Hoof-Care E-Mail Q&A

Where do you like to drive a nail and why? What area of the hoof wall do you try to avoid?

Q. Where do you like to drive a nail and why? What area of the hoof wall do you try to avoid?

A. There are a few items with nailing that are essential. First, the shoe should be shaped so the nails enter the white line of the foot. This allows for a high and straight nail line. Nails should be driven high enough that they can’t touch the shoe if bent over, but not so high that the clinch is done in the taper of the tip. My favorite quote pertaining to nailing is: “You pay for the whole nail, so you might as well use the whole nail.”

— Chris Gregory, Heartland Horseshoeing School, Lamar, Mo.

A: After reading a study by Martin Kenny (American Farriers Journal, January/February 2009), I changed the way I nail on shoes. I no longer use the first nail hole, keeping the nails further back on the horn wall. I’ve found I don’t get as much forward growth as before. Also, I now use as few nails as necessary — many times only two nails on each side.

I stay away from weak spots and cracks. If there is permanent damage, keep the nails ahead of the widest part of the hoof. If I have horn wall missing, I’m not afraid to nail past the widest part for a period of time to allow the horn wall to grow down.

— Mikel W. Dawson, Lintrup, Denmark

A: I like to

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