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Constructing A Good Hospital Plate

Source: Farrier Rounds, Nov. 2000

  1. Use 16-gauge sheet metal.
  2. Use four screws, one at each "corner" of the shoe/plate, for stability when the horse places the foot. Drill and tap these corners.
  3. After nailing on the shoe, file the nail heads level with the shoe so that the overlying plate will fit snugly against the shoe.
  4. If necessary, to keep out dirt and moisture apply a thin bead of caulking between shoe and plate.
  5. Make sure the screws are only 1/2" or 3/8" in length; any longer and they can be screwed into the hoof. Ideally the screws are Grade 9 or greater.
  6. Provide extra screws to the owner to replace worn ones or melt a small blob of borium onto the screw heads.
  7. Use a lock washer as a spacer between plate and screw head for added security and to help keep the screw tip clear of the hoof.
  8. Apply a lubricant, such as WD-40, to the screw thread or hole before replacing the screw.