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Minature horseshoes

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That's a good question: how mini? Years ago, I saw the smith at Knott's Berry Farm make one pony shoe after another. The shoes had nail holes and the heels cropped. He would stamp the kid's name on the shoe and sell it to mom and dad to give to the kid. We would use the same technique as for making a regular sized horseshoe, say out of 5/16" x 3/4" x 11".

Another demonstrator made his without the nail holes, just a rectangular countersink to simulate the holes. That goes faster.

A time saver might be to make an undersized shoe and tack/arc weld it (the inside) to a plate, the whole fastened at a slight angle in the vise. Heat the entire shoe bar and use two small tongs, one on either end of the bar. Center it and push it around the small shoe form.

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

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Do you want to shoe minis or just make little horseshoes? I have been shoeing/trimming Thumbalina, worlds smallest horse, since she was born. If you are needing shoeing help feel free to ask. You normally don't shoe minis though. Their walls are very thin, alot of times I just trim them or use acrylic. I glued shoes, rather aluminum plates..aka old roadsigns.. on Thumbalina for years, now I just use acrylic. I have made very small shoes before though. Make them just like the bigger ones only smaller. I would suggest making larger ones first though. The smaller they are the harder they are to make, they get sloppy on you. If you are going for function don't make a shoe make a plate, much easier and cheaper.

Tom Adams

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I actually use a slight variation of the Jock Dempsey's idea just to show people that "yeah, I CAN make horse shoes, but I'm still not a farrier". They actually sell pretty well at horsey places and stables.

Frank, I like your die idea. You could probably just forge a piece of barstock to the inside arc of the shoe and forge a little curl on one side to hook the shoe in. then just pull it around.
Great idea.

when I make em, I just tell people they are for a rare, nearly extinct breed of mini-mexican-chihuaua ponies that are trained to chase mice

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I make little souvenir ones out of 1/4" square. Most of my little demo pieces start with 4 & 1/2" inches (I keep a pile in my toolbox). I hit each end about 1/8" over the edge of the anvil then bend it in a u-shape around the horn. It takes a little doing to get the curve even. Then to finish it off I dimple it a few times with a small, dull rectangular chisel. I'm sure I've made a couple hundred by now and I can finally do them in 1 heat if I'm really moving. I used to just give them away to kids as I was working, but people seem more than willing to spend $3 on a piece that took me 5 minutes to make. If I drill a hole and add a key ring at the top, they'll pay $4. Not a fortune, but for the time invested it's not bad. I guess I don't have to tell you that they're not for use on horses :)
I'm attaching a pic of some early efforts for reference. They were made with longer stock and dimpled with a sharper chisel, but you get the idea.

post-6932-008171400 1286813595_thumb.jpg

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