Getting A Better Fit

Farriers share their tips and insight on how they shape and modify keg shoes for their work

Thanks to mass production, keg shoes have made life easier for farriers. You can find a manufactured shoe in nearly every necessary size and model.

Of course, it is rare to get that Cinderella fit with a keg shoe right off the rack. Not every hoof is made equal — even on the same horse.

Getting different perspectives on modifying keg shoes can tweak your philosophy in regard to shoeing. Here are several thoughts from farriers on how they treat keg shoes.

Stocking Keg Shoes

When it comes to using keg shoes in general, Jeff Rodriguez of Golden, Colo., advises other farriers to carry a variety. “The shoes you will find perfectly suitable on one horse are counterproductive on another. When assessing prospective shoes, keep in mind, the size nails that best fit the shoes. If you need a #5 city head nail and are going to use a 0 shoe or smaller, you might need another shoe. The inverse is true, as well,” he says.

“A size 4 or 5 shoe needs to accept the proper nail to do a good job. You don’t want to find out about inapplicable mismatches in the field, and you never want to use an improper nail.

“Also consider that if you’re working in a large barn, along with other farriers, stay away from ‘exotics.’ If you want others to nail lost shoes on, it’s best to have something they can match.”

Pawlet, Vt., shoer Don Chandler advises farriers to carry several handmade…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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