Fitting Clips

Drawing the clip is only part of the job, making it fit properly on the foot is key

IN THE September/October issue, we described the process of how to make a clip on a shoe. Now let’s discuss how to fit the clip on the foot.

To fit correctly, the clip should be set into the hoof wall so that you can’t feel the edge of the clip when you run your hand over the hoof.

Hot-fitting is almost a requirement. However, you can cut the clip into position if you are working with an aluminum shoe or dealing with a situation where hot-fitting isn’t possible. It is much more difficult without heat and very seldom will you achieve a perfect fit.

Are Clips Required?

I clip horses that put a lot of shearing force on the shoes. Horses used for cutting, rodeo, polo and jumping really benefit from being clipped. Clips will keep the shoe from twisting and sliding on the feet.

While toe clips are not as popular in the U.S. as in other countries, they are still very useful. During fly season, it is not uncommon to have a horse stomp hard and long enough to move the front shoe straight back. Toe clips help prevent this from occurring.

Quarter clips and side clips will take a greater amount of stress off the nail and are seen more commonly on both fronts and hinds in the U.S. It is unusual to see a toe clip on a hind foot unless it is a draft animal.

Clipping Problem Feet

Another use for clips is when you’re…

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Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory is the owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo., and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame.

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