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Some of the most important work a farrier does takes place at least a few feet from the horse that’s being shod. Skills at the anvil can set a farrier apart from run-of-the-mill shoers. The ability to hand forge specialty shoes or fine-tune keg shoes can greatly enhance your ability to increase your shoeing incomes.
Here are some of the best forging tips that American Farrier Journal editors have gathered in recent months from some of your fellow farriers.
1. Break the shoe-making process into steps or tasks.
— Chris Gregory, Lamar, Mo.
2. People have a tendency to overwork keg shoes. We’ve got the hammer, we’ve got the anvil and we’ve got to him ’em. Once you’ve overworked a shoe, it’s three or four times harder to get it back where you want it.
— Danny Ward, Martinsville, Va.
3. Learn how to make a bar shoe and how to make a clip before you start using ready-made keg shoes with these features. You need to know how to make these shoes first.
— Bob Schantz, Foristell, Mo.
4. Once you learn the basics of shoe making, it’s much easier to make modifications. Making the shoes makes you learn the shapes that you are going to need and helps you get to where you can bang it into the shape you need on the first or second try. That’s where a lot of people lose their time, in trips back and forth to the anvil.