Hammer clinching is not as popular as using clinchers among modern farriers. One reason is that it can be a little difficult to learn. Another downside is that some horses do not stand as well for hammer clinching as they do when clinchers are used.
But hammer clinching can be quite useful. Since most of us don’t have a special pair of monster-sized clinchers for shoeing drafts, you will see hammer clinches used with a lot of draft horses. It is also a very useful skill whenever the shoe has an extension that interferes with the normal use of clinching tongs. A lateral extension would be an example.
When using clinching tongs, many farriers have difficulties with too much hoof wall being pulled down above the nail. This can leave a large hole above the clinch. Proper use of the tongs can alleviate a lot of this, but hammer clinching can also help. Since the nail won’t be pulled down in the same manner as with the top jaw of the clinching tongs, you will find it easier to have the clinch closer to the nail exit hole.
Some farriers claim that shoes will not stay on as well if hammer clinched, but that’s true only when it is not done correctly. There is a good possibility of loosening a nail by driving it back out of the shoe during the clinching process. Proper positioning of a clinch block (or other tool used for that purpose) is…