What is your opinion on "Clinch Grooves" placed in the hoof wall under
the nails prior to clinching? First, is it necessary? Secondly, is it a
"healthy" approach for the hoof? Thanks -
You ask for my opinion on clinch grooves placed in the hoof wall under the nail
prior to clinching.
First: no it is not necessary.
Second: no, I do not believe it is a healthy approach for the hoof.
I am sure that you could find many farriers who would disagree with me as it is
now the fad for the "in group" to shoe in this fashion. I do not
believe that it is a dramatically unhealthy situation. You are, none the less,
removing material from the hoof wall to place the clinch into. You thereby
weaken the hoof wall.
I think that if a competent farrier were shoeing my horse and this was my only
complaint, I would keep quiet about it rather than risk offending and possibly
loosing him as good farriers are hard to come by.
There is a burr formed under the nail by blocking the clinch. I always
remove this burr with the flat of my rasp and then, tipping my rasp up, sharpen
the end of the nail. This allows me to press approximately 1/16 of an inch of a
thin clinch into the wall. This leaves a smooth surface, a well-clinched nail
and a clinch that is thin enough that if the shoe is stepped on or pulled from
the foot it will not rip off half the foot with it. The clinch will open and
slide out of the nail hole without tearing up the wall.
After many years of experience shoeing horses, I probably loose one or two shoes
a year, usually in muddy pasture conditions.
I hope that I have answered your question to your satisfaction. Thank you for
The American Blacksmith School
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