Fullering Technique: Crossover or Inline?

Roy Bloom talked with us about fullering or creasing styles in forging or modifying shoes. This conversation was precipitated by some steel handled tools that were damaged and returned for inspection. It has also been a topic in Roy’s clinics for many years and it is certainly debatable as to which of the two common fullering techniques may work better for you.



We’re going to use the terms “Crossover” and “Inline” to describe the two most common styles Roy discussed. We termed Crossover to mean the fullering tool is positioned on he branch of the shoe that is furthest from the hammer hand; in effect, crossing over one branch of the shoe to fuller the other. Inline fullering would be the opposite; positioning the fullering tool on the branch nearest the hammer hand. The decision on style used will dictate what fuller you buy – regardless of the marking of left or right on the tools. Keep that in mind when you shop for a fuller – especially steel handled.


We asked a number of top competitors why they worked predominantly with one style or the other. It wasn’t too surprising to hear that it all depended on how they were taught; whether it was in shoeing school or in following mentors or clinicians like so many things we do in work and life in general.

It is also clear, with a lot of practice and development of hand-eye coordination either style can work very well.

We have attended a lot of forging competitions and know that many of the top competitors use a Crossover style rather than the Inline.They have spent thousands of hours working on their skills and hand-eye coordination to reach the top levels and if they had any difficulty in the beginning, hard work and experience obviously got them past it.

Four tools all used in Crossover style. Two tools used by right hander, two by left hander.

If you look carefully you can see all were struck off center.

Left hander used this in Crossover style. Note damage to fuller end.

Roy talked about two key disadvantages of using the Crossover style for someone just starting in forging. The steel handled tools pictured in this article were all used by novice level farriers working in the Crossover style. This style requires an extremely skilled level of hammer control to be certain you are striking the center of the tool. The tendency is to lean the tool away from you and that forces the hammer swing to come from a less balanced position, with the elbow further away from the body. Your swing has to take the hammer in an arc that is not easy to gauge when starting out. Not to say that you won’t learn to compensate as you develop your hand-eye coordination, but in the early stages, this is a complicating factor and the reason why you see the damage to these steel handle tools. They have been struck on one side of the tool, not in the center. And it is always the side of the tool nearest your body. The more serious damage is what then happens to the working end of the tool as you can see with the deformation of the end of the fullers.

ABOVE: Left and Right Hand Crossover Style. Look closely at the position of the elbows in relation to the body.

The reduced control of the hammer swing is probably the primary drawback for using the Crossover style in your early stages of forging. Second to that is the reduction of power or force that occurs when the struck tool is further away from your body and your hammer arm is also not centered with the blow. Note the position of both elbows in the various pictures of the two styles. As a rule, the Inline style keeping the elbows closer to your center will maximize the control and power behind the hammer blow. This is just food for thought. If you are experiencing any difficulties keeping your struck tools in good shape, you may want to consider these ideas.

BELOW: Left and Right Hand Inline Style. Look closely at the position of the elbows in relation to the body.

Check out Roy’s videos on YouTube for more ideas on tool use and maintenance: youtube.com/user/FarrierProducts.

This article is from The Natural Angle Volume 17, Issue 1 . For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.

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Therapeutic Case Provides Valuable Lessons for Students at Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School

by Larkin Greene

Recently, I spent time at Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School.  Students in their third week of instruction were able to observe and participate in valuable lessons regarding work with therapeutic cases.  I was privileged to help provide training and guidance for the treatment of the horse presented in the following photos.

Upon first glance at the foot shown below, it would be easy to look at the length and believe a proper course of action would be an aggressive trim, to find the better foot within.  However, this horse was older and had very limited mobility, underrun heels and an atrophied frog.  In addition, there was a significant white line resection and treatment done two months ago that was showing improvement.  The students performed a conservative trim to align the pastern and dorsal wall and shod the foot for protection.

The question of whether or not to repair was discussed.  There are many factors to be considered in this decision: (1) how much wall has been removed, and will it destabilize the capsule and P3?; (2) is there still wall separation, and/or pathology present?; (3) will the shoe stay on if it’s left open?; (4) is the horse’s environment going to contribute to further intrusion by bacteria and fungus?

The decision was made to do a partial repair to stabilize the hoof and protect it from a dirty environment. Because there was a soft spot in the upper portion of the defect that got a negative reaction to applied pressure, the conservative approach dictated leaving it open to allow monitoring and further treatment if needed.

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Best Practices and Results for Application of Vettec Adhesives

by Larkin Greene

The increased moisture and lower temperatures associated with Winter and Spring present significant challenges to successful adhesive applications.  Adhesives prefer warm and dry, along with clean. Anyone who regularly picks up a horse’s foot knows that none of those characteristics happen without effort.

Larkin Greene demonstrates application of SuperFast to create a shoe for hoof wall protection.

The Effects of Cold
Vettec products perform optimally when used between 60 and 80F, in other words, room temperature.  When temperatures fall below that optimum range, adhesives become more viscous, harder to dispense, and take longer to set.  Both methacrylates and urethanes produce an exothermic cycle that is critical to their final set.  Colder temperatures inhibit that heat cycle; if the adhesive cannot generate that heat, the set will be softer, and the bond less reliable.  While many users are familiar with the need to warm up the adhesive, it’s also important to warm any surface it touches, including mix tips, any glued-on device, and especially, the surface of the foot itself.  If you forget to warm a surface, applying heat after the adhesive is on the foot can help, but does not guarantee success because the exothermic cycle is a chemical reaction formulated into the adhesive.  For temperatures below freezing, a heated workspace is essential to achieving predictable results.

Vettec SuperFast

Keeping materials warm is easy enough; most keep them in the cab of the truck, in an insulated container, or home-made hot box that contains a light bulb or warming pads.  The worst thing one can do is store them in the rig in cold weather, then try to warm them up prior to using them.  It takes time to warm up cold material, and it is best done slowly.  It’s easy to heat up the plastic cartridge, but it takes a while for warmth to penetrate throughout the material inside the cartridge.  Best practices would dictate not letting the material get cold in the first place; however, if quick warming is necessary, putting cartridges on the dashboard with the defroster running works well, or perhaps on the floorboards with the heater on.  Some have even reported success putting them in the engine compartment for a while after arriving at the barn.

Within the preferred temperature range, SuperFast sets in 30 seconds for non-weight bearing applications, and requires a minimum of 2.5 minutes before bearing weight on bottom applications.  Adhere sets in 45-60 seconds for non-weight bearing applications, and needs 3.5 minutes minimum before bearing weight in direct glue-on applications, five minutes would be better.

Any time adhesive products are used, it’s strongly recommended to make sure the hoof is as dry as possible. This handy moisture meter gives you a very accurate check of the moisture level. (shoot for less than 10%).

The Effects of Excess Moisture
Excessive moisture is the most common cause of adhesive failure in equine applications.  The inability to get the foot dry enough remains a challenge for many hoof care practitioners.  Fortunately, there are tools and techniques that allow us to conquer this problem.  Some methods work better than others. For example, a hair dryer is louder and less effective at drying a surface than a heat gun.  A heat gun is much quieter and more effective, held a few inches away, and kept in motion.  Another tool equal to or superior to a heat gun, is a hand-held propane torch with a soft flame.  The torch has the advantage of not requiring power, is also quiet, and produces great results if the same technique is applied: inches away and in constant motion.

Adding a moisture meter to your adhesive tool box is the best way to know that surfaces are actually dry enough for bonding.  Typically, the moisture meter must read below 10% for successful bonding, though single digits is desirable, and very attainable.  Once the foot surface is dry enough, the adhesive should be introduced in as short a time as possible for best results.

Effects of Excess Moisture After Bonding
If all protocols for proper bonding are followed at the time of application, excess moisture afterward is less detrimental, but can still lead to failure.  We know that horse’s feet swell when the ground is wet, and shrink when it dries out.  If that change happens during the weeks when an adhesive is in place, you can expect it to be a contributing factor in the failure of that application.  Frequent sessions at the wash rack, standing in an irrigated pasture, muddy paddock, or any other saturation conditions can contribute to shorter longevity, or early failure.  No bond can withstand immersion for any length of time beyond passing through a creek.

Following these guidelines for storage and handling of adhesives can dramatically improve success rates, and reduce the level of frustration users often experience when weather turns cold and wet.

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Managing White Line Disease

By Travis D. Burns, CJF, TE, EE, FWCF and Lauren Trager, DVM

White line disease (WLD) is a pathology that has long frustrated farriers, veterinarians, owners, and other members of the equine profession.

Fig. 1 – Cases of WLD are often first noticed by farriers during routine trimming/shoeing visits. An area of separation in the hoof wall that is filled with dirt/debris is noted.

WLD is described as a progressive hoof wall separation originating at the solar surface of the hoof and migrating proximally. It is thought to be the result of opportunistic keratinopathogenic organisms invading the non-pigmented stratum medium. The separation does not affect the stratum internum or dermal tissues.

Historically, WLD has been referred to by many other terms, including seedy toe, hollow hoof, hoof rot, onychomycosis, etc. Even though “white line disease” has become the commonly utilized term for this disease, it is a misnomer as the disease process does not actually affect the white line of the horse’s hoof capsule. Therefore it is this author’s opinion that the equine community should begin to use the term “white zone disease” or another term that describes the anatomy affected (non-pigmented stratum medium/white zone).

The cause of WLD has long been debated. Although several theories have been described, none have been proven. The current theory of WLD etiology as described by O’Grady, Moyer and others is that opportunistic, keratinopathogenic microorganisms invade the non-pigmented stratum medium of the hoof wall following an initial separation caused by a mechanical stress or weakness, trauma, abnormal or excessive moisture exposure, or some combination. 1,2 These organisms degrade the keratin in the hoof wall exacerbating the separation. Furthermore, dirt and debris typically fill the separation, acting as a mechanical wedge forcing the wall apart.

Although WLD has been reported all over the world in many different environments, the highest incidence of WLD appears to be in areas with exposure to high moisture/humidity. It affects horses of all ages, breeds, sex, and type. Many factors appear to predispose horses to WLD that include but are not limited to: poor environment, repetitive cycling of the hoof from wet to dry conditions, various hoof wall distortions, flexural limb deformities, chronic laminitis and weak/brittle hoof walls resulting from genetic or nutritional abnormalities.

Cases of WLD are often first noticed by farriers during routine trimming/shoeing visits. An area of separation in the hoof wall that is filled with dirt/debris is noted (Fig. 1). When removing the dirt/debris with a hoof knife or curette, an area of undermined hoof of varying degree is revealed. After the dirt/debris is removed, portions of white/grey powder like hoof wall are typically seen before reaching a healthy margin. There can be rather large areas of separation filled with dirt/debris despite maintaining a healthy appearance of the outer hoof wall (Fig. 2).

Lameness is usually only noted when extensive separation has occurred, resulting in an instability of the distal phalanx within the hoof capsule (Fig 3). Many cases of WLD are treated/managed by farriers during routine visits. Farriers should be encouraged to debride small areas of separation to a healthy margin whenever possible. If areas of separation are to be covered by a horse shoe they should first be packed with an antiseptic packing. The preferred packing of the Equine Podiatry Service (EPS) at the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) is a mixture of oakum, venice turpentine and copper sulfate (Figs 4 & 5).

For barefoot horses with small separations, affected portions of hoof wall should be removed to prevent mechanical prying on the affected area as well as to prevent further packing of dirt/debris while allowing the owner to clean and treat the area (Fig 6).

Areas of separation that are extensive, expand, or do not resolve should be managed by a team consisting of a veterinarian and a farrier.

Radiographs, specifically 0° lateromedial and 0° dorsopalmar, should be used to identify the extent of the separation and to guide trimming/shoeing. The principles of treatment are to resect the affected hoof wall and debride to as healthy of a margin as possible (exposes the area to UV light and air), stabilize the hoof capsule, recruit the sole and frog for load sharing, and remove predisposing factors (environment, excess leverage, etc.).

To resect the hoof wall a combination of half round nippers, hoof knives, loop knives, and motorized rotary tools (Dremelb) are used. Carbide cross cut burrsc are useful to prevent dust and heat buildup (Fig 7).

Following resection many topical products can be applied to further disinfect and dry the hoof. The preferred topical treatment at the VMCVM is 7% tincture of iodine. It is important to note that all topical treatments are of little to no value when there is insufficient debridement. Figures 8, 9, & 10 show a sequence of debridement prior to topical treatment.

If there is enough healthy hoof wall remaining a shoe should be applied.

For areas of small resections a normal shoe can be applied. For larger more extensive resections, utilizing a shoe/setup to spread load away from the wall onto the sole and frog and to support the distal phalanx within the hoof capsule should be used. Such shoe/setups include but are not limited to heart bars, heel plates with impression material, Equi-Pakd, and frog pads. When there is not enough hoof wall to safely and securely attach a shoe with nails, a glue on shoe can be applied. It is important to note that affected areas should not be covered with adhesive (Fig. 11). Ultimately, if there is not enough healthy wall to attach a shoe the foot should be bandaged or placed into boots until there is sufficient wall to nail or glue to.

In conclusion, horses being treated for WLD should be kept in a clean and dry environment with minimal variations in moisture level. The hooves should be cleaned out and treated at least once daily. They should be rechecked by the vet/farrier team at 4 week intervals for continued debridement and to monitor the hooves for appropriate growth.

This article is from The Natural Angle Volume 16, Issue 4 . For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.

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Clipping Shoes Using the Edge of the Anvil

by Roy Bloom, CJF

Let’s start with a few basic ideas on clips.

  1. In order for a clip to be effective it must have a stout base and taper to the tip.
  2. A rule of thumb; the clip should be proportionate to the stock. The width and height of the clip should be approximately the same as the width of the stock. This is not always true or necessary but it is a good target.
  3. The indentation made when producing the material for the clip should not go past the foot surface edge of the shoe.

The first step in drawing any clip is the production of the material for the clip, or making the bubble. There are a lot of different tools and methods to make the bubble, all a matter of personal preference. Ball peins, cross peins, custom ball peins or bobpunches are the most common. I’ve chosen a custom ball pein (clipping hammer) to use for this article.

The area chosen for the clip should be held over the edge of the anvil. There should be a small radius on the edge you choose, 1/8” or less, but be sure it is not a sharp edge. Hold the shoe at an angle over this edge with about 3/16” hanging over. If you hang less, you will not get enough material to draw the clip. If you hang more you will be getting too far into the branch and a lot of distortion to the branch or nail holes will result.

These photos were taken during a demonstration using a lead shoe. The lead is a good teaching device and acts very similar to hot steel.

Aim your hammer at the edge of the anvil and strike the shoe. Don’t glance the blow down the side of the anvil. This pulls the indentation too far down. Try to continue striking into the edge. Hammer control is necessary to achieve a clean indentation. If you hammer like lightning and never strike the same place twice, your shoe and indentation will look like some sort of storm took place. Continue the blows until the desired bubble is created. Your practice will indicate to you how much bubble you need for the clip you’re trying to draw.

Once you have your bubble, place the shoe on the anvil with the foot surface up and put the clip towards you. Hammer around the bubble to flatten the shoe. Having the bubble towards you allows you more control because you are using the area of the hammer face nearest you.

You are now ready to draw the clip, using the edge of the anvil. Position yourself at the heel of the anvil looking towards the horn. Position the shoe parallel with the edge and flat against the side of the anvil. The bubble area should be struck once or twice with the hammer parallel with the anvil face to set the clip. Then hold your hammer at a 45 degree angle so that the face is aiming at the edge. As the clip area is struck, the shoe is rotated away. This method leaves the face of the clip smooth and eliminates time cleaning up the outside surface of the clip.

Place the shoe on the anvil face and flatten. Flip the shoe and place the clip in the hardy hole. Pull the clip into the corner of the hardy hole and strike the shoe flat. Push the clip across to the opposite corner and strike a flat blow again. This sets your clip base.

Moving to the horn for your next step, place the shoe so that the area under the clip is solid against the horn and work the edge of the shoe. Make sure that the area you are working is always solid against the horn so that you don’t change the shape of the shoe. The final step would be to set the clip at the approximate angle of the hoof wall. This will make fitting much easier. You can dress the clip with a file or belt sander if you feel it necessary but your practice and hammer control will eventually minimize the need for any extra dressing of the clip.

This article is from The Natural Angle Volume 3, Issue 1. For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.

“Drawing Clips Using a Bloom Cross Pein Hammer” with Roy Bloom, CJF

For more videos:
One More Method of Clipping Shoes
Clipping a Draft Shoe
Moving Clip Direction on Anvil

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Supporting and Maintaining a Healthy Frog

by Larkin Greene

One of the most pleasing sights to any hoof care practitioner, when looking at the bottom of a horse’s foot, is the presence of a healthy, functional frog. Chances are, if the frog is healthy, well developed and in contact with the ground, the rest of the foot will be relatively healthy as well. When the frog loses its relationship with the ground, a host of potential problems are set into motion, including lack of protection, contracted heels, reduced capacity for absorbing concussion, and greater stress on the internal hoof structures. Furthermore, a compromised frog often provides the environment for fungi and bacteria to set up shop, complicate treatment, and lead to thrush. That list should be enough to make folks want to take care of it, perhaps even revere it.

Historically, restoring frog function has been problematic, especially when a loss of overall mass puts it a considerable distance from the ground. The challenge, in addition to treatment for pathology, is to redistribute load bearing on the bottom of the foot. This raises three questions: how does one redistribute load evenly, how much support is the right amount, and how can it be applied consistently? In the early days when horses were largely utilitarian, applications were more experimental, with mixed and unpredictable results. Typically, the choice was a leather pad with various combinations of packing including, pine tar, venice turpentine, oakum, straw, and cotton. Unfortunately, these applications provided neither uniform support, nor reliable protection from debris and sand ingression. Thankfully, today there are a number of material choices and methods that appear to be effective and consistent, including steel and aluminum heart-bar shoes, synthetic shoes, frog support pads, dental impression materials, and urethane pour-in products.

In the late 1990’s, Vettec introduced EquiPak, a fast-setting liquid polyurethane that could be poured into the bottom of a healthy foot for both protection and varying degrees of support. It allowed farriers and vets to create a uniformly supportive, flexible pad made from a material that was known for distributing load and dampening concussive force. EquiPak was an important development in modern materials because it also had everything a user could want; it was really quick, bonded well, lasted well, and many variations grew from the imagination of those who used the product. It was the first product that bonded reliably to the sole and frog while keeping out debris (urine and manure) throughout the shoeing cycle. Not only did it effectively protect and support the bottom of the foot, users reported that it often restored concavity and increased sole thickness as well. The variations and additional materials that grew out of this basic application include frog pours, stepped pours, combination pours when different material consistencies are required in the front or back half of the foot, even layering to create soft materials against the solar surface, and more durable materials against the ground. Today, over twenty years later, there are many ways to create a pour-in pad, and an abundance of products that can be combined to support healthy frog development and function.

This article is from The Natural Angle Volume 18, Issue 1. For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.

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The Trim: Before and After

Below are some before and after images from a recent trimming job done by Conrad Trow, CJF in the FootPro Shop. Keep in mind this is not a trim done for show purposes or for a shoeing. Shy is a pleasure horse that is lightly ridden and kept barefoot by its owner. Conrad’s approach was to balance but leave as much foot as possible to protect the strength and integrity of the foot.




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Key Details of the new Kerckhaert SX-8 Select Hind Shoes

Below are some images we shot in the FootPro™ Shop to help point out the length and nail placement differences with the regular SX-8 Series Hind shoes and the new SX-8 Select Hind shoes.

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The Busy Season is Not Over

You are still in the peak season, it’s still hot and there is a lot of work to do. Sound about right? One thing you don’t want to deal with is unreliable product or supply! FPD is staying fully stocked with our major products, like Liberty Nails (including 5 Combo Slim), Bellota Rasps and Kerckhaert Horseshoes, (including the Standard series). It’s called a supply chain for a reason and you depend on a good one with no broken links. If the product is not getting to you now it’s a broken system and this is definitely not the time for that to happen. If you are looking for reliability – check with your FPD dealer for options you can count on. There is a lot of pressure on the suppliers to keep up with demand but we have what you need and are shipping every day to our dealers.

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Proper Vettec 210 Cartridge Tip Application

There have been a number of questions from individuals who were not aware of the proper mounting of tips on the Vettec 210 cartridges. Below are some images to help clear up any questions you may have. Be sure to like and follow FPD on Facebook @farrierproductdistribution for educational videos on this topic.

FPD FootPro™ Shop Vettec Gear

7. Put the locking collar on – twist a quarter turn and the cartridge can now be stored without any risk of leaking.

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