Quick Tips from a 49-Year Shoeing Veteran

California farrier Lee Green offers his advice when it comes to measuring for the right shoe, shoeing the horse and working conditions

Lee Green has been around horses and an anvil his entire life. He’s spent the last 49 years as a shoer and is the current owner of The Shoein’ Shop in Yucaipa, Calif.

At a recent clinic, Green offered a number of quick tips for young shoers who hope to stay in the business as long as he has.

Measuring For Easy Fitting

To start, measure the width of the keg shoes you would normally use. For a quick and easy reference, Green notches three marks in his hoof knife handle. One is at 4 1/2 inches, another at 4 3/4 inches and the final at 5 inches. By placing the marked hoof knife across the bottom of the foot at the widest point, Green can tell the shoe width the horse needs.

Green also makes a few hashmarks on the horn of his anvil. When hot fitting, Green takes the hot shoe, puts one side of it against the drop in the anvil and lays it flat over the horn. The shoe should match up to the original width he recorded with the markings in his hoof knife to ensure an easy fitting shoe. This saves you a trip back to the horse to check on shoe width because you can do it right at your anvil.

Keep High Expectations Of Working Conditions

No one should be expected to work in less-than-ideal conditions, so why should it be any different for a farrier?

You need to have four critical…

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