN YOU START banging on a horseshoe, you’re also banging on its nail holes — and if the horseshoe changes shape, so will the holes.

Danny Ward, American Farrier’s Association Certified Journeyman Farrier and owner of the Danny Ward Horseshoeing School in Martinsville, Va., says it’s important to make sure you’ve got the holes where you want them and that they’ll work the way they’re supposed to.

“A lot of our shoes now have pretty nice, pretty clean holes,” says Ward. “But any time you make a little modification in a shoe, more than likely you’re going to get a little distortion or stretching in the holes.”

Ward says that after shaping a shoe to fit a particular foot, you need to clean out the nail holes.

Front Punching Preferred

“When there are clips on the shoe, I back punch (clean the hole from the hoof side),” says Ward. “When there are no clips, I like to clean my holes out from the ground side down. I call it front punching. Since the holes are tapered like the head of the nail, and the pritchel is tapered, that gives you the same taper all the way around.”

Ward says he’s found that one problem with back punching is that it…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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