Modern Blacksmithing Rational Horse Shoeing and Wagon Making
with rules, tables, recipes, etc., useful to manufactures, blacksmiths, machinists, well-drillers, engineers, liverymen, horse-shoers, farmers, wagon-makers, mechanics, amateurs and all others who have occasion to perform the work for which this book is primarily intended. by J.G. Homstrom 1901
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Interfering is a bad fault in a horse. It is the effect of a variety of causes. In interfering the horse brushes the foot going forward against the other foot. Some horses strike the knee, others above it, the shin or coronet, but in most cases the fetlock. Colts seldom interfere before they are shod, but then they sometimes interfere because the shoes are too heavy. This trouble disappears as soon as the colt is accustomed to carrying the shoes. Weakness is the most common cause. Malformation of the fetlock is another cause. The turning in or out of the toes, giving a swinging motion to the feet, is also conducive to interfering.
The first thing to do is to apply a boot to the place that is brushed. Next, proceed to remove the cause by shoeing, or by feeding and rest in cases of weakness. Nothing is better than flesh to spread the legs with. Some old horse-shoers in shoeing for interfering will turn the feet so as to turn the fetlock out. This is done by paring down the outside and leaving the inside strong. This is a bad way of shoeing for interfering, as it might ruin the horse. The foot should be leveled as level as it is possible. The inner side of the hoof should be scant; instead of being curved it should be almost straight, as the horse generally strikes with the side of the hoof or quarter. 'This is done to make a side - weight shoe, the side weight not to reach over the center of the shoe, but to be only on one side.
Put the shoe on with the weight on the outer side. If the horse still interferes, give more side weight to the shoe, and make the heel on the outer side about one and one-quarter inch longer than the inside heel; give it an outward turn. This heel will prevent the horse from turning the heel in the way of the way of the other foot when it goes by, so as not to strike the fetlock. Properly made and applied, side weight will stop interfering almost every time. If the side weight is heavy enough it will throw the foot out, and the trouble is overcome. There are only a few horse-shoers that have any practical experience in making side - weight shoes, which we understand from the articles in our trade journals. Some horse-shoers in shoeing to stop interfering will make common shoes shorter than they ought to be and set them far in under the foot, so that the hoof on the inner side will stick out over the shoe a quarter of an inch. These they don't rasp off, and everybody knows that the hoof adheres to and rubs harder against the leg than the hard smooth shoe. But, foolish as it is, such shoers stick to their foolish ideas. I call all such fads faith cures. The rule is to have the side weight on the outer side, while the exception is to have the side weight on the inner side of the foot. For old and poor horses ground feed and rest is better than any kind of shoes. It will give more strength and more flesh to spread the legs.