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I was asked to sit in on a panel discussion before more than 800 farriers at the 2006 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the topic was a debate on high nailing versus low nailing. When I first got the assignment I was pretty worried about how I would fill 40 minutes of time with a topic of this nature. On the panel debate with me were International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame members Henry Heymering of Frederick, Md., and Donald Jones of Pleasant Garden, N.C.
It’s always difficult for me to argue with people who are wrong, but that seems to be how it usually goes. Henry and I enjoyed a friendly argument as the crowd watched.
Nailing isn’t something that a shoer thinks much about once he or she gains some experience and competence in shoeing. I had to be fairly conscious of the thought process that goes into nailing just to have a few ideas for the discussion.
Nailing has become just a fairly thoughtless part of shoeing, much like leveling a shoe or using a pair of nippers, and I seem to go about it without much thought. It’s like trying to jog on the treadmill. While doing it, my mind is on things such as the weather, where we will be going this weekend, what the dog has eaten to make him smell so bad, etc.
Nailing is a fairly simple, easy thing to do once you have done a few thousand horses…