Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/670

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HORSE-SHOES AND HORSE-SHOEING.

something like the following shape, when prepared for the shoe (fig. 205).

Horse shoes and horse shoeing-155.jpg
fig. 205

A shoe is then fitted to the foot; in all probability it is too small; it has a wide, flat ground-surface, the foot-surface has a narrow plane border on which the crust rests, and the remainder is bevelled to avoid contact with the abnormally thin sole. When this metallic plate is fastened on the hoof, and the horse once more rests on the limb, the foot has no longer its natural bearing. The whole weight of the horse, as well as any other weight he may have to sustain on his back, is borne by the crust of the foot alone. The frog is elevated above the ground, and the sole dare not come near it. In fact, the shoe has a very wide surface or web to protect the sole of the poor mutilated foot from the injury likely to be inflicted by stones on the roads: injury that, before shoeing, could have been resisted far better by nature's protection.

The shoe, as we have seen, was too small; or rather, the farrier imagined the plantar surface which supported the weight and strain so admirably in a natural condition to be too large. So when the metal plate has been securely attached, a large portion of the hoof hangs over it—the best and strongest portion; and this has to be removed with the rasp or toe-knife. The nails have been driven to a certain height in the wall, and as their extremities must be riveted or clenched, these clenches must not be disturbed. The overhanging crust between