Getting A Grip For Safety

Heel extensions and traction devices are latest step for your shoe board

This is our fourth shoe for the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) Certified Farrier shoe display. There are five modifications left to complete the project. Here, we’ll deal with three of them, two traction devices and extended heels.

Check The Fit

Since all of the shoes have to be for the same feet, knowing how to fit this shoe is important. The other hind shoe we built (American Farriers Journal, December, 2001, pages 77 to 82) has a square toe, which means it is fit with the toe of the shoe behind the perimeter of the hoof wall. This hind shoe does not have a square toe. In order to make both these shoes for the same foot, you have to understand where the shoes will be nailed on.


Traction or grip can be an important addition to a shoe. If a horse will be used where there is poor footing or slick terrain, having the right amount of traction becomes a matter of safety for both horse and rider. There are many ways of providing traction to satisfy this requirement. Simply using thinner stock can provide traction by adding more pounds per square inch of ground contact. This is the same principle as in the use of sliding plates, though in that case, less traction is the goal. Sliding plates are made from wider stock, which means fewer pounds per square inch.

For the traction for this shoe, I am using brazed-on jar calks and Borium. Both can be…

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Chris gregory

Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory is a Hall of Fame farrier and owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo.

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