Farriers' Roundtable

Q: If clips aren’t drawn properly, what types of problems can be caused for the horse?

A. If clips are too thin, they can break off or bend. When clips are too low, they aren’t of any benefit if used with a pad and may not be much of a benefit even without a pad. 

Thick clips are a problem because they would have to be burned too deep into the hoof wall or be left partly in and partly out of the wall. 

If a toe clip is not drawn in the center of the toe, it makes the foot look unbalanced (it can also help a crooked foot look straighter, which isn’t going to be good for the horse). 

If clips are placed too far back on the foot they restrict expansion, which leads to a completely different set of questions dealing with that problem. You can buy many of today’s keg shoes already clipped. This can save a lot of time (which is money), but you should still be able to draw a nice clip where you want it for the times that the pre-clipped shoes are not what you need. 

Properly clipped shoes help take some stress off the nails (possibly allowing you to use fewer and/or smaller nails), especially when using pads. They also help you keep the shoe from shifting when you are nailing it onto the foot and a nice clip just makes the whole job look better.

—Bob Plant, Walworth, N.Y.

A.

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