Series I Bar Shoe by Travis Burns

Farrier Case Study
Modifying a SoundHorse Series I Shoe into a Heartbar

Travis D. Burns, CJF, TE, EE, FWCF

The ability to combine glue on shoe and a heartbar expands the capabilities of the farrier to provide service in unique circumstances. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate one method of modifying a SoundHorse Series I horseshoe into a heartbar. The application and the intricacies of fitting and applying a heartbar are beyond the scope of this article.

There are many indications for the use of glue on shoes. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Difficulty/inability to safely and securely attach a shoe with nails (Fig.1).
  • Reduce the incidence/risk of shoe loss.
  • Application of a shoe while the horse is under sedation or general anesthesia.
  • Application of foal shoes.
  • Application of a shoe to a horse that has been blocked/nerved.

There are also many indications for the use of a heartbar shoe. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Recruit the frog into load sharing (laminitis, weak/injured heels, hoof avulsions, quarter cracks, etc.).
  • Limit independent heel movement of the shoe (heel area of the hoof is floated/not in contact with the shoe, i.e. avulsions and quarter cracks).
  • Protect from/limit ground contact with the frog (horses that resent pressure over the frog/navicular apparatus).


• SoundHorse Series I horseshoe appropriate for the horse (Fig.2)
• 1/4″ thick aluminum plate
• 3/4″ chisel
• Drill bits 9/64″ and 5/16″ with 1/2″ countersink (FPD2, Distal Steel3)
• Self-drilling #10 flat head screws at least 3/4″ in length


• Drill press
• Impact driver
• Vise
• Band saw
• Grinder
• Two welding clamps

After shaping and fitting an appropriate SoundHorse Series I horseshoe, these are the steps you need to follow to complete your heartbar


Trace frog insert/heart onto aluminum plate with sharpie and a line matching the size/shape of the heel region of the urethane rim pad onto the aluminum plate.


Trace the outside perimeter of the shoe in the heel region onto the aluminum plate. (Fig. 3)


Use a band saw to cut out the tracing of the frog insert/heart, and grind to exact desired size/shape. (Fig. 4)


Drive chisel through the urethane rim pad at the same mark traced onto the aluminum plate until contact is made with the aluminum portion of the shoe.


Cut but do not remove fabric in the heel region to the mark made by the chisel. (Fig. 5)


Place the shoe in the vise and drive the chisel horizontally at the junction of the urethane pad and the aluminum shoe, removing all urethane in the heel area.


Grind away any remaining urethane in the heel area. (Fig 6.)


Match the insert/heart into the areas of removed urethane, and clamp one side. (Fig. 7)


Drill pilot hole into the center of the heel of the shoe using 9/64″ drill bit. (Fig. 8)



Clamp the side of the insert and shoe on the side with the hole drilled prior to removing the clamp from the other side (this ensures the holes in the shoe and the frog insert/heart remain in proper alignment).


Remove clamp from undrilled side, and drill a pilot hole using 9/64″ drill bit.


Drill holes into the frog insert/heart using 5/16″ drill bit with a counter sink in enlarging the holes previously drilled countersinking the holes on the foot surface deep enough for the head of the screw to fit in flush. (Fig. 9)


Use impact driver to attach the frog insert/heart to the shoe over the pritchel hole of an anvil 14. Grind off/remove excess screw length from ground surface of the shoe. (Fig. 10)


Cut/remove excess fabric in heel region. Doing this at the end limits unintentional fraying of fabric while working with the shoe.


Congratulations, you now have a finished SoundHorse Series I heartbar shoe/modification ready for application. (Fig.11 )

This same technique can be used to modify a SoundHorse series I horseshoe into multiple variations of heartbars (Fig. 12), straight bars, egg bars (Fig. 13), heel plate (Fig. 14), etc. as desired.


SoundHorse Technologies™ Inc., 2150 Georgetown Rd, Lexington KY 40511
Farrier Products Distribution, 361 Haven Hill Rd, Shelbyville, KY 40065
Distal Steel LLC.