Metal Or Wood?

Shoeing box taste, preferences vary among farriers

A shoeing box to a farrier is like a stethoscope to a doctor—a tool of the trade that’s often taken for granted. While it’s often an afterthought in the shoeing process, the shoeing box you use can have a big impact on the quality and efficiency of the job.

The truth of that statement was borne out recently after the editors of American Farriers Journal tallied the results of a poll taken last winter at the American Farrier’s Association convention in California.

Farriers from around the globe were asked to weigh in on what type of shoeing box they liked best. The results were revealing, showing that the old adage “different strokes for different folks” couldn’t be more true.

Horseshoeing has come a long way since the early days of shoeing, when the box of choice was wood. Today, an overwhelming 73 percent of respondents prefer a metal box. But those from the old school are still out there, with 25 percent still swearing by the sturdy construction of a wood box. The other 2 percent use both wooden and metal shoeing boxes.

Economics plays a large part in farriers opting for a wooden box. Several survey respondents, including Steve Muir of Johnstown, Ohio, use a wooden box because they can build it themselves and add more nail and tool compartments.  

Joe Starika of Castle Rock, Colo., looks at the practicality of shoeing with a wooden box.

“You can rebuild a wooden box when a horse destroys it,” he says.

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