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Wouldn't it be nice to look at a foot, go to the anvil, shape a shoe and have it fit on the very first try?
To shoe a horse quickly doesn’t mean only working fast — you need to work efficiently as well. Fitting a shoe without making numerous trips back to the anvil is a critical aspect of operating efficiently.
If it takes a farrier 2 hours to shoe a horse and another only half as long, that doesn’t mean the 2-hour farrier did a better job. He simply may have been grossly inefficient.
A good friend was one of the quickest shoers I’ve ever seen. He didn’t work faster than anyone else, but was super efficient and didn’t have any wasted motions. For example, he held the nails in the last three fingers of his hammer hand and held the hammer with his thumb and first finger. He would drive the nail, wring it off and immediately have the next nail in his left hand ready to be driven home.
One area that can save you a good deal of time is being able to fit a shoe on the very first try. Reducing the number of trips back to the anvil for a shape adjustment can save you considerable time. Yet getting the shape of the shoe right the first time is difficult for many farriers, especially new shoers.
There are some valuable tricks to help you efficiently fit a shoe that are easy…