How Many Nails?

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Q: Do all horse shoes have the same number of holes for the nails? If so, how many nails are required per shoe?

Many thanks.


A: Do all shoes have the same number of holes for nails? No.

Shoes for sport horses and saddle horses, trail or pleasure, usually have a total of 8 nail holes per shoe, unless the shoes are hand made. If they are hand made, the number of nail holes will depend upon the maker of the shoes. Consideration will be given to what he or she feels is the necessary number of nails to hold the shoe to the foot.

The larger factory made shoes for heavy carriage and draft horses will normally have 8 to 10 nail holes per shoe.

How many nails are required per shoe? Normally good footed horses require 6 nails--3 on each side-- beginning at the toe. Nails should not be placed behind the widest part of the horse's foot. Nails placed to the rear of the widest part of the horse's foot will restrict the amount of flexion. Flexion is necessary for the normal healthy hoof wall. Some farriers will place additional nails (more than 6) if they feel the horse will be in rough going and require more security to keep the shoe on the foot.

I hope that this answers your question satisfactorily. If not, get back to me and I will elaborate further.

Respectfully,
Geronimo Bayard
The Village Blacksmith
Oakland, Oregon

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