Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/692

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With a plane ground-surfaced shoe, a great object to be gained in attempting to prevent slipping, and affording a grasp of the ground, is the diminution of the wide surface of metal, without interfering with the wear of the shoe but as little as possible. The simplest method of doing this, is merely changing the bevel on the foot surface of the ordinary shoe to its ground surface—making what is now concave plane, and the flat slippery ground surface concave. The effect is almost magical, in the security it gives the animal during progression, and is best exemplified in the case of the hunter, which is shod with shoes of this kind. Here we are imitating nature again, in following the concavity of the sole. There can be no doubt whatever as to the advantages to be gained in employing shoes of this description. The sole is partly supported, as well as the whole of the crust, by the wider surface of metal, while the narrower surface towards the ground affords security of tread. For ordinary wear by carriage or saddle horses, the English hunting-shoe, on unmutilated hoofs, is excellent. The hind shoes, however, should have no calkins; neither should hind or fore shoes be thickened towards the heels: this is a very bad practice.

For hunting or other purposes, a slight modification of this form of shoe can be made, which gives it a still firmer hold, especially on grass land. Besides the concave sole and frog in the unshod foot being of the greatest utility in affording a secure grasp of the ground, the angle formed by the bar and crust at the termination of the heel must also be looked upon as a useful agent in this way, and particularly in preventing the extremity of the limb from