What Makes A Good Clip?

Farriers offer critical advice on how to properly apply clipped shoes

When a well-clipped shoe is applied correctly, it sure looks sharp on a horse’s hoof. Some farriers will even go so far as to call them sexy. Proclivities aside, they serve an important function.

“Clips are mainly used to improve the security of the shoe on the foot and relieve stress on the nails,” says Tucumcari, N.M., farrier Jim Keith. “They can be applied anywhere around the wall perimeter, but usually only in the anterior half due to their ability to constrict wall movement. They may be used to contain wall flares.”

According to the 2016 American Farriers Journal Farrier Business Practices Survey, the average farrier applies clipped shoes on half of the horses that are shod. When clips are necessary, 63% apply pre-clipped keg shoes, 49% draw their own clips on keg shoes, while another 19% draw their own clips on shoes that they forged.

Before applying clipped shoes, it’s important to understand what makes a good clip, when they are appropriate and inappropriate and how they should be applied.

Thoughts On Types Of Clips

Toe clips. “The toe clip is the kind of thing that many of us have drifted away from a little bit,” says Carbondale, Ill., farrier John Voigt. “It’s just used to prevent the shoe from slipping straight back.”

This generally happens with jump­ers.

Farrier Takeaways

Side clips are beneficial to use in place of toe clips when modifications such as rolled or rocker toes are necessary.

It’s apparent when a clip has the correct…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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