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Jar or blade calks aren’t really meant for traction. Instead, they are more of a directional device used mostly on horses that jump.
Horses that land on their front feet — depending on their conformation — can often benefit from having a rudder-like device on the heel of the shoe. This type of modification, regardless of the footing, may also help stabilize and give the horse added confidence.
At one time, there were keg shoes that came with blade calks, but they weren’t really practical. The shoes were soft, they didn’t wear well or last long and were hardly tall enough to be extremely functional for their ideal purpose.
Although more popular on handmade shoes, blade or jar calks can be added to a factory shoe as well. I normally make my own, but they can be bought pre-made with a small tip that keeps them in place until they can be braised or securely welded.
The placement of the calks on the shoe can happen in one of two ways:
They can be placed in-line with the shoe, which would help stabilize the foot.
They could be placed in-line with the horse’s line of travel. This would be determined by whoever requested them and it helps guid or direct the hoof.
The way jar or blade calks are applied is fairly basic and can be done in either a coal or gas forge if braised on.
STEP 1: Shape the shoe to the foot…