Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/495
and you would hazard the pricking your horse. Quarter behind is that a horse hath the quarters of his hind feet strong, that is to say, the horn thick, and so capable of suffering a good gripe by the nails; but at the toes of the hind feet you will immediately meet with the quick, because the horn is but thin in that part; and therefore smiths should put no nails at all just in the toes of the hind feet, but only in their quarters.
'The second rule is, Never to open a horse's heels. People call it opening of the heels, when the smith in paring the foot, cutteth the heel low and close almost to the frush (frog), and taketh it down within a finger's breadth of the coronet, or top of the hoof, so that he separates the quarters at the heel, and by that means weakens and takes away the substance of the foot, making it to close and become narrow at the heels. Now this, which they call opening, would be more properly called closing of the heels; for the roundness and circumference of the foot being cut, by doing that which they call opening of the heels, which is to cut them wholly away, they are no longer supported by anything; so that if there be any weakness in the foot, it will of necessity make it shrink and straiten in the quarters, which will quite spoil the foot.
'The third rule is to make use of as thin and small nails as possible; because the nails that are thick and gross make a large hole, not only when they are driving, but also when they are riveting; for, being stiff, they split the horn and take it away with them. Neither can a tender foot be shod with such big nails without hazard of pricking, especially if there be but little horn to take hold of.