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During the recent American Farrier’s Association convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, Billy Crothers from Wales outlined a dozen valuable ideas to help you more effectively fit shoes.
1. The key to working with concave shoes or stock is to treat the material gently and not allow it to twist.
2. When working with concave, whether they are shoes that you’ve made yourself or machine made shoes, shape them hot with light hammer blows. Try not to allow the material to twist and always level the shoe with hammer blows directed onto the foot surface
3. Even when cold shoeing, shape the shoes hot when possible and cool them out before fitting.
4. As soon as the stock starts to twist a little — and concave is really prone to twisting — flatten it. The idea is not to let it twist in the first place, but sometimes that is very difficult. It only gets worse if you hold your tongs more from one side or the other, or if you hit the shoe at an angle.
5. When fitting shoes, start with the toe and create a shape that resembles the toe of the foot. This can be done by taking note of the coronet and the white line. Next, place the shoe on the horn of the anvil and direct your hammer blows at the base of the clip and set it to mach the angle of the horse’s foot. This will help you achieve a neat, snug…