Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/697

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669
NUMBER OF NAILS.

time does not so much depend upon the number of nails attaching it, as upon its exact coaptation and solid bearing on the crust and sole.

The immense number of nails needed to retain the shoes of the last four or five centuries, and as we see exemplified in figure 189, was not so much in consequence of their weight and clumsiness, as the absence of level bearing on the crust, the whole strain being sustained on the extreme outer margin of the torturing encumbrance. It should be laid down as a rule, that where there is a clip there should be no nail; the one is likely to act injuriously on the other. It is scarcely necessary to say, that when so few nails are employed, they should be of the very best quality and judiciously prepared.

We have now prepared our imaginary hoof, and laid down principles to guide us in the manufacture of our shoe. The next step is to fit it. This is also an important one.

The part of the hoof intended to be protected by the iron rim has been made as level as possible by the rasp, aided a little perhaps by the knife; the surface of the shoe destined to rest on this horny bed has also been made perfectly level and smooth, particularly towards the clip or clips. It only remains now to fit the shoe and put it on.

After the evidence I have adduced, and so far as my own practical experience in the matter is concerned, I need not say that fitting the shoe cold is only to be justified when it cannot be fitted hot; and that it will not be nearly so quickly, conveniently, or satisfactorily performed, nor will the shoe be so secure. The red-hot shoe at once disposes of those inequalities which cannot be discovered