What Makes Good Horse Shoeing & Nailing? Points That Horse Owner Should Know 2022


Shoeing and nailing horses is essential to the performance of horses and the health of their hooves.

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Assuming there is good hoof to nail to then the nails should be approximately 5/8″ — 3/4″ from the bottom of the hoof wall.

They should also be in line with each other.

I witnessed a man shoeing his first horse for the first time. The nailing on the first and second feet was done to a level that was very satisfactory. He was beginning to feel tired by the time he reached the third and fourth foot. The nailing would now be done vertically. It was not a case of being fortunate on the first two feet; rather, it was a case of fatigue and rushing to get the job done on the last two feet. If sufficient time, conditioning, and experience are invested, it is possible to perform nailing that is even and accurate on each and every horse.

The nails used should be as small as possible.

When you remove a shoe and find that not only have over-sized nails been used, but also the questionable practice of removing a piece of wall to set the clinch into, then you have discovered a poor nailing surface. This is because the nailing surface was not prepared properly. This unquestionably makes the hoof wall more vulnerable and produces a subpar surface for nailing back to.

The clinches should be rasped smooth.

If the horse has a tendency to brush himself, the inside clinches should be rasped down to prevent this behavior. Because the turn of the nail, and not the length of the clinch, is what secures the shoe, the clinches need to be turned over and smoothed down. When it’s time to reset your horse’s clinches, you can do so without causing any harm to the hoof by simply straightening them out. If the hoof has been properly dressed, the shoeing is the correct size and not overdue, and the horse has not galloped on hard ground, the clinches will not straighten themselves on their own. The angles of the nails should be nearly perpendicular to the orientation of the hoof fibers. This causes as little damage to the horn as is physically possible and results in cleaner extractions. It stands to reason that the heel nails will be angled more toward the front in order to avoid impeding the expansion of the heel. A middle ground that needs to be established.

Even though it is true that sloppy or hurried nailing is frequently the result of carelessness or lack of time, there are a few valid reasons for uneven nailing, including the following:

  • A horse that is prancing all over the blacksmith and causing him discomfort. Prioritize protection!
  • Hoof walls that have holes, cracks, or chips in them. The resources that are available to you directly impact the quality of your work.
  • Wall that is either false or thin at the quarter. It is better to keep a horse from becoming lame than to have beautiful craftsmanship cause it to become lame.

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