From the AFJ Archives: December 2017

December 1993 — High Nails VS Low Nails

1993 Article Overview

This was a succinct illustrated piece created by North Carolina farrier Donald Jones in 1993. In it, he questions whether keeping horses on a tight schedule (every 4 weeks) is necessary in many cases, or is it an artificial cycle length due to poor footcare. The main culprit he saw was driving nails too low.

In this article, he discusses the consequences of low nailing and then provides his guidelines for fitting the foot and driving nails higher, along with the benefits. He reminds that other factors come into play, especially hoof growth, but he thinks that changing just this step in the shoeing process would benefit many farriers and their horses.

“What makes high nailing so beneficial to the hoof wall?” wrote Jones. “It gives the hoof more time to rest and grow excess hoof wall. This makes it much easier to trim and dress the foot for shoeing. Once stretching out the period of time between shoeing has been accomplished, the shoes stays tight and the hoof wall stays together better.”

Maybe the most important takeaway from this piece was with how Jones ended the article.

“If we would analyze why we do certain things, it could change our thinking for the better in many shoeing cases,” he says.

Read the original article at


My opinion on nailing hasn’t changed over the years. I’m not shoeing any longer, but I still believe the same thing about nailing. I remember how I…

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