Forging a Heart Bar has Never Been Easier

Hall Of Fame farrier Myron McLane shows how to apply a frog plate to a keg shoe



You need a heart-bar shoe, but you don’t have time to forge one. No problem, says International Horseshoeing Hall Of Famer Myron McLane. A heart bar doesn’t need to be hand forged to be effective. All you need is a keg shoe, a short piece of bar stock and a little elbow grease.

Before going to the fire, the Somerset, Mass., farrier begins with the trim.

“I watched this horse walk from the trailer,” McLane told attendees at the annual fall clinic at Centaur Forge in Burlington, Wis. “He was landing flat, so that’s the way I’m going to trim him. I’m not going to change anything. This horse has been turned out, and been barefoot a while, but he’s got a nice foot.”

When trimming the foot, he avoids touching the frog if at all possible.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Dress the top of the frog after the plate is burned on to avoid recession.
  • Using a pritchel when burning on a shoe allows you to see where the nail hole lines up on the foot.
  • Set the frog plate closer to the frog on the first burn. It’s easier to tap it down than it is to bend it up.

“I don’t dress the top of the frog unless there’s something hanging off of it,” McLane…

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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 editor of American Farriers Journal.

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