The United Kingdom Horse Shoers Union

The voice of the farrier.


UKHSU Seminar Wednesday 21st February, Bear Hotel, Hungerford.

We had another full house for our latest seminar “New Innovations in Farriery” kindly sponsored by Sefco.

Although it was a cold dark winters evening at least 60 farriers turned out to hear three excellent talks by leading farriers.

Our speakers were:

The renowned Mac Head FWCF, talking about his MNC range of shoes,

Chris Pardoe BSc., AWCF., RSS.) Researcher and farrier at the Royal Veterinary College’s Structure and Motion Laboratory, who is currently undertaking a part time PhD in the mechanics of the equine hoof wall and its interactions with the ground, talking about the new RVC hoof patch, and David Collister RSS, well known Chobham farrier gave a
presentation about the new Cytek shoe.

In the first report on the meeting we summarise David Collisters presentation.

David Collister and the new Cytek Shoe.

David started by covering a little bit of history. During the late 1800s there was a revolution in farriery where the rim shoe as it is used today came into being. The rim shoe was designed by James Clark who wrote a book called Observations on Shoeing Horses. During his lifetime he pioneered the tooled and fullered shoe. He had a difficult time in his lifetime getting his work accepted. After his death shoeing did change from sole shoeing - the keyhole shoes and tongue
shoes that were developed by the Saxons and Normans - to rim shoeing where the shoe was fitted to the wall..

The changed was due to ease of manufacturing and economics. In 1890 the WCF registration committee was formed. 1891 the RSS exam was formed, the syllabus being rim shoes, in particular tooled and fullered calk and wedge shoes. Very few people took the RSS exam. David learned this from reading the Minutes of the Worshipful Company of Farriers and the books Old Horseshoes by Ivan Sparkes and Observations on Shoeing Horses by James Clark.

Until the late 1800s Shoe Smiths made the shoes and Farriers fitted them. Certain areas were famed for shoemaking such as Gloucestershire. Decline in horses meant that farriers couldn't employ the shoe smiths so the concave shoe became a viable concern, as a farrier could make these on his own and fac tories could turn them out easily making keyhole and tongue shoes was not viable.

Cytek is not a keyhole shoe but a modern version of it.

David then showed the CytekDVD. This described Cytek as a horseshoeing system developed by experienced farriers and a state of the art hoof care system. Many current problems seen are as a result of excessive weight being applied to the wall. Cytek provides for weight distribution onto the sole and frog. Cytek is not difficult for farriers to learn. No new tools are needed. A forge is not needed.

The Cytek shoes are made of steel. Bevelled toe and tungsten pins provide grip on hard surfaces and maintain consistent
break over. The break over point is moved forwards by adding a shoe so it is important to move the break over point back to compensate for extending the hoof.

To convert a horse to Cytek choose a sound horse for your first time and one at the end of its working season.

It is advised to turn the horse out to allow accumulation of fine soil under shoe - promotes support of the sole - owner should not pick the foot out. Reshoe in 6 to 10 weeks.

It seems fair to say that this style of shoeing is just as controversial now as it was in the 1880's. The response of the meeting varied from scepticism to hostility, however it was certainly an interesting and challenging presentation, and left everyone better informed about Cytek.

Copies of the DVD can be obtained from David Collister at Farriers Equipment Ltd, Burrow Hill Green, Chobham,
Surrey GU24 8QP.

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