Skip to main content

Full text of "Balancing and shoeing trotting and pacing horses"

See other formats

The Art of 

Shoeing Horses 

Win. J. IHoore 


y /££ 



General Agent, 

Pittsfield. Mass. 



9090 013 408 980 


Webster Famiiy Library of Veterinary Medicine 
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at 
Tufts University 
200 Westboro Road 
North Grafton, MA 01536 


Trotting and Pacing Horses 


Allen Farm, Pittsfield, Mass. 


Cleveland, Ohio 

Press of The Judson Printing Company 


Copyright 1916, by Wm. J. Moore 





This is a plain, unvarnished and practical treatise on 
the art of balancing and shoeing trotting and pacing horses, 
unclouded by little known technical and scientific words 
and phrases, but written by the author, Wm. J. Moore:, in 
his own every day words that can be easily understood by 
any horseman. 

Mr. Moore, who has spent his life in the business of 
horse shoeing, was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1865, 
and later had charge of the Horse Shoeing Department 
of the Allen Farm at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, for a period 
of over twenty years, and he is still so engaged at Allen 

Mr. Moore's experience as a horse shoer dates from 
the time when he commenced work in a horse shoeing shop 
as an apprentice, at the age of 16 years. Since which time 
horse shoeing has been his sole occupation. 

During this period of 35 years Mr. Moore has shod 
many noted trotting and pacing horses, and his long, varied 
and successful experience justifies the belief that no one is 
better qualified to write on this subject, and to offer advice 

in regard to it, than is he, and it is also the belief of those 
best qualified to judge, that no work of this sort, heretofore 
written, is more entitled to the confidence of, and accept- 
ance by, the people who own trotting and pacing horses, for 
whatever purpose they may be used. 

With this short preamble in the way of an introduction, 
we will let Air. Moore tell his readers in his own words and 
in his own way how to shoe a trotter or a pacer, so that it 
may do its best work in the easiest way, and for the greatest 
benefit to its owner. 

W. R. Allen, 

Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 

June, 1916. 



I. Foals 1 

II. Preparing the Foot 3 

III. A Trotter Inclined to Single-foot and Pace ... 6 

IV. Causes of Rough Gait 7 

V. Shin-hitting in Front . • 8 

VI. To Prevent Winging-in 8 

VII. Shin-hitting Behind 9 

VIII. Knee and Arm Hitting 10 

IX. Shoeing a Knee-knocker 12 

X. A Bad Hitter 13 

XI. A Hitting Pacer 14 

XII. Elbow Hitting 15 

XIII. An Unusual Case 17 

XIV. Paddling 17 

XV. To Prevent Paddling 19 

XVI. Hitching, Hopping and Running Behind. ... 19 

XVII. Forging 21 

XVIII. Scalping 23 

XIX. Remedy for Scalping 23 

XX. Sideweights 25 

XXI. Wheel Swinging 26 

XXII. Knuckling Over 27 

XXIII. Stumbling 27 

XXIV. Speedy Cutting 28 

XXV. A Bad One 30 

XXVI. Gaiting Colts 31 

XXVII. Neglected Hind Feet 35 

XXVIII. Knee Action 37 

XXIX. Slow Get-away, Fast Finish 37 

XXX. To Convert a Pacer 39 

INDEX— Continued 


XXXI. Converting a Trotter 40 

XXXII. Contracted Heels 41 

XXXIII. Cause of Contracted Heels 43 

XXXIV. Corns 43 

XXXV. Toe Crack 44 

XXXVI. Quartercrack 44 

XXXVII. Dished Toe 46 

XXXVIII. Concussion 46 

XXXIX. Founder 48 

Xly. Cross-firing Pacers 49 

XIvI. Important Note 50 

XLJI. Level Feet 52 

XIvIII. Pulling on One Ivine 54 

XLJV. A Judge of Gait 55 

XIvV. Bar Shoes 55 

XIvVI. Slipping . . . 57 

XI, VII. Sideweight Shoes 58 

XIvVIII. Toeweight Shoes 59 

XIvIX. Pocket Weights 60 

h. Interfering 60 

Conclusion 63 


There is something in the foot of the horse that has 
been a mystery to many who have been unable to find out 
the secrets by reading some of the books that have been 
printed on the different subjects, and experimenting on the 
same, pertaining to a perfect balance of the trotter and 
pacer when in action. 

I have shod all kinds of horses and have come in con- 
tact with all kinds of feet, and with the results gotten by 
practical experiments, I will try to enlighten my readers 
and the lovers of the light-harness horse. 


The feet of the suckling foal should be properly fixed 
every four or five weeks. After the foal is eight or nine 
weeks old his feet need fixing regularly. To fix the feet 
on the young foal shorten the toes as much as the foot will 
stand without making the foot tender, and then rasp the 
quarters down to a level with the frog, or a little lower than 
the top of the frog will be better, then round the sharp 
edges of foot off so as the foal will not cut his legs with 
the sharp edges and the job is completed. Do not cut out 
the bars, or the sole, or the frog. Now if you have noticed 
that a foal stands toeing out, leave the inside of the toe of 
that foot a little the longest from the coronet, an eighth or 
three-sixteenths of an inch will be a benefit to the foot, also 
to the line of action later on, and if the foal toes in, leave 
the outside of the toe the longest, as it will help to straighten 
matters in the line of action. 

In fixing the foal's feet it is very good to rasp the 
quarters and heels low enough so as to give a slight frog 

pressure when the foot comes in contact with the ground. 
Frog pressure assists expansion and prevents contraction; 
a short natural foot with a slight frog pressure during the 
first and second year is one of the surest ways to prevent 
a bad gait or a ruptured tendon, in later years. Young foals 
should have their feet picked out two or three times a week 
to ventilate around the frog, because the filth that usually 
gets lodged around there will be almost sure to cause heat, 
and in consequence a diseased frog, which perishes away 
and allows the heels to contract. A contracted foot is a 
very bad thing and causes trouble in more ways than one. 
If the feet on foals are left to grow too long, the inside 
heels will cave in or become contracted from the position 
they rest on them while grazing. To prevent this keep them 
cut down, if not you will have to use hoof expanders to 
get the foot back to its natural position. 

One of the most important factors in keeping the feet 
on sucklings, weanlings and yearlings in proper condition 
as is specified in this article is to see that you are keeping 
the leg in the middle of the foot, otherwise many a good 
horse suffers, as the concussion and strain is not equally 
distributed on both sides of the foot when in action. If the 
feet on sucklings, weanlings, yearlings and two-year-olds 
are kept properly fixed, quarters and heels kept low enough 
so as to receive a slight frog pressure, this means at the 
proper angle, you will not have any elbow hitters and very 
few knee knockers. If you have a yearling that hits his 
knees you have not kept his legs in the middle of his feet 
by keeping his heels and quarters rasped down, which will 
make it easier to prevent winging into his knees than if he 
had a contracted inside quarter, which is the case when 


To fix feet is the most important part of shoeing the 
horse. In fixing the foot, the first thing to take into con- 
sideration is, what sort of work are you fixing the foot for, 
is it for a draft horse, a road horse, or a trotter or a pacer? 
Does the horse wing, paddle, speedy-cut or cross-fire, does 
he hit his ankles, shins, knees, arms, hocks, or elbows? Is 
his action too high or too low? Is he too long or too short 
gaited? Is he striding longer with one leg than another? 

If you go to work and cut the feet down without 
taking some of these faulty things into consideration you 
are liable to get his feet just to the reverse way to what 
they should be, and place him in an uncomfortable position 
instead of a comfortable one. In preparing the bottom of 
a horse's foot you must bear in mind that the foot can be 
fixed to straighten out different kinds of faulty action, and 
if you have not learned it by a close study of experimenting 
or by being taught by some one that knew all the different 
ways of balancing a foot on the leg to correct faulty action, 
then to learn this you will have to have it explained to you 
and you should see the job executed, see it done, and then 
go and see the results obtained, while the horse is in action. 
Then you will know that something is accomplished by 
scientifically fixing the feet to correct faulty action; you 
have to show people nowadays. 

Why I say that fixing the feet is the most important 
part of shoeing, and the most difficult to get done, is be- 
cause the farriers that can level and balance feet of rough 
gaited trotters and pacers to assist nature in correcting 
faulty action are very scarce, some of them cannot think 
long enough while cutting with the rasp and knife, and the 
first thing you know they have cut one side of the foot 
too low and are not able to cut the opposite side on a level 
to the side that was cut wrong. 


Now to fix the feet of a horse whether front or hind, 
begin with the foot first that looks to be the highest at the 
heels, because if you should start to fix two feet and one 
foot is a good deal lower at the heels than the other you 
cannot cut the heels of the foot that are the highest low 
enough to place the foot at the same angle with its mate, 
if you had fixed the foot that had the lowest heels first. 
\ A good rule in fixing feet, and you will find it true 
nine times out of ten, is, when fixing front feet, always 
cut the outside from toe to heel down first, unless you are 
shoeing a paddler, then cut the inside of the foot down to 
a level to correspond with the outside that was fixed first. 
The reason for fixing feet in this manner, is, if you should 
cut the inside down first chances are you would not be 
able to cut the outside to a level with the inside, for you 
will cut to the sensitive part, on the outside of a front foot, 
quicker than the inside, and it is just to the reverse with 
hind feet. The front feet should not be left high on the 
outside, unless the horse is a paddling gaited one, for it 
creates friction, or a strain on landing and leaving the 
ground, it also helps to create faulty action. Nearly all 
the hard shin, knee and arm hitters I have come in contact 
with, their front feet were highest on the outside, low on 
inside, or a contracted inside quarter, and sometimes a 
very badly contracted inside quarter at that. To fix front 
feet of trotters and pacers for different purposes or ways 
of going you can refer to the index on the different sub- 
jects in this book. 

There is very little attention paid to the hind feet. 
They try to get them the same length and angle, but there 
are very few hind feet properly fixed to control a per- 
fect line of action, to lengthen or shorten the stride, to 
close or widen the action or to elevate or lower the action. 
There are very few floormen that can level and balance a 
hind foot. In preparing it for a shoe to correct faulty 

action, the majority of them do not know how to hold the 
leg to look at the bottom of the foot to tell which side is 
highest. They should keep in mind while fixing the foot, 
the results they are trying to get; if they do not, they are 
liable to get the foot too low on one side or the other. 
A hind foot that is left the highest on the inside is a dan- 
gerous weapon to a trotter or pacer; it will cause injury to 
ankle ligaments and to bones of the foot. In the majority 
of cases the angle of a hind foot should be several degrees 
shorter than the angle of the front feet. A hind foot that 
is left the highest on the inside on a trotter or pacer will 
have a tendency to close up the line of action of the hind 
leg and create crossfiring and shin, hock, ankle and pas- 
tern hitting. As the coffin or pedal bone of a horse's foot 
is symmetrical in shape, it is not proper to have wings of 
abnormal growth more on one side of the foot than on the 
other, for this constitutes an unbalanced foot. If it 
measures more on one side of the foot than on the other, 
from the center of the frog, make both sides alike, to 
balance up matters and to conform with the shape of the 
coffin bone inside; if the toe of one foot is longer than 
that of the other it creates a longer leverage to leave the 
ground from, therefore the stride of that leg would natu- 
rally be a little longer, everything else being equal. If the 
heels of one foot are left higher than those of its mate, 
the stride would be a little shorter and the jar or concus- 
sion greater. A good rule in fixing hind feet is, always 
cut or rasp the inside of foot down first, because you can 
always get the outside of a hind foot cut down to the level 
of the inside. A foot should be fixed so that the leg will 
be kept in the middle of the foot. If the foot has a con- 
tracted quarter, one side or the other, you cannot do it 
until the contracted quarter is expanded, which is easily 
done (see article on contracted feet). It is difficult to fix 
feet to suit the leg, and line of action, and also some people's 


eye, all at the same time. The frog of the horse's foot 
should never be cut, if it is in a healthy state. A diseased 
frog that has loose fragments hanging to it may be trimmed 
off so as not to be holding filth. Never cut the heels open 
with a knife or rasp to make the foot look wider across the 
heels, a practice that has long existed with some people. It 
is unnatural, it helps to contract the heels, and shortens the 
bearing surface from toe to heel. Any one that does this 
is dangerous. Trimming out the frog, opening the heels 
with the knife, cutting out the bars, and too much of the 
sole, will give you a hoofbound and contracted sore-footed 
horse, it will help to shorten up his gait and sometimes 
make him rough gaited. Feet of this kind cannot stand 
the jar or concussion that feet can that have been properly 


The first thing to do is to change the angle of his 
front feet to a longer one by rasping the quarters and heels 
down several degrees, do not take anything off the toes. 
The hind feet should be in length and angle nearly the 
same as the front feet, perhaps an eighth of an inch shorter 
at the toe, and within 3 degrees of the same angle. The 
second thing is to add about 3 or 4 ounces more weight to 
the front shoes, and a little more if needed, after you have 
tried the former. If the horse carries a toe weight put 
it on also. The third thing to do is to put calks on the 
hind shoes, toe and heel, using as light a shoe as possible. 
The fourth thing to do is to allow the animal to go as 
low headed as possible, this is very important. The changes 
in the footing of different tracks will sometimes cause a 
horse to become all unbalanced. Slipping is very bad for a 
horse when at speed ; it unbalances the action and creates 
muscle soreness, and the poor animal is made to suffer tor- 


ture by some of the drivers or trainers, because the animal 
does not perform as well on a track that don't suit the shoe- 
ing as he did on a previous occasion that did suit, the same 
way shod. I must say in reference to trotters that are 
inclined to single foot and pace that in fixing the hind feet 
I would prefer to get the angle of the hind feet as near to 
the angle of the front feet as possible, because it helps to 
confine them to the pure trot. The shorter the toe and 
angle of the hind feet as compared with the front, the 
quicker they will go into a singlefoot and pace. The causes 
of the roughness in the gait of the trotter are that the feet 
are at too short an angle, not carrying weight enough in 
front, and checked too high, or slipping too much. 

The front feet or the hind feet are not mates, or 
high heels on one foot and low heels on the opposite; they 
are cut too low on one side to hang level compared with 
the opposite side of the same foot, a long toe on one 
foot and a short toe on the opposite foot; these variations 
create a different angle, when it should be the same; that 
is, the front feet should be mates and the hind feet should 
be mates. Cutting out the frog, bars and sole, and open- 
ing the heels with the knife will also lead to a rough gait 
when the foot is dry and hard, and the horse strikes a 
hard track at speed. Carrying head too high, too low, 
or to one side, or pulling on bit too strong will do the 
same thing. 

After fixing the front feet as directed, do not leave 
the heels on the hind feet high or the toes of the hind 
feet too short, fix the hind feet by leaving the toes long 
enough and the heels low enough to create an angle to 
within a few degrees the same as the front feet. This 
will prevent breaking over too quick which increases the 


liability to singlefoot, and fixing hind feet this way 
lengthens the stride and helps to confine the action to the 
trot longer and purer. 


A foot left too high on the outside from centre of 
toe back to the outside heel will cause this. Some travel 
very close and others wing in : this winging in is not al- 
ways because of an imperfect or unbalanced foot, some- 
times it is caused by a deformity of the leg, or a con- 
traction of the muscles or ligaments, sometimes they will 
be either longer or stronger on one side of the leg than 
on the other, which has a tendency to control winging 
or paddling. To fix a foot that is hitting the shins of 
the front legs, shorten the toe to a natural length foot, 
while doing this keep lowering the outside of the foot, 
leaving the inside of the foot quite a bit higher, by actual 
measurement, in some cases a quarter of an inch higher or 
longer is not too much. Shoe with a plain shoe or a side 
weight shoe with the heavy side of shoe on the inside of 
each foot, the heavy or wider side of the shoe will pre- 
vent sinking in the ground, which will help matters. Bevel 
or hot rasp the inside edge of shoe from the inside toe 
back to the quarters. Shoe with the weight that the horse 
goes best with. 


Make a heavy side weight shoe, the same kind of 
shoe as for a paddler but the weight or heavy side of 
shoe will have to be on the inside of the foot. Fix the 
feet, according to article in this book on winging in, to 
receive this shoe. Bevel or round off the inside toe back 
to quarters on this shoe. With the foot properly fixed 

for this shoe there will be an immediate change. If a 
toe weight is used keep spur towards inside toe from 
centre of foot but not far enough to hit knee boot. 

There are different causes for this trouble. In the 
trotter it is because the hind action and the front action 
do not work in harmony with one another. Excessive 
hind action will cause it, or excessive front action in some 
cases will cause it. A front foot that is highest or longest 
on the outside toe will cause it. What will cause it the 
quickest and more severely is a high inside on the hind 
foot, especially on a horse that has been going open gaited 
behind. If your horse has plenty of action in front and is 
going in a medium light shoe I would advise you to level 
his hind feet; be sure and do not have the inside of hind 
teet the highest (which is nearly always the case), but if 
anything have it a shade the lowest, and shoe the hind 
feet with an outside weight shoe several ounces heavier 
than he has been carrying ; this will widen his hind action 
and when he gets to going the weight will keep him out- 
side and clear. This weight can be decreased as his gait 
is being perfected. The most particular part of this will 
be to get his feet properly prepared to help the line of 

Perhaps your horse is short in his front action, low 
and dwelling gaited, too much so for his hind action, if 
so, shoe him in front with heavier shoe, say 5 ounce 
heavier or even more as the case may need, bevel or roll 
the toe, also bevel the outside edge from the outside toe 
to heel of front shoes where the shin hitting is done. If 
your horse wings in towards his knees or arms, the inside 
of front feet should be left the highest. I prefer in shoe- 
ing such horses to keep them going as close in line as pos- 


sible with hind legs and if he cannot, without interference, 
then they will have to go outside (see article on how to 
widen hind action). 


This has been a great worry to "the smart set," "the 
know it alls" for many years, as to what causes it, and 
what to do to help or prevent it. Winging in is caused 
sometimes by a deformity, or by contracted muscles or 
ligaments strongeron one side of the leg than on the other; 
sometimes deformed feet, or a badly contracted inside quar- 
ter will be the cause of some of this trouble, because the 
weight of the horse at the ankle drops over the inside heel 
instead of coming down in the middle of the foot. A con- 
tracted inside quarter and a high or long outside toe are 
dangerous weapons for a horse to be carrying, one of these 
at a time is bad enough, but when a foot is troubled with 
both it is very bad. If your knee or ami hitter has a con- 
tracted quarter on a front foot, the first thing to do is to 
get a hoof expander and expand the contracted quarter. 
This will be an important step towards getting the leg in 
the middle of the foot. In all my experience with knee and 
arm hitters I have found the offending foot too high on the 
outside, with the most of the foot from the center of the 
frog on the outside of the leg. With height and width of 
foot on the outside of the leg, it is just contrary to science. 
To straighten the line of action this needs to be reversed ; 
edge up the outside edge of the foot from the outside toe 
to the point at quarters as much as it will stand, do it at 
every shoeing and you will be getting the leg closer to the 
middle of the foot. If you can get a little more of the foot 
on the inside of the leg than is on the outside, it will be a 
benefit to a bad knee and arm hitter. Another thing, the 
shorter the toe or angle of a knee hitter the easier he can 
leave the ground and the less he will wing in, and the lighter 


will be the blow if he hits. The knee hitter should be shod 
as lightly as he will go at speed, balanced. The lighter the 
weight he is carrying the lighter the blow if he strikes. 
The best kind of a shoe for a knee-hitter is a side weight 
shoe with the heavy side on the inside of the foot; good 
results are obtained with heel and toe calks, the toe calks 
well set back on the toe of the shoe. 

These calks on the shoe of a knee and arm hitter 
should be a little thin so as to catch hold of the ground as 
the foot goes to twist before he picks it up ; they will pre- 
vent a certain amount of twisting while the body of the 
animal is gliding over the weight-bearing portion of the 
leg as the foot leaves the ground. They will have a ten- 
dency to make him break over squarer and not so hard on 
the outside toe as the foot is leaving the ground. Now if 
your knee-hitter wears a toe weight attach it towards the 
inside toe as far as possible but not far enough to the 
inside so as he will strike the opposite leg with it. When 
the feet of a knee-hitter have been gotten in the shape as 
described herein and shod accordingly; why, the horse will 
think that he has been baptized and born over again. A 
perfect foot is rare, but with good judgment, a good eye and 
a little patience and perseverance a lot can be accomplished 
that will surprise some of those that think they know it 
all. In a knee hitter, also in an arm hitter, the bones of the 
foot and leg do not work true in their sockets, clear up to 
the knee, even the joint at the knee does not work true, the 
knee joint has a faulty motion, instead of breaking straight 
forward, it breaks out sideways as the rest of the leg 
starts to wing in. By building the foot mostly to the inside 
of the leg and having width and height of foot on the 
inside you are taking some of the power away that causes 
the winging in, and the breaking outward of the knee. 
It is something strange, but I have known knee and shin 
and arm hitters to be turned out with their shoes on in 

paddocks, and you would seldom see them hurt themselves, 
but put the harness on, hitch them up, and start them at 
speed and take a pull of 75 or 100 pounds on their lower 
jaw and the trouble would begin. The directions in this 
article for fixing the foot for knee and arm hitting are 
also the surest remedy for horses that toe out badly, a 
fault that is so objectionable to all horsemen. If you use 
a sideweight shoe on a front foot to prevent shin, knee and 
arm hitting, the heavy part of shoe should be on the inside 
of foot, but if you leave the outside of the foot one-sixteenth 
or one-eighth of an inch higher than the inside, you will 
be working against the results you are looking for. 

It looks strange to many people that an outside-weight 
shoe to a front foot has a tendency to make a horse wing 
in, and the same shoe applied to a hind foot will widen 
the hind action, with the foot fixed for that purpose. If 
you can fix the foot properly to control the line of action 
that you want, you will surely accomplish something. You 
should know what angle suits the action best. The foot 
should be symmetrical in shape to conform with the coffin 
bone, have no more foot on one side of the frog than on 
the other side, and the bearing surface to hang so as the 
foot will land on and leave the ground as square or level as 

Lower the outside of the foot of the winging in leg, 
and keep it the lozvest. Shoe the foot with a very light 
shoe, plain or bar shoe, have a side pocket weight made that 
will carry from 6 to 9 ounces of lead with a spur on it; cut 
or burn a hole in the bottom edge of the foot midway be- 
tween toe and heel for the spur, buckle it tight to foot, the 


weight to be on inside of foot. Tf the horse wings in with 
both front feet use the pocket weights on both feet and fix 
both feet as directed above. This will have a wonderful 
effect in developing muscle while taking his slow work that 
will help to prevent winging in so bad when he begins faster 
work. This knee knocker should be shod with a side 
weight shoe, the heft of weight on inside of foot, shoe 
should be very light on outside. This shoe should be made 
thick on inside with a bevel thinned towards the outside 
toe, a difficult shoe to make to be used when pocket weights 
are discarded for fast work. 


A chronic shin, knee and arm hitter was a horse called 
Rustler, owned at Richmond, Va. In the early part of the 
summer that he raced so well, he was working miles 
around 2:41 and 2:42 but very unsteady, breaking con- 
tinually. He would begin by hitting his shins, as speed 
was increased he would hit his knees and arms so hard that 
he would not stay on the trot. He was brought to me to 
shoe by his colored groom, who also brought his boots, as I 
had never seen the horse in action, but after seeing the 
boots he wore, I saw at a glance he needed as far as gaiting 
or balancing was concerned, to be regenerated. He was a 
large horse, and his feet had not grown much from the 
last shoeing so as I could change them to my liking. I was 
informed that he went best in light shoes, but the owner 
told me to use my own judgment, so I did. I made a pair 
of sideweight shoes, 18 ounces with toe and heel calks, the 
heavy side of shoes on the inside of each front foot, the 
outside of each front shoe as light as possible. After level- 
ing his hind feet, a light shoe with heel calks was put on. 
The owner, Mr. C. J. Smith of Richmond, Va., came to the 


shop and looked at the front shoes and did not like the job, 
as to the weight and the calks, thinking if he did not knock 
a leg off, he would cut boots and legs to smithereens. I 
told him I would change them if he thought it best, but 
before I got ready to take them off he said leave them on 
and I will try them and see what he will do with them. 
The groom drove him out to the track, and Mr. Smith, 
being present, ordered the groom to drive him a slow mile 
as the trainer was not there ; he worked the second mile so 
easy that he was worked another easy mile in 2:21, the 
last quarter well within himself in 33 seconds without a 
break, over the same half-mile track on which he could 
not beat 2:41 previous to this shoeing. They said when 
he got on his stride there was nothing the matter with him. 
I had not heard from the horse for nearly a week when 
one day as the owner was driving by I hailed him asking 
how was Rustler, he said "he is all right, there isn't a thing 
the matter with him." He went to the races, started in 
at Baltimore, Maryland, and after winning seven or eight 
consecutive races, finished at Readville a close second in 
2:12. Most of his races were won in the same front 
shoes it took to balance him, and yet some writers will say 
you cannot get immediate results. 


H. J. Rockwell and Rustler a pacer and trotter re- 
spectively, would hit and cut their boots something terrible. 
I took H. J. Rockwell away from his knees by the mode of 
foot fixing and shoeing hereinbefore prescribed and that 
made a race horse of him, whereas he had been hitting his 
knees for several years. While he was hitting his knees he 
was rated as a quitter, but after he began to beat horses 
like "B. B." over the half-mile tracks, the race followers 
wanted to know from his trainer, the late F. M. Dodge, 


what he had done to him. I mention this particular case 
because the public or horsemen that knew this horse knew 
he was a tough proposition to balance. 

Some horses do this when being speeded. It is caused 
bv excessive knee action, in folding up of the leg, also in 
the flexing of the pastern joint. It is faulty or lost action. 
For elbow hitting, as a rule, the horse should be made to go 
in as light a shoe as possible, he should get his training 
with his front feet kept as low as possible at the quarters 
and heels and the foot at an angle of about 49 degrees, he 
should be shod as light as possible with plain or bar shoes, 
and with as light a toe -weight as possible, for the more toe 
weight he carries the harder he will go to his elbows. Most 
all elbow hitters hit their elbows with the toes of the shoe 
while the knee is being elevated. It would be a hard matter 
for a horse to hit his elbows with the heels of the shoes 
with the knee extended and elevated, for at this time is 
when the fold of the knee and flexing of the pastern causes 
the toe of the shoe to strike against the elbow. If prepar- 
ing the foot for the shoe as stated above and shoeing the 
feet light does not stop the elbow hitting apply a bar shoe 
with most all the weight in the bar and quarters of the 
shoe, the shoe being light as possible around the toe where 
the nail holes are punched. Be sure and have the quarters 
and heels as low as possible. The reason for low quarters 
and heels on an elbow hitter is, that it makes a longer angle 
to leave the ground from, and it gives a longer bearing 
surface behind the leg, to receive the weight that is in the 
quarters and bar of the shoe which is put there to prevent 
some of the folding of the knee and some of the flexing of 
the pastern that causes the interference. I have been very 
successful shoeing elbow hitters with this kind of a shoe. 
All elbow hitters should be worked to go as low headed as 


possible, a standing martingale works well on some. If 
you put on too much of a toe weight on some horses that 
go close to their elbows it will drive their action to, or 
against their elbows. Now this being the case, if toe 
weights will drive him to his elbows a heel weight will 
usually prevent folding against the elbows. 

Now in making this shoe for an elbow hitter it will be 
necessary to add from four to six ounces more weight to 
the shoes than he has been carrying, but put it all in the 
quarters and bar at the heels, and keep adding weight to 
the heels of front shoes until he stops hitting his elbows. 
This kind of a shoe is to be used when a very light shoe 
fails to prevent elbow hitting. Squaring the toe of the 
shoe will also help to lighten the blow, or take him that 
much farther away from his elbows. 

To decrease the lofty folding action of elbow hitters 
the foot should be placed at an angle of from 47 to 49 
degrees or as near to that as possible, and add the amount 
of weight of shoes he has been carrying to the toe weight 
and also add not less than four or five ounces more to each 
of a pair of heel weight shoes, when a light one did not 
answer. Do not use any toe weight, but if the heel weight 
bar shoes are not heavy enough, a heavier shoe or quarter 
boot can be used. 

One thing that should not be overlooked in a horse 
hitting his elbows is his hind action, it should be examined 
closely. The hind action may be too dwelling gaited, the 
stride may be too short or too long. Now if the hind action 
is of a sluggish nature, it will be a benefit to increase his 
propelling power, it will drive his elbow an inch, more or 
less, away from the flexing of the foot against it. If he is 
long and dwelly gaited you can quicken or make him more 
rapid, if he is striding too short you can lengthen his stride 
by fixing his feet and applying weight. It is very important 
to increase his propelling power. A horse that hits his 


elbows needs to be balanced by foot fixing, and the applying 
of weight to go on as light a line as possible, because the 
harder he pulls on the bit when at speed the more he is 
inclined to hit his elbows. 

If the hind stride is too long and d welly, shorten the 
hind toes considerably and use a square toe shoe and raise 
the heels with a side calk. If the hind stride is too short 
lower the quarters and heels of the hind feet as much as 
they will stand and add two or three ounces more weight 
to the hind shoes. With toe and heel calks a horse with a 
long cannon bone, with lofty action that flexes his foot 
from the ground with a snap is more likely to hit his elbows 
than a horse with shorter cannon bones. 


A horse that hits the right elbow with the left foot and 
the left elbow with the right foot is seldom seen. The 
horse Hunter Hill would begin doing this when going at a 
2:40 gait or better, and would act bad and unsteady. He 
was brought to me to shoe and I was told he could not 
carry any weight. As he had not enough foot to change, I 
told the trainer he would have to carry weight to counteract 
the faulty winging in to the elbows. I made a pair of 
eighteen ounce heavy side weight shoes with the weight on 
the inside of each front shoe, thin heel and toe calks, toe 
calks well set back on toe of front shoes. These shoes 
took him away from his elbows and he raced good over the 
half-mile tracks stepping miles around 2:12. After he got 
gaited these side-weight shoes were discarded for plain 
lighter shoes. 


Just the reverse to winging in, a tiresome lost motion, 
a source of worry to horse and driver, especially if the 


horse has speed and is driven on sharp turns on half-mile 
tracks, but it is not as dangerous as the winging in hard 
to knees. Paddling is more easily controlled than winging 
in. Now to straighten the paddler, fix the foot on the leg 
that paddles, by cutting or rasping the inside of the foot 
from the inside toe back to the inside heel as low as pos- 
sible, leaving the outside toe the highest or longest to leave 
the ground from. Be sure and have the inside of foot the 
lowest, the outside toe the longest. To begin this an angle 
close to 50 degrees or less, say 49, will have wonderful 
effect. The long or high toe on the outside will have a 
tendency to make the leg wing towards his knees at speed 
which is the controlling influence against paddling. The 
long or high outside toe is the part that has to leave the 
ground the last, which creates winging, and helps to stop 
paddling. To shoe a paddler, shoe with a light shoe, with 
as little weight as possible to go balanced. The more 
weight the more he will paddle, the less weight the less 

The best shoe for a bad paddler is a side-weight shoe 
extra heavy on the outside of foot, bevel the outside edges 
of front shoes good. If the change of action is not quick 
enough you can use a toe weight placed on the foot well 
to the outside toe of foot. When I could not get the inside 
of foot low enough compared with the outside of foot I 
have made the front shoes thicker on the outside than the 
inside. When you have fixed the feet and shod a paddler 
this way you will begin to think that paddling can be stopped 
when at speed. Most paddlers must go as light in front as 
possible. With the feet fixed and shod as herein stated 
you will be surprised at the change of action that will 
take place when at speed, after a week's driving. The faster 
the paddler is driven the less paddling he will be doing. 
The outside of the foot on a paddler needs to be kept the 
highest, which is just to the reverse of a knee and arm 


hitter, this applies to the front feet and action of the front 


Take a piece of iron or steel two or three ounces 
heavier than the shoe the horse has been carrying and draw 
one end of it very light having it quite thin. Make a heavy 
outside weight shoe of it, leaving all the thickness at the 
outside toe of shoe, thin the outside heel down to the 
same as the inside heel. The outside edge of this shoe will 
be thick, but tapering thin to the inside edge of the outside 
web of shoe. This shoe begins to get light, narrow and 
very thin at centre of toe around to inside heel. Look up 
article on foot fixing to prevent paddling at speed when 
using this shoe. The horse's foot will have to leave the 
ground from the outside toe of this shoe when stepping 
fast and this will have a tendency to make him wing in, 
and the line of action will become straighter as the animal 
becomes accustomed to it. This change can be quite radical, 
on a horse that has been paddling a long time, and not so 
rank on young stock just beginning to get gaited. This 
shoe does not stop the paddling on all animals when jog- 
ging slow as the foot can leave the ground or break over 
from center or inside toe of shoe, which has no control to 
prevent a slight paddle. 


This way of going comes from different causes. An 
unbalanced foot from being improperly fixed, will cause it. 
The improper weight of shoes at one end or the other, or 
all around, will cause it; speeding a colt or horse that is 
pulling too much weight, especially up a grade, will cause 

it; forging, scalping, speedy-cutting, shin and hock hitting 
will cause it; carrying the head to one side at times will 
cause it; soreness of the back, rump or muscles of whirl- 
bone, stifle or thigh will cause it. 

Examine the faulty leg for soreness, for if the horse 
is not lame from soreness somewhere, he can be balanced 
to go true. If a horse begins hitching, his fast work should 
be stopped until he is properly balanced, for no horse can 
improve his speed after he becomes rough gaited without 
danger to himself. The first thing to do is to get him 
balanced. First, see that his feet are level. Nine times 
out of ten you will find his feet are not mates or do not 
hang level, you will find the foot on the offending leg that is 
doing the damage different from its mate. In all my expe- 
rience I have found the foot on the faulty gaited leg to be 
very high on the inside, if not at the toe, it would be at the 
heel, but the majority of times it would be high from toe 
to heel, which would be the main cause of the hitching. 
Fix the front feet to hang level, the angle and length of 
toes the same. The two hind feet should be at the same 
angle and have the same length of toe. The foot of the 
faulty going leg should be made the lowest on the inside 
and the shoe to be used on this foot must weigh double the 
weight or from one to three ounces more than double the 
weight of the one on the opposite hind foot. This shoe 
can be made with the weight in the outside, with the inside 
edge from the centre of toe back to the inside quarter 
rounded or beveled off considerably, fit the shoe full to the 
outside toe. If the hitching horse is shod according to these 
directions and does not begin to go better gaited, it is be- 
cause he is lame. If he carries five ounce shoes behind put 
twelve or thirteen ounce on the faulty gaited leg and the 
light shoe on perfect gaited leg. 



This is a very annoying fault and the same rules to 
remedy it do not apply to all horses, for what will stop one 
may not stop another. Most all forging will be done jog- 
ging, or going an ordinary road gait. From forging comes 
the scalping which is very dangerous when the horse begins 
to brush along, as scalping creates rough and bad gaited 
horses. There are many horses that will forge or scalp 
going slow in the same shoes that suit them for speed. It 
is hard to shoe all horses with a set of shoes that will suit 
the horse, the driver and a faulty gait at varying rates of 
speed, all at the same time. Horses that are low gaited in 
front that forge jogging, need as a rule, a lot more weight 
in their front shoes. Horses that go high gaited with lots 
of knee action in front that forge require a light shoe. 
Forgers usually have excessive action either in front or 
behind. Locate the faulty end, see if the horse has too 
much action in front and not enough behind, or if he has 
too much behind and not enough in front. Get a line on 
his gait before you make any changes, perhaps you may 
not have to change but one end of him to either increase 
or decrease action. Weight in the shoe is the important 
factor applied to a perfectly balanced foot, whether it is a 
front foot or a hind foot. You can add weight to the front 
or hind feet, as may be desired, to increase action, or de- 
crease the weight to decrease the action at either end. Now 
right here I will say, a horse jogging hardly feels a change 
of weight of one, two or three ounces, but will show the 
effect of five or six ounces from the start. Do not be afraid 
to apply a heavy shoe to hind feet for if his action re- 
quires it to prevent forging, the horse will like it better 
and so will you. 

In adding weight to hind feet you will be increasing 
the hock action and in some horses it will take considerable 
weight to do it; horses going an ordinary road gait will 


not feel one, two or three ounces increase of weight in 
hind shoes. Horses stepping fast as a rule do not do any 
forging and, of course, the lighter they can go the better. 
There are many horses — fast trotters — that forge or scalp 
jogging, that would go cleaner or purer by applying a four- 
ounce toe weight, some may need a five-ounce weight, lots 
of them have to be jogged too fast in order to prevent 
forging or scalping, when perhaps a toe weight would be 
the remedy. A horse going a 2:10 gait will feel the effects 
of a one or two ounce weight as much as one going a slow 
gait would feel the effects of four or five ounces. 

Take a side view of your horse as he is driven by and 
locate the faulty action, you will be able to tell if it is too 
short, too long, too high or too low, too rapid or too dwelly, 
front or hind action. If the lost action is in front as to 
height, extension or rapidity, fix the feet to help the shoes 
to perfect the action. If the front action is too low shorten 
the toes, leave the heels high or raise them with shoe or 
side calks and shoe with a shoe five or six ounces heavier, 
more or less, as the action requires, use a square or bevel 
toe shoe. A rolling toe shoe is good on slow-going horses, 
the horse should carry his head higher than usual. If the 
front action is too high, lower the quarters and heels as 
low as they will stand, and shoe with a light shoe, and if 
there is not extension enough use a toe weight to balance 
up action, the horse should carry his head lower, or natural. 
If the hind action is too low shorten toes as much as they 
will stand and add several ounces more weight and raise 
the heels a half inch or more. If hind action is too high 
lower quarters and heels as low as they will stand, keeping 
plenty of toe on hind feet and shoe with a very light shoe 
to prevent slipping. If he is handling his hind legs too 
rapid for the front ones, this last sentence will remedy that 
also. I have seen obstinate forgers at a slow gait stopped 
by carrying from two to three times more weight on the 
hind feet than in the front feet, and vice versa, according 
to their front or hind action. 



This is a very dangerous fault. When a horse is mak- 
ing speed and begins scalping, he is unbalanced quite bad, 
he needs changing before being speeded again for if you 
don't he or she will get rough gaited, or will begin carrying 
the hind leg between front ones, hopping, or trying to run 
with hind action. The first thing to do is to examine the 
hind feet, you are likely to find the hind feet a lot higher 
on the inside than on the outside nine times out of ten. 
Some horses will begin scalping after their feet get too 
long. In horses with excessive action, carrying too much 
weight in front will cause scalping at speed. Horses with 
very little action in front and not carrying weight enough 
will be liable to scalp at speed. When shoeing for scalping 
use a square toe shoe, light or heavy, as may be required 
by the front action. 

Feet all out of proportion and at the wrong angle and 
not level will cause scalping. Now if the animal has very 
little hock action and mostly stifle action, I would lower 
and shorten the toes of the hind feet as much as possible, 
use a square toe shoe and raise the heels with a side calk, 
this will shorten the stride and by adding some weight to 
the hind shoe it will increase hock action. Most all scalp- 
ing is done with front or outside toe of the front shoe 
coming in contact with the coronet of hind foot. It hurts 
the horse so much that he will try to find some way to 
avoid it ; some trainers use a gaiting pole to prevent the 
horse from going crooked in the shafts because of this fault. 


If the front action is low, long and of a sluggish nature, 
shorten the toes of feet considerable and add about five 
ounces more weight to the shoes, or more, if required to 
create a more lofty knee fold. The action of some horses 


requires a lot more weight than others to make the change. 
The shoes to be used, if working to make speed should be 
a square toe shoe, or a beveled toe shoe, also a wedged 
shaped shoe thick at the heels and thin at the toe is good, 
squared at the toe. For ordinary road driving a rolling toe 
shoe is good, but not for extreme speed, as it has a ten- 
dency with most horses to slip back too much on leaving 
the ground ; and the horse should be made to carry his 
head higher than usual. If the front action is high, short, 
or too rapid, not working in harmony with the hind, lower 
the quarters and heels of front feet as much as they will 
stand and keep a fair length toe on the front feet and shoe 
with a very light shoe and use a toe weight to balance for 
extension, place a spur for toe weight well up on toe of foot 
out of way of the scalping ; and the horse should be made 
to go as low headed as is comfortable to him. 

If the hind action is low, long or of a dwelling nature, 
shorten the toes as much as they will stand, and shoe, to 
elevate the heels, with a thick heel shoe, or raise the heels 
with side calks. A few ounces more weight than he has 
been carrying will be all the better to make him use his 
hocks more. If the hind action is high and choppy with 
not much extension, lower quarters and heels as much as 
they will stand and keep a fair length toe on him, it will 
keep him closer to the ground ; and shoe light to prevent 

A side view of the animal as he is driven by you will 
give you the correct view of his front and hind action. If 
the action is too short, too long, too high or too low, in 
front or behind, the chances are you may not have to change 
but one end of him if you have a good eye for locating 
faulty action. If your horse is good and can beat his record, 
or go the race of his life, and scalps jogging, try a toe 
weight on him in front, if it does not stop him wear scalpers 
on him jogging and let well enough alone. 


I have had to take a three and one half ounce shoe oft" 
a colt that trotted eighths of a mile in seventeen and a 
quarter seconds, that was scalping jogging, and shoe him 
with a ten and a half ounce heel weight shoe nailed back 
near quarters of hind feet to prevent him from scalping at 
the jog, after two changes in the front shoeing. 


Sideweight shoes with the weight on the outside have 
a different effect or result on front and hind action. An 
outside-weight shoe on a front foot has a tendency to make 
the leg wing in, and an outside weight shoe on a hind foot 
will widen and lengthen the stride, if feet are properly 
prepared, so you see it widens the hind action and closes the 
front action. To close the action of the front leg with this 
sideweight, lower the front foot on the inside. To widen 
the action of hind leg, lower the inside of hind feet. This 
sideweight shoe will help a paddler that has to carry a little 
weight, if you will lower the inside of the foot, but it is 
no good for a knee knocker. The outside-weight shoe has 
a different effect on front and hind action, has a tendency 
to close one and widen the other. 

Sidew r eight shoes are good to correct the following 
faulty lines of action if the feet are correctly prepared for 
them to help the shoe, for if the foot, or feet, are not prop- 
erly fixed to help the line of action this faulty fixed foot 
will work against the effect of the sideweight, and the re- 
sults will be very unsatisfactory. Sideweight shoes are best 
for winging in, or paddling out, with front legs, hitching 
or hopping. or carrying a hind leg in, out of line, or carry- 
ing a hind leg between the front legs, also good for a wheel 
swinging hind leg. 



A trotter that is wheel swinging a hind leg, has de- 
veloped a line of action that is tiresome, controlled mostly 
by the muscles on the outside of leg, that unbalances action 
at speed to a certain extent, and it looks unsightly to a good 
judge of gait, when coming to you or going from you. 
To correct this faulty line of action of wheel swinging, 
keep the toe of hind feet nearly as long as the front feet, 
and have the angle of the hind feet within two or three 
degrees of the same as the front feet. If the angle of front 
feet is fifty degrees have the angle of the hind feet about 
fifty-two or three degrees. Lower the outside of hind foot 
a full quarter of an inch or more than it will be on the 
inside, begin lowering the outside of hind foot at the center 
of toe back to outside heel, have both hind feet the same 
length and angle. Shoe with a sideweight shoe heaviest 
side of shoe on inside of foot, with heelcalks, and place 
a thin low calk about one inch long on inside toe of shoe in 
line from first to second nail holes. After the first shoeing, 
if line of action has not improved as it should, you must 
lower the outside of hind foot still more, but if you cannot 
lower the foot have a shoe made thicker on the inside toe 
and thinner on the outside toe and quarters, with the three 
calks on it and there will be more of a change. This change 
can be made in the first shoeing if you have enough of 
foot to change, but it is best for the horse and owner not to 
make too radical a change too quickly. It is best to do it 
in two or three shoeings, especially on a horse that has a 
lot of speed. Slow going horses can stand more of a radi- 
cal change than fast ones. 

The directions in this article for the cure of wheel- 
swinging, by foot fixing and shoeing, will create a sudden 
change, at different points, on the bones of the foot and leg, 
so as to create a leverage at a particular point as the foot 
leaves the ground, to control a more perfect line of action. 


Be sure your horse is not carrying his head off to one side, 
the opposite side to the wheel-swinging leg, for if so this 
helps to unbalance action and works against the results you 
are trying to get to a certain extent. Do not have the out- 
side heel of shoe any longer than the inside but have both 
same length. 


This is caused by weakness, sometimes of the liga- 
ments that hold the bones of ankle in their sockets, and 
sometimes higher up. To shoe for this, the first thing to 
do is to prepare the foot. You are likely to find the hind 
feet abnormally long, perhaps longer than the front feet. 
Lower the toes of hind feet as much as they will stand, 
shorten toes by rasping off as much as the foot will stand, 
do not touch the heels or have the inside of foot higher 
than the outside. Now use a light hind shoe, with side 
calks, the calks to be one and a half to two inches long, and 
tapering towards the toe of shoe. At the point of heel this 
calk should be not less than one-half inch high, the higher 
the better, a square toe shoe is much better than a plain 
one, shod this way the very best result is obtained at once. 
A shoe made thick at heels, three-quarters of an inch or 
more, and thin at the toe for ordinary driving is good. 


Is a very dangerous fault and is from a weakness that 
can be helped a lot. The front feet of a stumbler should 
be kept as short as possible at the toe. Elevate the heels as 
much as would be comfortable to the leg and horse. A 
stumbler should be made to carry some weight in his front 
shoes because the weight increases knee action, and this is 
what you want in a stumbler. Shoe with a toe-weight shoe 
thick at the heels, for height, and roll the toes of the shoes 


as much as possible, a bevel toed shoe is also good, keep the 
heels middling high, and the toes cut down low and short- 
ened up. These shoes are not very good for fast work, 
as they will slip back too much on leaving the ground, which 
retards speed but will help to make speed in lots of slow 
ones that require action. 


A horse that is taking his work and is "speed cutting" 
and still continues to be a good actor must be game. -Speed 
cutting begins at the coronet or a little higher up and con- 
tinues up the pastern mostly on the inside of leg to the 
top of ankle and even above that. There are three things 
that cause this, the most prominent one to look for, is the 
inside of the hind feet are a lot higher than the outside; 
seven times out of ten the outside of front feet will be 
found longer or higher than the inside. The horse may or 
may not be carrying the proper weight. If he is pulling a 
part of a ton on the bit to hold him together, he is not 
properly balanced with weight. The hitting is mostly done 
with the outside toe of the front shoe. If you can find 
some one who can level and balance these feet on the legs 
there will be a big change in the action. 

Excessive front, and not enough of hind, action will 
•cause speed cutting. Excessive hock and stifle action and 
not enough action in front will also cause it. When the 
action is excessive, decrease it by lowering the quarters and 
heels and by shoeing very light, if the action of the other 
end needs to be increased, shorten the toes and add weight, 
do not be afraid, four to five ounces will be better to experi- 
ment with than one or two. After the horse gains confi- 
dence he may not need any extra weight. The most im- 
portant thing will be to find some one who can fix the feet, 
and the feet will be found as I have stated above. There 
are very few who are good judges of a balanced foot. It 

-28- • 

takes an expert to detect the high and low side of a foot. 
Horses that wing into their knees and those that paddle 
away from their knees, and line trotters, contract this 
fault because of an improperly prepared foot to control 
the faulty line of action and at times not carrying the 
proper amount of weight front and hind to balance the 
action so that the hind action will work in harmony with 
the front. 

If the horse wings in toward his knees with one or 
both front feet fix the front feet according to the directions 
in this book in the chapter on winging in or knee hitting. 
If the horse paddles out away from his knees, I refer you 
to the, chapter on Paddling to prepare his feet by, and use 
the shoes therein prescribed. If the front action is exces- 
sive and lofty you must lower the quarters and heels to 
give him a longer leverage to leave the ground from, and 
shoe with a light shoe, and balance him with a toe weight 
for extension, and have the feet the same length and angle. 

To prepare the feet on a speedy cutter, rasp down or 
lower the inside of foot from centre of toe back to inside 
heel to a level or a fraction lower than the outside of the 
foot, have the toes of both feet the same length, and at the 
angle he shows the most speed with. Shoe with a side- 
weight shoe, the heavy side of shoe on the outside of foot 
and calked to prevent slipping. 

To shorten the hind stride use a light shoe, raise the 
heels and shorten the toes of the hind feet as much as they 
will stand. To lengthen the stride of the hind feet, lower 
the quarters and heels to a longer angle to leave the ground 
from, and add several ounces more weight than the horse 
has been carrying to each shoe; the inside edges of hind 
shoes from the toe back to quarters should be beveled off. 
The edges of front shoes should be beveled off on both 
outside~and inside. 



The late Freeman M. Dodge of Pittsfield, Mass., trainer 
and driver, had a bay mare by the name of "Tillie Wilkes" 
that was speedy cutting so bad that he was not able to work 
her, and he came to me to find out if I could stop her from 
speedy cutting. I told him I could not tell until I saw her 
driven. He brought her over and drove her down the 
stretch at a three minute gait. This mare had a sore spot 
on the lower inside of -one hind ankle that was raw, the size 
of a silver dollar and when she began touching this spot, 
speedy cutting, she would jump and begin running. After 
seeing this mare driven I found she had excessive action 
in front and very lofty, and her hind action mostly all 
stifle action and very little hock action and her feet were 
in bad shape. She was driven over the next day to be shod 
and I had her shoes ready when she arrived. I fixed this 
mare's front feet by lowering her quarters and heels as 
much as nature would allow me, and left all the toe possible. 
This gave her a longer leverage to leave the ground from, 
which kept her from breaking over so quick, and it reduced 
her lofty knee action and created more extension. I took 
off a twelve-ounce shoe from each of her front feet, and 
applied a four-ounce aluminum shoe. 

Fixing her hind feet and shoeing them was the most 
important. I shortened the toes and lowered the inside of 
each hind foot until the inside of them was as low as the 
outside or a shade lower if anything. I fitted a pair of 
heavy side-weight shoes, the heavy side of the shoes on the 
outside of the hind feet, each hind shoe weighed about 
eleven ounces with heel calks. This job stopped all the 
speedy cutting and she trotted quarters in 31 seconds shortly 
after, and was sold to Mr. Shults for $750.00. 

- 30- 


Sometimes you will find a colt that has not much knee, 
hock or stifle action and not much speed, and in such cases, 
to remedy the defect, after the feet have been leveled the 
hind feet a shade shorter than the front, I would recom- 
mend a heavy rolling toe shoe in front, eight, nine or ten 
ounces and a little lighter one behind, two or three ounces 
lighter. If the foot is large and the colt is strong, eleven 
ounces in front to begin with. Now as the action increases, 
decrease the weight. When the colt begins to make speed 
he or she will not need a rolling toe shoe in front, a plain 
shoe is better, one that will not slip back on leaving the 
ground. As the colt begins to make speed the action of the 
legs needs watching because sometimes they will begin to 
show a faulty line of action. 

If they begin to get faulty they are liable to begin 
winging in or paddling out, and when shod again the feet 
can be fixed to prevent this way of going at speed. The 
most important thing is fixing their feet to prevent a faulty 
line of action for if the feet are not kept level they will 
begin getting rough gaited and unsteady. One important 
thing in fixing feet on yearlings to be shod and worked 
for speed is to keep the quarters and heels of front feet 
as low as possible, it affords comfort in landing and in- 
creases extension without carrying so much weight. Colts 
that have a lot of action at both ends, hind and front, need 
very light shoes all round, you can find out the proper bal- 
ance with a toe weight. 

To increase extension, lower the quarters and heels and 
apply toe weights instead of useing so much in the shoe. 
The colt should carry a natural head, not too high and not 
too low, the lower the better if he is inclined to mix. If 
your colt is short and choppy gaited in his hind action lower 
the quarters and heels of hind feet and shoe with a heavy 
toeweight plain shoe and extend the shoe out one-quarter 


of an inch or more in front of toe of hind foot. When the 
colt begins to make speed decrease the weight of shoe of 
hind feet. Some youngsters require more weight behind 
than in front to equalize action so as to work harmoniously 
front and rear. 

If you have a mixed-gaited colt and you want to make 
a trotter out of him or her, keep plenty of foot on both hind 
and front feet, especially at the toes. When fixing the feet 
to be shod cut or rasp the quarters and heels of both front 
and hind feet as low as possible, keep plenty of toe on 
front and hind feet. Usually you will find that the front 
feet have the longest angle to leave the ground from, but 
by lowering the quarters and heels of hind feet to get them 
as near as you can to the same angle of the front feet, the 
more you will be confining the gait to a pure trot, and there 
will be less danger of singlefooting or pacing. 

I want my readers to distinctly understand that there 
is a set of pacing feet for a pacer and a set of trotting feet 
for a trotter, especially at the time when you are going to 
convert a trotter to the pace or a pacer to the trot. That, 
however, will be explained later in this book. If your trot- 
ting colt becomes mixed gaited or goes into a single foot or 
pace, the first thing to do is to lower the quarters and heels 
of hind feet as much as possible, keep all the toe on him 
you can and shoe with a light shoe with toe and heel calks. 
The front feet should be lowered in the same manner and 
add a few ounces more weight to front shoes and allow 
your colt to be driven as low headed as is comfortable. 

When you try this remedy for a mixed gaited colt or 
horse you will be surprised why you have not been able to 
find it out years ago. 

The pacing youngster with not much of any kind of 
action at either end, needs to go in short toes and heavy 
shoes all around and if the toes of shoes are beveled or 
rolled it will be very good the first time shod. After your 


W. J. Moore 

pacing colt begins to make speed, shoe to prevent slipping 

at both ends, with heel and toe calks on hind shoes. As a 
rule they go high headed, it seems to suit the majority of 

If your pacer begins to crossfire lower the inside of 
hind feet but if you cannot lower the feet on the inside 
raise the outside with the thickness of the shoe, thick on 
outside and thin on inside. If you can lower the inside of 
hind feet low enough, a plain shoe will do with calks. The 
best shoe for a cross-firing pacer is a heavy sideweight 
shoe, thin and rounded off on the inside toe. You do not 
need any projections on this shoe, heel or toe, if the foot 
is properly prepared to widen action. If your colt gets to 
winging to his knees, lower the outside of front feet from 
centre of toes to heel on outside. If your colt begins to pad- 
dle with one front leg or the other, lower the inside of the 
foot or feet as much as they will stand, this will leave the 
outside toe the longest to leave the ground from, which, 
when at speed, will prevent a lot of paddling. The lighter 
the shoes on a paddler the better, but if he has to carry 
some weight in his shoes to balance action, put all the 
weight in the outside of his shoes. If you use a toe weight, 
attach it near to the outside toe for better results. Pad- 
dling is caused by the contraction of muscles on one side of 
the leg, the same as winging in, and not always by bad 
shoeing, the main thing is foot fixing. 

Some say there is nothing under the sun perfect. Foals 
developing in the womb of their dam sometimes will be in 
a cramped position, which contracts those muscles or liga- 
ments that cause winging in or paddling out. As some of 
the yearlings and weanlings show this faulty line of action 
before ever being shod. I have seen yearlings that were 
knee-knockers to begin with and you would think confirmed 
ones and after one, two or three shoeings you could not 
hear them knock their boots on the turns, and they would 


later develop into fast trotters and win races or take fast 
records at two and three years old. 

At the Allen Farm, where I have been located for a 
great many years, I have seen results obtained by foot fixing 
and shoeing that satisfied me that there were secrets hidden 
from most of the public in the art or science of foot fixing 
and balancing faulty action, and from my experience and 
the results obtained, I felt that the public was entitled to 
my knowledge so gained. I have seen yearlings step eighths 
of a mile from 15^4 to 17 and 18 seconds, and many of 
them. I have seen a yearling step the last sixteenth of an 
eighth in seven seconds, a 1 :52 gait, on this half-mile 
track which should go a second faster on a mile track. 

Now if the foot fixing and shoeing that I have ex- 
plained in this book and have been practising for years is 
not the nearest approach to the proper and correct way of 
balancing the action of the trotter and pacer, why has 
Bingara become the champion fourteen-year-old sire of 
2:30 peformers, located as he is in this cold climate and 
far away from the section where are the greatest number 
of producing dams? Mares by Kremlin 2:07^4, the cham- 
pion living brood mare sire of the world, have produced 
wonderful results. Through these channels came Baden 
2:05)4, a trotting race horse that raced on both half-mile 
tracks and mile tracks and was badly handicapped in many 
of his races by being scored ten, twelve, fifteen, and as 
many as seventeen times before getting the word. This 
scoring was not all done by one driver or one horse, but by 
different drivers and different horses trying to break the 
horse's heart repeatedly, and when they could not rupture 
his legs, unhinge his back, rattle his thinking box or break 
his heart, Mr. Geers and Mr. Cox, the great race drivers, 
said that Baden 2:05)4 was the greatest race horse ever 
seen. In all my experience with the produce of Bingara 
I have never seen one yet that wanted to pace if looked 


after in his early education. I know him to get trotters 
from pacing mares, and nothing but trotters from all kinds 
of mares, his power to transmit the trotting gait to his pro- 
duce is something wonderful, and his only pacers arc those 
that were forced by the unsportsmanlike use of hopples. 


The hind feet on both trotters and pacers are the 
worst neglected when receiving their preparation in train- 
ing and racing. Is your trotter or pacer going rough gaited 
with his hind legs? Is your trotter hitting his coronets, is 
he speedy cutting, is he hitting his shins or hocks ? Is your 
pacer hitting his front shoes, or cross-firing? All this un- 
balanced action comes from an unbalanced, unprepared, and 
unweighted foot, most times — nearly nine out of ten — from 
cutting the outside of hind foot too low from center of 
toe back to outside heel leaving the inside the highest, which 
wall control the line of action of the leg after the foot 
leaves the ground. 

Lots of people do not know this and lots of horsemen 
do not know this until they get into trouble and commence 
experimenting with some fandangle shoes, long heels on 
one side and short heels on the opposite side, or some 
projection on some part of shoes that creates strain and 
friction trying to overcome a badly fixed foot or feet. If 
your trotter or pacer is doing any of the above stunts, the 
insides of his hind foot or feet are a lot too high for the 
outside. Cut the inside of hind feet down as low as they 
will stand, low enough to change the angle of the feet, to 
make the feet or angle longer to leave the ground from. If 
his toes are the right length do not touch them. 

The best shoe for your trotter in this case is a side- 
weight shoe, a little heavier than he has been carrying — 
two or three ounces heavier. The best shoe for the pacer 


is a sideweight, same as above and it can be an ounce 
heavier than above, say four ounces heavier than he had 
been carrying. After your trotter or pacer becomes purer 
gaited you can dispense with this extra weight. Shoe light 
and as long as the foot or feet are kept level and at the 
right poise and angle you will not have any trouble. I do 
not recommend shoes with a long heel on one side and a 
short one on an opposite side on a correctly or properly 
fixed foot, or feet, for fast work or racing, because such 
shoes create undue friction at speed. When a hind leg is 
extended and foot or feet are properly fixed and balanced 
on the leg, both heels of the foot should strike the ground 
at the same time. If the heel on one side of shoe is three- 
quarter of an inch longer, or half-inch longer, this long heel 
hits the ground first, before the opposite heel hits, which 
is unnatural and disagreeable to the bones of the feet, that 
work in sockets. It has the tendency to shift the bearing 
of the bones in their sockets on landing and leaving the 
ground, and gives extra work to the ligaments that hold the 
bones in their sockets. On slow going horses this long 
outside heel does not affect them as severely as on horses 
that are working fast or racing. You must remember when 
horses are going at a fast pace they land on their heels as a 
rule with their toes elevated away from the ground. This 
is one of the main reasons why the heels of hind shoes 
should be the same length on both sides at speed or taking 
fast work. There are lots of horses that would have been 
faster and better race horses if their hind feet and action 
had been properly balanced to work harmoniously with 
one another. The speed of a horse depends largely on the 
propelling power of the hind quarters. The muscles of the 
thigh, stifle and whirlbone need looking after in their early 
preparation to keep the soreness out of them until they be- 
come hardened. Do not work your horse on a slippery 
track, wait a day or you may be sorry, if he is not eating 
skip a workout, it will suit the horse. 



Many horses have plenty of knee action and no extru- 
sion. This horse is carrying weight enough, and foot is 
prepared to make him knee up, but is unbalanced both by 
the weight application and foot fixing to develop the proper 
extension. The feet of a horse gaited in this manner need 
the quarters and heels of front feet lowered as low as 
safety will permit, do not touch the toes of front feet, 
place the front feet at as long an angle to leave the ground 
from as possible, reduce the weight of the front shoes and 
add it to the feet in a toe weight, and pull his head down 
some if you have to use a standing martingale and let him 
come along gradually. 

Too much knee action is lost motion and tiresome. I 
found that out for myself walking through the deep snows 
that we have up here in the Berkshire Hills. Too much 
folding of the knees causes elbow hitting, and at times 
when they do not reach their elbow some of them will hit 
on the back of their arm. One of the worst speedy cutters 
I ever saw was gaited in front in this manner. I decreased 
the knee and folding action, changed the hind feet, which 
were very high on inside, lowered them and shod with heavy 
outside weight shoe and she trotted clean and pure, quarters 
in 31 seconds in May. She had one sore on her as large 
as a silver dollar from hitting, and when she began hitting 
she would try and run away. 


In these cases I feel sorry for the horse also for the 
driver. The horse knows he is handicapped, and the driver 
does not want to take any desperate chances of getting shut 
out by trying to get away with the field of starters, anyhow 


I will say, the horse is unbalanced to get away, got a lot of 
speed but can not find it when it is needed. This horse 
needs assistance in foot balancing and weighting. The 
front action on this kind of a horse needs to be increased 
more for extension than anything else, increase his ex- 
tension and everything else will take care of itself. 

To help this horse to get away, I would change the 
angle of his front feet, make the angle longer to leave the 
ground from. If the angle of his front feet is at 54 or 55 
degrees change it to 50 or 51, if it is at 52 or 53 degrees 
change it to 48 or 49 degrees, add three or four ounces 
more weight to his front shoes and carry the same toe 
weight that he has been carrying. In fixing his front feet 
do not touch or take anything off his toes, shoe to prevent 
slipping, especially the hind feet. If this horse has been 
carrying a light shoe in front- — seven, eight or nine ounces — 
it will require not less than four or five ounces more 
weight to get away with his field. If this four or five 
ounces balances him to get away with his field, he will not 
pull you hard to hold him together. If this horse is not 
inclined to mix, I would have the toes of hind feet an eighth 
or quarter inch shorter than those of the front feet and at 
an angle of about 54 or 55 degrees, but if he is inclined 
to shift or mix into a single foot, have the hind feet as 
near the same length and angle as the front feet as possible, 
the nearer the better. If it takes two or three ounces more 
weight to balance faulty action, use it, put it on his feet, if 
you don't you will wear him out pulling on him, you will 
make him muscle-sore propelling against your strong arms, 
pulling 100 or 150 pounds on the bit. It creates a terrible 
strain going the last quarter of a fast mile, especially on 
youngsters, and some trainers wonder why some of their 
pupils don't go on and develop speed, and wonder why 
some of them become so tired after passing the three- 
quarter pole. Xo matter how royally bred they are, they 

-38- . 

need to be properly balanced to go the distance on as light 
a pull on the bit as possible. If you depend on balancing 
them by holding them together by pulling against their jaws 
you are a back number for a youngster or aged horse is not 
doing his work in comfort and with ease going against a 
heavy pull on the bit. There is nothing that will wear out 
a yearling, two-year-old or three-year-old quicker than hard 
pulling against the bit, for it over-taxes the muscles of the 
propelling power caused by being unbalanced. Their pro- 
pelling muscles will stand it for a while, but not for long. 
If you can get your colt or horse properly balanced he 
will not pull you, he would rather go at speed in com- 
fort and ease to himself than to get unhinged in the 
back propelling against a heavy pull on the lines. The 
trainers that can detect or locate faulty action and know 
what to do to remedy the same are the ones that make 
a success of developing, conditioning and driving in races. 
It takes judgment, a good eye and ear to detect faulty 
action. It takes an expert to detect a badly fixed foot 
that was intended to help the line of action. 


Begin by fixing his feet, cut or rasp the quarters and 
heels of all four feet down as low as possible without get- 
ting any sole pressure against the shoes that are fitted. 
Have the length of toes as near alike as the case will permit, 
I mean by not taking anything off the toes of front feet or 
hind feet, supposing the toes are near alike, he will need all 
the toe possible to convert him to the trot from the pace. 
Shoe front feet with a heavy toe weight shoe, it may take 
fifteen or seventeen ounces. If you have to use any toe 
weight while going slow it is best to weld spur on toe of 
shoe and use a toe weight fitted to the spur. It is best in 
his case, in order to convert the pacer to trot, to have a 


grab on the front shoes. Shoe the hind feet with a light 
shoe with toe and heel calk, drive him as low headed as 
possible even if you have to use a standing martingale, 
bring him along slow, by degrees, for as it effects a change 
of muscles it is something new to the horse and the more 
time you take in bringing along trotting, the more you will 
be perfecting the gait. Don't hurry matters. After a few 
weeks he will have more growth of foot and can lower his 
quarters and heels a little more giving his feet a longer 
angle to leave the ground from. In converting a pacer to 
trot, a four-inch toe is not too long on some horses, but on 
yearlings and two-year-olds their feet will be shorter, but 
the closer you get the angle of front and hind feet to 50 
or 51 degrees with same length of toes hind and front, the 
better, to confine him to the trot, and keep him trotting. In 
some cases the angle needs to be 48 or 49 degrees in front, 
and as near to that as you can get the hind feet. 


Shorten and lower the toes of all four feet, do not 
touch the quarters or heels of front or hind feet. The 
weight of the shoes will vary on different horses. On a 
youngster I would put a five or six-ounce concaved shoe in 
front, and about nine or ten ounces behind, with toe and 
heel calk. On an older horse the weight at both front and 
hind can be correspondingly heavier, about eight ounces 
front and eleven or twelve ounces, with heel and toe calks 
behind. Now when hitched ready to go for the first lesson, 
check the head as high as the horse or colt can carry it 
without causing pain and misery to the neck. If he paces 
any, a half mile up to a mile and a half is enough for the 
first three or four lessons. If he acts good do not let him 
go too fast for the first week or ten days, you must take 
two or three weeks before asking him to step. The angle 


of the front feet should be about 55 degrees and the angle 
of the hind feet should be about 59 degrees. 

Some horses that go into a singlefoot or strike a pace 
occasionally can be easily converted to the pace by shoeing 
light in front and heavier behind, from three to five ounces 
more weight in each hind shoe than he is carrying in his 
front shoes. If he does not take to the pace readily add 
more weight to hind shoes, and bevel or roll the toes of 
shoes, and check head higher. You need a short natural 
foot all around to convert to the pace. The angle of the 
feet will vary according to their pasterns. If the horse has 
a long oblique pastern, shorten the toes hind and front as 
much as they will allow to be safe, and do not touch the 

I used this method of converting Joe Patchen II from 
the trot to the pace, and many others. They could not 
make him strike a pace and after fixing his feet and shoeing 
him he went out on the track and paced an eighth of a mile 
in eighteen seconds after having been driven at the trot 
for over a year. 

To expand a contracted foot or quarter the first thing 
to do is to get the foot soft by poulticing or stuffing with 
"Whiterock" for a couple of nights. Use hoof expanders 
that are stronger than the hoof, some feet are so strong and 
stiff at the quarters that the foot has to be weakened be- 
tween the bars and frog so that the expanders will expand 
it. If you want the inside quarter expanded leave the last 
two heel nails out of the inside of shoe, put a toe clip on 
shoe and a clip back at the outside heel and do just the 
reverse to expand an outside quarter. In this way you 
will be getting all the expansion on the contracted quarter. 
If this shoe is fitted so that the expander can be placed in 


the foot after the shoe has been nailed on, the contracted 
quarter will be expanded oyer a quarter of an inch before 
the shoe is clinched up. Nails should not be used back 
towards the heels of a contracted foot that is to be ex- 
panded. When the foot expands wider than the shoe, reset 
shoes and renew the position of expander to act stronger. 
The softer you keep the feet the faster they will spread, do 
not let them get dry and hard. The expansion you get in 
the foot of a yearling or a two or three-year-old can be 
kept after the expander has been discarded by not allowing 
the heels to be kept too high for too long a time. But in 
aged horses that have had contracted feet or quarters for 
years and have become set, you can expand the feet or 
quarters, and when you stop using the expanders the heels 
and quarters will contract right back to where they were 
before, in the majority of cases. In cases of this kind in 
aged horses after the feet have been expanded the quarters 
should be cut down low and the coronets blistered on both 
inside and outside quarters. 

There are lots of horses with contracted heels and the 
heels become so high from the coronet to the shoe bearing 
surface and have stayed this way for such a length of time 
that they cannot be cut down without hurting or injuring 
the horse, until after the feet have been expanded. The 
sensitive part of the foot gets a long ways down from the 
coronet in a contracted foot, and to cut or lower the quar- 
ters and heels to place the foot at a proper angle, it cannot 
be done until the foot is expanded. The more you expand 
the foot the lower you can cut or rasp down the heels. The 
more you expand the heels the higher up you are driving 
the sensitive interior of the foot at the quarters. In many 
aged horses after the feet are expanded it will be well to 
continue the use of expanders, to prevent contraction, for 
a period of six or twelve months. 



A disease called Thrush, located in and about the frog 
is sure to contract the heels of a foot, if not cured quickly. 
A foot troubled with thrush should be cured when first dis- 
covered, if not the frog keeps perishing away until there 
is not enough of it there to hold or keep the heels from 
contracting. Another cause is allowing feet to grow too 
high at the heels and letting them remain too high for too 
long a time. When the heels get too high the frog is too 
far away from the ground to get any expansion, or to pre- 
vent contraction. The closer the frog is kept to the ground 
on a horse running in pasture or shod and working, all the 
better. Stock running in pasture, young or old, should have 
their feet rasped down regularly every five or six weeks 
at the longest. Some may need it oftener than that. This 
fixing of feet on stock running out, assists expansion and 
prevents contraction. If the feet are allowed to grow too 
long on stock running in pasture the position the animal 
has to stand in while grazing, with one leg out in front of 
the other will contract or curl the inside quarter of each 
front foot, and wing out the outside quarter. Shoes staving 
on too long, and horses kept on dry, hard floors where 
they do not get any moisture, will cause contraction. The 
feet of horses kept on dry hard floors should be stufTed at 
least every other night with clay, or whiterock, or some- 
thing of a moistening nature. Contraction is the main 
cause of both quartercracks and corns. To cure Thrush, 
cleanse the frog thoroughly, then a few applications of dry 
powdered calomel to the frog will dry the disease up and 
leave the frog healthy. 

A live, painful corn is caused by different things. 
High contracted heels will cause corns as well as short ones. 
Shoeing and leaving the shoes on too long, and undue con- 


cussion will cause corns. The majority of cases of corns 
will be found in contracted feet. I find the most success- 
ful way to treat corns is to get the foot or feet soft and 
keep them soft. Shoe with a bar shoe, lower the heels so 
as you can get all the frog pressure possible on the bar of 
the shoe, after the shoe has been fitted, and before nailing 
to the foot, cut the heel bearing away from the shoe where 
the corn is located, an inch of the bearing surface ahead 
of the corn and half an inch or more away from the shoe 
to break the jar and reduce the concussion. If foot is con- 
tracted use an expander inserted in foot before shoe is 
fitted, and keep foot soft. I do not recommend cutting the 
bars and sole away where the corn is located and leaving 
the wall standing up all alone, but cut the whole heel 
seat of corn and bar down flat, away from the bearing 
surface of shoe. 


A foot with a toe crack should be kept as short as 
possible at the toe. Apply a stiff hoof expander, use one 
or two rivets or clamps as high up and as near the coronet 
as possible after cutting the horn where one side laps over 
the other the full length of the crack. After inserting the 
hoof expander fit a bar shoe to the foot with a clip at each 
side of the toe, and before nailing shoe to foot cut the bear- 
ing of foot away from the shoe across the toe. If the foot 
is not contracted any I would recommend a clip back at 
each heel. Treat the same as is prescribed for Quarter- 
crack, after cutting away half inch each side of crack at the 
coronet. If foot is contracted do not use any clips back at 
the heels and keep the foot soft. 

A quartercrack is a split or crack in a quarter from the 
coronet down towards the bottom of a foot. At times it is 


very painful and prevents the use of the horse. In most 
of these quartercracks one side is lapped over on the other 
one-quarter or three-eighths of an inch, and from the con- 
tinual expansion and contraction of the foot while the horse 
is in action the lapped parts are continually working against 
one another as the foot expands with the weight of horse 
on it, and contracts when the foot is lifted up. This kind 
of action of the split horn at the coronet is what prevents 
it from knitting. The first thing to do is to apply a few 
poultices which will get the foot soft. If the foot or quar- 
ter is contracted apply a hoof expander. In fixing the foot 
rasp the foot as low as possible without making it tender, 
at both heels and toes. Do not cut any sole or bars out or 
cut the heels open with the knife, have the side of foot where 
the crack is on the lowest or you can have that part of the 
shoe quite thin, so that the jar or concussion will be on all 
parts of foot, except the quartercrack. Use a bar shoe 
with plenty of frog pressure, a plain shoe is best. If you 
have to have calks, place the heel calk on cracked side 
ahead of crack on shoe if possible. If the crack is close to 
the heel, take the bearing of foot away from the shoe by 
Cutting the heel down. Now cut the horn away on the side 
that is lapped over the other the full length of the quarter- 
crack, cut the horn away one-quarter of an inch each side 
of the crack at the coronet, if it bleeds a little it will not 
hurt. Now a blister at the coronet above and on each side 
of the crack will be beneficial to start the growth down 
solid, if it should crack open again apply a stronger one. 
After the crack starts to grow down solid, apply a little of 
the blistering ointment every week or ten days but do not 
let it blister, just use enough to keep it sweating, it will 
toughen and soften the horn as it grows down. A rivet or 
clamp drawing the edges of crack together as near the 
coronet as possible, to hold it together and strengthen it will 
be very beneficial. A salve or ointment formally made by 


the late Geo. W. St. Clair, and now by Mike Bowerman, of 
Lexington, Ky., is the best thing I have seen to help knit 
and grow down a quartercrack. A little North Carolina tar 
rubbed into coronet over crack every other day I find is 


This is caused by allowing feet to grow too long, espe- 
cially on colts and horses in training, creating undue pres- 
sure and strain on the front of foot on breaking over to 
leave the ground. It is also caused by being foundered, 
where the soles of feet have dropped, and also where the 
fever has settled in the feet, and the soles have not dropped, 
but are inclined to be contracted, dry and hard, and kept at 
the wrong angle, and feet not kept properly fixed and shoes 
not properly fitted. The remedy for this is to fix the foot 
at the proper angle, keep the frog close to the ground. 
Pare the sole a little thin around the toe from the point of 
frog out to the wall at the toe, and after the shoe has been 
fitted, cut the bearing of the foot at the toe away from the 
shoe. A few shoeings of this kind will prevent the toe from 
turning up. 


Horses with high knee action hit the ground the hard- 
est. The more weight a horse carries in his shoes or toe 
weights, the more concussion he receives. The concussion 
on the hind feet and legs does not seem to pain or sting 
anything like what he has to endure in the front feet and 
legs when striking the ground fast and hard, especially 
when he is going over a hard piece of ground. If his front 
feet are out of proportion, high heels and long toes, dry and 
hard, he will feel the concussion severely and this will make 
many horses unsteady, breaking and acting bad. A horse 


with lofty forward action should be trained in a natural 
low quarter and low heeled foot, with a bar shoe as light as 
possible, with frog pressure. 

The most dangerous and uncomfortable kind of a foot 
for a horse that hits the ground hard to have is one with the 
heels abnormally high. The higher the heels the greater the 
concussion. The lower the heels the less the concussion. 
The more weight the more concussion. The less weight the 
less concussion. A foot that is kept at the proper angle, as 
near to a natural foot as possible, and kept soft, will pre- 
vent the stinging and painful sensation that is caused by 
concussion. With feet kept like this the horse will not 
flinch or shorten up in his stride when he strikes hard places 
in the track. The light thin heel calks that are used on 
shoes do not break much of the concussion when horses are 
going fast. Why? because when the legs are extended at 
speed the shoes land on the ground back on the heel, with 
the toe of the foot elevated away from the ground, and 
with some horses more than with others. They do not 
strike the ground flat-footed like the most of them do when 
going slow. Thin hard pads are very good under light 
shoes, but thick pads that will allow the walls of a horse's 
foot at heels to sink or cut through them at the heels are 
no good. They will create a hard lump at the seat of corns 
between the bar and wall at the heels, and hold dirt that is 
liable to create unpleasant feelings to a sensitive horse that 
goes in middling low heels. When heels of the front feet 
are allowed to become too high on horses taking fast work 
or racing, a very severe strain is thrown on the ligament or 
tendon that holds the navicular bone in its socket. When 
the leg is extended at speed the extra high heels cause the 
foot to land too far ahead of the leg while the toe is elevated 
on landing, so that it creates an extra amount of work 
for the ligament to hold it in its proper position at the 
time of impact with the ground. 



There is only one way to shoe this kind for comfort to 
the animal, and for an earning remuneration for the owner. 
In founder or chronic laminitis, where the sole of feet are 
dropped, caused by the displacement of the weight bear- 
ing bones of the foot, fix the feet by lowering the quarters 
and heels so as to get as much frog pressure as is possible, 
without making the foot tender, and your foot is ready 
for the shoe. A shoe for a dropped sole foot must be a 
bar shoe, thick at the toe and thin at the heels, with a wide 
thin bar to receive the frog pressure. To make a shoe to 
suit this kind of diseased feet, use a piece of iron three- 
quarters to one inch square according to the nature of the 
disease and the weight of the horse, and in making the 
shoes for foot founder leave all the thickness of the shoe at 
the toe possible, and thin the shoe at the quarters and heels 
to a quarter of an inch, have the bar wide and thin so as to 
receive all the frog pressure possible, the thicker the toe of 
shoe and thinner the quarters and bar at heels the better. 
Concave or cup the shoe out so as not to get any sole pres- 

I will cite one case of this kind, the very worst in my 
experience. A horse that weighed over 1400 pounds that 
could scarcely stand on his feet, had been treated by dif- 
ferent veterinary surgeons and shod several times and could 
not keep the shoes on his feet and he was so sore that I 
got wet with perspiration getting two nails in one shoe and 
I had to stand him in a very soft place to do that. This 
horse would lay down in the lot most all the time and eat 
the grass from where he could reach it and then move to 
where he could reach more, he was the most hopeless sub- 
ject I ever came across. I shod him according to the in- 
struction herein prescribed, and he trotted off with his tail 
curled over his back like a colt. He was put to work the 


next morning and continued at work until sold for two 
hundred dollars. Elevating the heels with calks creates 
pain and misery to the animal. 


When a pacer begins to crossfire every one knows he is 
not balanced. There are different causes for crossfiring: 
front feet not properly fixed and at the proper angle, not 
carrying the proper amount of weight in front will help to 
cause it, and on hind feet the same. Too much slipping will 
help to create it. But the most important thing that causes 
crossfiring, nine times out of ten, is because the hind feet 
are a lot higher on the inside than they are on the outside, 
which creates a leverage to leave the ground from when at 
speed, which extra height or length of foot acts as a lever- 
age to control the line of action of the leg after the foot 
leaves the ground. In all my experience with crossfirers I 
have found this the most important factor, namely, the in- 
side of the offending feet to be the highest. So the fixing 
of the feet is the most important part of the contract. If 
you can get the feet properly fixed to change the leverage, 
to control the line of action, there will be no more cross- 
firing. (This same rule applies to a trotter that is unbal- 
anced if the insides of his hind feet are the highest and 
when he strikes a singlefoot or pace he is very likely to 
crossfire). The pacer that begins to crossfire needs the 
insides of the hind feet lowered, a little longer angle to 
leave the ground from, with the height or extra length of 
foot to create a leverage on leaving the ground to be at the 
outside toe. A foot properly fixed as herein prescribed and 
a properly made and fitted shoe will stop crossfiring. I 
would recommend a sideweight shoe, the weight to be ap- 
plied to the outside of feet, the inside to be beveled or 
rounded from center of toe back to the inside quarter of 
each hind shoe. The shoes could be a few ounces heavier 


than previous shoes for best results. As a rule pacers go 
best and fastest in shorter feet than the trotters. The 
easier a pacer can leave the ground the more rapid gaited 
he will be, and the more he will be inclined to stick to 
the pace. By all means shoe to prevent slipping both in 
front and behind. A proper angle for the front feet has 
to be found, also for the hind feet, so that the speed at 
both ends will be in harmony, if one end is faster than 
the other there will be friction. 

There will be found in this work directions as to how 
to lengthen or shorten the stride, to increase or decrease 
knee or hock action, to widen hind action, also the best way 
to prevent winging in and paddling out, at speed. Also how 
to quicken the action of dwelling gaited ones. As to the 
proper amount of weight that the horse goes the fastest 
with in his shoes, the trainer should know better than any 
one else, but all trainers are not the best judges of gait, an 
expert on the ground taking a view from in front, from 
behind, and a side view, has a big advantage over the driver. 
An expert trainer and race driver knows when his pupil 
can step a mile, half or three-quarters at a 2:10 or 2:05 or- 
a 2 :00 gait on a light line, that his horse is all right, if there 
is any friction he can see it or feel it on the lines. 


Now right here is the most important part of a little 
transaction that should not be omitted from any trainer's 
records. The condition your horse has worked up to and 
how he has been cared for, his weight, whether he wears 
calks or not, what is the angle of his feet and length of 
toes front and hind, what is the weight of his front shoes 
also his hind shoes, also about his harness, the exact length 
of back strap and check rein, and what hole the buckle be- 
longs in in the check rein should be carefully noted. If you 


keep a record of these things no one can tell you what your 
horse needs, for you will know it yourself far better. I i" a 
change takes place and it is not physical it may have oc- 
curred in the shop if he has been shod recently, and as you 
have kept a record of his feet and shoes and harness you 
can find out by reference to it 

The last time I was in Lexington, Ky. I was working 
at my trade, shoeing horses, when I was approached by a 
gentleman by the name of Saunders, he said to me that he 
was told by some of his friends to see me about shoeing a 
cross-firing pacer that he had and he also said that I was 
recommended to him very highly. I told him I could tell 
him what I could do for the horse after seeing the con- 
dition of the feet, if I could help him or not, so he had the 
horse led around to my tent to be looked at. After looking 
at the feet and shoeing, I told him I could help that horse 
wonderfully, so the next day my subject was led around 
for me to operate on. I had learned that this horse cross- 
fired so bad they could hardly keep quarterboots on him, 
and they w r ere afraid to work him on account of crossfiring. 
He was entered to start at the meeting but was a little 
short of work. His feet were in bad shape according to the 
calipers and foot -adjuster and to my eye. I fixed this 
horse's feet to pace without cross-firing and truly, accord- 
ing to the prescription given in this book for cross-firing. 
That horse responded to the treatment instantly and the 
horse paced fine with no more cross-firing. He was worked 
a couple of times during the week and went all right, and 
during the meeting he was going so good they agreed to 
start him. He started in the race and if my memory serves 
me right he finished second the first heat, the second heat 
several horses finished ahead of him, I do not remember 
how many, but when they came out for the third heat the 
driver of this horse was called up in the stand to watch this 
horse while a driver by the name of Mike Bowerman piloted 

- 51- 

him to victory in three straight heats and he took a record 
close to 2:10. I believe the horse's name was Sable Gift, 
or some other gift. The only gift the horse got was a 
record, something he did not want, neither did those that 
were buying first, second and third choices. 


The front foot should never be the highest on the 
outside of a trotter or pacer, unless the horse paddles with 
one or both front legs. A foot that is left high on the out- 
side and low on the inside will help to prevent paddling and 
will increase the winging in to the knees. A foot that is 
kept high on the inside and low on the outside will help to 
prevent winging in to the knees. There are lots of paddlers 
who do not begin to paddle until the foot has left the 
ground quite some distance, and to prove this I have seen 
the shoes worn by some paddlers and the most of the weai 
on the shoes of the paddling leg or legs was at the outside 
toe of shoe. A paddler that leaves the ground from the 
inside toe of shoe can be made to carry the leg straighter 
in a line at speed easier than one that leaves the ground 
from the outside toe. 

The reason why a front foot should not be left highest 
on the outside, of a trotter or pacer, unless he is a paddler, 
is this; supposing the front legs at the chest or where the 
upper arm joint is connected with the chest is ten, twelve 
or fifteen inches apart, I mean the distance the two front 
legs are from one another where connected with the body. 
<Now when this horse is at speed and can go fast at the trot 
or pace, like most all fast horses at speed, his foot prints 
will be straight in a line one after the other on the track. 
Now if their upper arms are ten or twelve inches apart, 
more or less, and at speed their feet land nearly on a line, 
the front legs are not working forward and backward in a 
straight up and down line from the body, so this being the 


case just try to imagine just how those two front feet land 
on the ground with the legs wide apart at the upper arms 
and the feet landing straight in a line or nearly so at speed. 
The question is, should the outside of front foot be lower 
than the inside, if so, how much, to distribute and equalize 
the concussion on both sides of a front foot at the heels 
when at speed. What I am trying to explain is, if you have 
a fast trotter or pacer and he does not paddle, and you are 
working to develop speed intending to race, and if the out- 
side of the front feet are the highest and the inside of the 
hind feet are the highest, every time you work this horse 
with unbalanced feet you are guilty of one of the greatest 
crimes that are committed by trainers and horse-shoers. 
In fixing the front feet on all fast horses, trotters or 
pacers, that do not paddle, first rasp the outside of a front 
foot down to where you want it, toe and heel, then you can 
rasp the inside of the foot down to where it will suit the 
action of the leg the best. The reason for this is you can 
always lower the inside of a front foot a lot lower than you 
can the outside of same foot and when you rasp the inside 
of a front foot down first, nine times out of ten you will not 
be able to rasp the outside of the same foot down to a level 
with the inside. Now the hind foot is just to the reverse. 
Always rasp to lower the inside of a hind foot down first to 
where you want it and then take the outside down to a level 
with it. If you do not fix feet by this rule, the sensitive 
portion of the foot will often prevent you from lowering it 
enough to level up matters with opposite side, and the sensi- 
tive parts of the foot that will prevent you from doing this 
will be the outside of a front foot and the inside of a hind 
foot. This is the main reason why so many floormen in 
shops all over the country cut the inside of front feet too 
low for the outside, and leave the inside of the hind feet 
too high for the outside of same. But if you will fix feet 
by this rule you will be right the most of the time. 



I was approached on this subject and had it explained 
to me that a certain horse going the right way of the^ track 
at speed would go on one line and keep going into the fence 
or hugging the pole, and would make two or three breaks 
going the length of the stretch on a half-mile track, and 
could not be kept away from the fence. After an exami- 
nation of the teeth, cheeks, and tongue, and bit, and finding 
these to be all O. K., I concluded that it must be from 
uneven extension of the legs. The extension and propelling 
power of the off legs was greater than that of the nigh 
ones. A three-ounce toe weight on the feet of the nigh 
legs straightened or balanced up the lost action of the nigh 
side so that the horse would speed the length of the stretch 
in any position on the track without pulling on one line and 
so the necessity for pulling on one line to keep the horse 
straight was stopped. 

The feet on this animal were well fixed hind and front, as 
to length of toes and angle of feet, the hind shoes weighed 
alike and the front ones also. The muscular development 
of the extension power of the off legs was stronger than 
that of the nigh legs, perhaps also the propelling power of 
the off hind leg. This is the reason the horse was pulling 
on one line. The off legs were reaching farther than the 
nigh ones, which kept forcing the horse to go towards the 
fence. Unbalanced feet will cause this as well as undevel- 
oped muscles. I have no doubt but there are lots of horses 
going on one line and hugging the pule that need a change 
in the angle of the feet, or the proper weight at the proper 
place to balance up matters. If the strides of this horse 
had been measured there would have been found a big dif- 
ference between the off and nigh strides, so you see it is 
not always the teeth, cheeks, or bit that cause this trouble. 
The horse in question later stepped miles in 2:09. 



In all my experience with horsemen and horses I be- 
lieve William Russell Allen's judgment about gait and pros- 
pective or ultimate speed is superior to that of any one I 
have ever come in contact with. He seems to have the 
faculty of knowing at a glance the frictionless gait from a 
fairly good gaited one. To prove this I will cite a few 
instances. On one occasion he was away on a visit and on 
his return he said to me that he saw Uhlan 1 :58 as a 
two-year-old or a three-year-old, I do not remember exactly, 
but it was before he came into prominence, and Mr. Allen 
told me he was the best gaited colt he ever saw. This colt 
must have been just as he said, for it could not have been 
over a year, or two at the outside, when this same colt 
trotted to a world's record, and it did not surprise me much 
after remembering what Mr. Allen told me about his gait. 
The same thing happened again when he saw Peter Volo 
2:02, early in his two-year-old form. Also the full sister 
to Peter Volo, Volga, Mr. Allen told me she was gaited 
to win all her engagements. 

Here at Allen Farm he picked a yearling out of about 
thirty early in the season, that was out of a non-producing 
dam, to beat all the yearlings an eighth of a mile at the trot 
that season at the farm on a small bet. It was big odds 
and was taken very quickly by one of the employees, who 
was wishing he could get more of that kind of bets. When 
the brush work of the season was over the field ticket was 
never presented to the pool seller to be cashed. Mr. Allen's 
first choice out of a large field won by a quarter of a second 
and we had a lot of fast ones, but any how . he had the 
laugh on me at the finish. 

If you have a horse with toe cracks, quarter cracks or 
one that is sore or lame from corns, a bar shoe is the best 


kind of a shoe. If you have a horse with a dropped sole, 
or founder footed horse the bar shoe is the best kind for 
such feet. It is also a good shoe to be used on feet where 
expanders are used as the bar in the shoe will protect the 
expander at times when an open shoe will not, and frog 
pressure on the bar will also help to get expansion. The 
most important thing to guard against is, do not drive any 
nails back of the quarters because that will prevent ex- 
pansion. Draft horses with wide low heels or thin soles 
require bar shoes for the hard roads, as they stay sound 
longer wearing bar shoes than in open shoes. For racing 
purposes the bar shoe is very important for the front feet, 
and occasionally for the hind feet, for both trotter and 
pacer. Any horse racing or in training that carries a light, 
or very light front shoe should by all means wear a bar 
shoe, it is a great support to the foot when hitting the 
ground hard and fast, as the natural expansion and con- 
traction is at its limit while going at a fast rate of speed. 

For a heel-weight shoe you can get more weight in the 
heels of a bar shoe than in an open shoe, which heel weight 
the action of some horses requires more so than they do 
toe weight. A trotter or pacer that spreads his hind shoes 
or front shoes, should by all means wear bar shoes. The 
last time I shod John R. Gentry for Mr. James Ramey, I 
shod him with bar shoes all around with heel and toe 
calks for that memorable race at Detroit in the 2:13 or 
2:14 class, he won his race easily breaking the track record, 
under strong restraint. He could have paced a very fast 
mile or two that day if he had been asked to do it, he was 
sold after this performance.. 

I have never seen many yearlings or two-year-olds that 
needed a bar shoe while in training. It is a very bad shoe 
for either yearling or two-year-old unless a hoof expander 
is kept in the foot to prevent contraction and help expan- 
sion, for the feet will surely get contracted without some- 


thing to prevent it, after the heels grow high enough to 
lose their frog pressure. I used a pair of heavy heel-weight 
bar shoes, about ten or eleven ounce, on one yearling's hind 
feet to stop forging and scalping while he was being jogged 
every day. The shoes he was brushed or speeded in for 
about ten days did not suit him for jogging. This yearling 
trotted eighths in 17 J4 seconds, a 2:18 gait. I tried more 

weight in front but it did no good. 


Slipping will unbalance a horse when trying to get on 
his stride at speed ; slipping too much on landing or on 
leaving the ground creates lost action that cannot be over- 
come by muscular development. I will cite a couple of 
cases here to prove this. A horse that trotted in his work 
miles in 2 :27 over a half-mile track, when shipped to Rigley, 
Portland, Me., could not trot a mile there in 2:45 without 
being very unsteady, and this over a mile track. I exam- 
ined his foot prints and saw he was slipping too much. I 
calked his shoes with toe and heel calks, never changed his 
feet, and this horse trotted miles in 2:25 without a break. 

A mare that was trotting miles in her work over this 
same half-mile track in 2:25 easily, quarters in 33 or 33^ 
seconds, was shipped to Portland, Me., to a mile track and 
could not trot a mile there in 2 :40 without mixing and act- 
ing very unsteady. On examining her foot prints I found 
she was slipping too much. I was sure her feet were 
fixed properly. As she became very unsteady and inclined 
to mix, I added two ounces more to her front shoes and 
gave her a heel and toe calk on hind and front shoes and 
she became very steady the next workout, and the driver 
told me she could trot a mile in 2:16 or better. 

After the drivers of those two horses found they would 
get all unbalanced trying to get on their stride, they did not 


go to work with the lines and whip endeavoring to balance 
up matters, and cruelly abuse the dumb animals for what 
they were not responsible, but asked me to take a look at 
them. This thing of balancing faulty action with the lines 
and whip is a thing of the past, and he who thinks it can 
be done has stopped, he may be one of the know-alls and 
if so is past redemption and will have to be regenerated to 
be successful at the profession. 


Sideweight shoes are used with good results on horses 
that wing in to their knees or knee hitters. Apply the 
weighty side of shoe on the inside of foot, fix the outside of 
the foot from the center of toe to the outside heel the 
lowest, it will be good in some cases to have the outside 
web of shoe only one-half as thick as that of the inside, 
the thinner the outside the better for the winging in. For 
paddling out the sideweight shoe is used with the weight 
on the outside of the foot, be sure and fix the foot by 
lowering the inside of foot from center of toe back to the 
inside heel, have the inside of foot lower than the outside 
for a paddler, and have the outside of foot lower than the 
inside for a front shin, knee and arm hitter. A hind foot 
has to be fixed the lowest on the inside for speedy-cutting, 
shin and hock hitting. A sideweight shoe is used a lot for 
speedy-cutting, shin and hock hitting, but if the feet can 
be proprely leveled low enough on the insides, many horses 
will go clean, or good gaited without the sideweight shoe, 
as it is the extra high inside of hind feet that causes the 
closing up of the hind action that makes all the trouble. 

In many cases to help matters as to speedy-cutting, 
shin and hock hitting the front action has to be examined. 
The horse may have too much or not enough front action 
to work in harmony with the hind action. If he is going 


too high or lofty I would reduce the lost lofty action and 
increase the extension. If he is going too low I would 
increase his front action by shortening his toes and adding 
several ounces more weight, sometimes it will require from 
four to six ounces more weight. To reduce the high or 
lofty front action and create more extension lower the 
quarters and heels of front feet, shoe with an extra light 
bar shoe and have the foot at an angle of from 48 to 50 
degrees. In making this change you will get immediate 
results, and if necessary you can also experiment with a 
toe weight to balance up matters more satisfactorily. 

A toeweight shoe is used with good results on front 
feet to increase the fold of the knee, more height and 
reach. This shoe can be used with a square, round, beveled 
or sharp toe, or with a grab toe calk as the case calls for. 
If your horse is inclined to mix and needs weight to go 
good gaited, the sharp toe or one with a grab on it is best. 
To shorten the stride, shorten the toes of feet and square 
or bevel the toes of the shoe but do not lower the heel any. 
By increasing the weight of this shoe and raising the heels 
you can increase the height of the front action to your 
liking. To lengthen the stride in using this shoe, lower 
quarters and heels of the front feet to an angle of 48 to 50 
degrees and use the plain toeweight shoe or one with a 
grab on it. This toeweight shoe is the best to use on a 
trotter that is hitching, hopping or running behind, and 
when carrying one hind leg between the front ones. Bevel 
this shoe from a little to the outside center of toe around 
the inside to the quarter or near the heel with a small heel 
calk. This shoe must be from one to two ounces more than 
twice the weight of the shoe carried on the perfect gaited 
leg. If the good gaited leg is carrying a six-ounce shoe 
this faulty gaited leg or foot will have to carry 13 ounces, 


not less, to change the line of action, 14 ounces will be 
better than 12 ounces, but the hind foot will have to be 
the lowest on the inside, if anything, as it was a high 
inside of foot that first started the trouble. A horse that is 
hitching should not be speeded until the action or gait of 
the faulty leg has been balanced, for it is so easily done. 
A driver who will try and drive the hitching out of a horse 
with the lines and whip is just as much unbalanced as is 
the dumb animal. 


A pocket weight can be used jogging a knee knocker or 
paddler in the fall, winter and spring, to develop the muscle 
required and to prevent those faulty lines of action, and you 
can use from five to ten ounces, as the case may need to the 
foot of the faulty gaited leg. But be sure and shoe the 
foot or feet very light, and prepare the feet according to 
the chapter in this book on winging in or paddling out. If 
the feet are not properly prepared to help the pocket weight 
to control the faulty line of action, one will be working 
against the other, and the results will be unsatisfactory, 
but if properly performed as to foot fixing and weighting, 
and a little time to bring about the change results will be 
good. The hole in foot to receive the spur of the pocket 
weight should be about half way between toe and heel to 
get best results. The pocket weight should be used on 
inside of foot for winging in and on outside of foot for a 


There are so many different causes for this that there 
is no fixed rule in shoeing that will apply to all cases. I 
have seen horses cutting their hind ankles from the fol- 
lowing causes : the foot or feet too high on the inside, the 


foot or feet too high on the outside, the foot or feet too long 
at the toe, and too low at the heels, all out of proportion 
as to the correct angle. Horses that are weak, low in flesh, 
and worked beyond their physical capacity, when not able 
to perform their daily task without getting leg weary, con- 
formation of some horses makes them brush, box, or cut 
their hind ankles. 

The conformation that makes a very bad ankle hitter is 
one where the horse stands wedge shaped from his hips 
down to where his feet rest on the ground. This kind of a 
horse will stand with his hind feet close together or against 
one another when at rest, horses of this conformation and 
without much hock action are the very worst in this respect. 
The same treatment will not apply to all cases of ankle 
hitting. Unbalanced feet are the main cause for all ankle 
hitting, when not caused by some deformity. A farrier 
with a good eye and good judgment, on examination of the 
hind feet, will find out the main cause of the trouble. Keep 
the toes of all ankle hitters as short as possible for the 
shorter the leverage to break over and leave the ground 
from, the straighter the line of action of the leg will be ; a 
middling high heel, and a very short toe is the best. If the 
foot or feet are too high on the inside, lower the insides to 
a level with the outside, and shoe with a heel calk, hot rasp 
the inside of shoes to a bevel. If you find the foot or feet 
too high on the outside lower the outside to a level with 
the inside, if either foot is winged out, wider on one side 
of the leg than the other, edge the foot up until you have 
an equal portion of the foot on both sides of the frog 
measuring from the center of the frog. This rule applies to 
all feet in foot fixing. Shoe the same as above stated. 

I have seen horses cutting their ankles very bad on 
account of their heels being too low, and their toes too long. 
I have stopped this kind of ankle cutting by raising their 
heels with a side heelcalk seven-eighths of an inch high 


and no toe calk. An ankle cutter, on account of the inside 
of feet being too low, and where I could not cut the outside 
of foot low enough to compare with the inside, I have got 
good results by welding a calk along the inside of the hind 
shoe or shoes between the first and third inside nails to 
make up the deficiency. A horse that boxes his ankles 
jogging sluggishly will go good in short toes, with a square 
toe shoe and heel calks. 

A horse that cuts his ankles should not be checked too 
high but should go in a natural manner without being made 
to carry his head too high. The hold-back straps should 
never be too tight for this hugs their quarters together and 
that creates interfering. A horse that is a hard puller on 
the lines, when hitched to a light vehicle has a tendency to 
box his ankles on account of the hold-back straps hugging 
his quarters together. 



If you have carefully read thus far you may feel 
conscious that I have repeated and reiterated again and 
again certain things in relation to "fixing feet". If I have 
done this more than to you seems necessary, it is because 
of the importance of the things repeated, and because of my 
desire to impress my readers with their importance. 

If you find herein anything that you are specially inter- 
ested in, that to you may seem cloudy or involved, and not 
clear, I will be pleased to clarify and elucidate any point 
by correspondence. 

My life study and work has been in connection with 
the thing about which I have herein written. I have been 
always, and am now, intensely and vitally interested in this 
subject, and my reason for putting my ideas into print is 
because of my extreme interest in the trotting and pacing 
race horse, and also because of a hope that by widening, 
and extending to others, the horizon of my experiences, by 
the means of a printed book, I may help many a sore horse, 
as well as many a discouraged trainer and driver and owner. 


Berkshire County, 
Tune 1916. Massachusetts. 


Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine 
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at 
Tufts University 
200 Westboro Road 

JUnrth firaftnn ft/IAMP/lfi