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I Forge Iron

How many nails in a horse shoe?


Glenn

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The horseshoe has traditionally been the symbol of Oakham since William the Conqueror gave the 125-square-mile (320 km2) estate to Henry de Ferrers, whose family name suggests a connection with iron-working or the farrier occupation. One of his privileges was to claim the forfeit of a horseshoe from anyone of rank visiting his lordship in Oakham. A unique collection of horseshoes presented by royalty and peers of the realm passing through the manor, hangs on the walls of the Hall in Oakham Castle.

The acorn exemplifies the former forest, which at one time covered much of the county. It can also be interpreted as representing "smallness and importance" and the oaks suggested by the name of Oakham. The green field represents the county's agriculture, especially its rich pastureland.

The orientation of the horseshoe is in accordance with tradition in the county, and the horseshoes in the Castle are hung this way up.

Reference Wikipedia

More Rutland information 

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  • 3 months later...

Is no hard and fast rule for that or anything else in the trade but one possible explanation for a 7 nail preference that I've heard anyway goes back to old world medieval religious beliefs.  7 days in week. 7 seas. Number 7 used frequently in the Bible etc.

This long running tradition is still alive and well. 

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  • 6 months later...

I'm back after long hiatus. I see we have lost Frank Turley.Fine man. He and I learned shoeing about same time.. I had wonderful experience of serving my apprenticeship with the last U.S.Cavalry shoeing instructor. Sargent R L Richmond at Fort Riley Kansas.

 I'd like to add just an important thought.. Sarge always said "we are shoeing the horse for the horse and not for the owner". Important concept.. You cannot make steadfast rule for fitting anything to a living creature.. concerning many folks deciding to trim to go barefoot- it shouldn't be an argument.. Again- what does the HORSE need. Sarge and I would go up to the Sandhills in Nebraska and trim many many horses to go barefoot. No need for shoes why use them...

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I'm not a horseman, all I know about horses is that one end kicks and the other end bites.  Many of my friends who have horses here in WY let them go barefoot.  If you don't have rocks which might damage the horse's hooves it is better IMO go with what has evolved for millions of years, hooves.  There are certainly situations where a horse needs its hooves protected and shoes are appropriate but if that is not the cases shoes are un-needed.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

PS I'm an old cavalryman but my mounts had rotating blades and ate JP-4 instead of oats.

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I too learned shoeing from an ex army farrier. He was an army farrier his whole time in the service. He retired out of "Camp" Carson, Colorado Springs when they retired the mules after Korea.  A grand ole man in my life.

Shoeing for the horse is the only way. The major reason, but not the only reason for shoeing is when hoof growth is slower than hoof ware.

I commonly use 6 nails per shoe. On keg shoes the top nail holes are often past the bend at the toe, so it makes a great emergency nailer. On hand mades the same, three per side, one just down from the bend at the toe, one above the bend at the heel, and one to split the middle.  Nail hole placement for handmades is compliments of Frank Turley, Turley Forge, fall of '79.

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