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Setting Goals and Milestones for Horseshoe Bending

Expectations for Horseshoe Bending

Written by Mike “Beast in the East” Rinderle

Jedd and I have been getting a lot of questions recently about what are good goal shoes for 6 months, 1 years, and top end. The easy way out would be to tell you it is different for everybody and just say do your best, but we don’t take the easy way out.

So here is a good breakdown for someone with a decent base of strength putting in 2 to 3 sessions a week working on shoes and always striving to refine their horseshoe bending technique:

Starter shoes

St. Croix (SC) UltraLites or in some cases SC Lite Rims if you have more natural strength. Diamond Classic (DC) 0’s and 1’s are right in the middle of those but know that they vary a lot!

6-Month Goal Shoe

By now you should have your technique dialed in and most people with even a reasonable amount of strength will be bending the SC Lite Rims 0-3. Those with above average strength or who have really dedicated themselves will be bending SC LITE Plain #3s and possibly the Kerckhart SSP 8 X 22 #3.

1 Year Goal Shoe

If you have put in serious time and effort and have reasonable strength you should now be bending what many call the Red Nail of horseshoes, the SSP 8 X 22 #3. This shoe is possible for most people to bend, but only if you put in the work. People with advanced strength may very well be bending something as hard as the SC Regular Plain #3. Only 5 people have bent this shoe under cert conditions on the Benders Battlefield, but it is attainable.

Upper Limit Shoe

This one really is going to vary greatly. It will depend on your strength level, if you can remain injury free, how much you weigh, and how much time you put in. Most people that bend horseshoes don’t progress past the SC Lite Rims. Those that put in the extra time usually get to the SC Lite Plain #3 or SSP 8 X 22 #3. There are a few out there that take it to the next level and bend the Regular Plain #3 or harder.

The current upper, upper end is the St. Croix EZ Plus #3. We had to add it and other shoes to the list in order to accommodate two time World’s Strongest Man finalist Jason Bergmann. It is significantly harder than the Anvil Brand Draft Keg #6. Jason has also bent the ridiculously hard AB5 in doubles.

So what is your upper limit? Only you know for sure, but if you put the work in the sky is the limit.


Mike Rinderle
Hardest shoe certed: Kerckhaert SSP 10mm X 22mm #4 (tied with Wigren for 2nd)
Hardest shoe to 180 in any wraps / no time limit: Anvil Brand 3/8″ X 1″ Draft Keg #6
Hardest shoe opened up past 90 degrees: Anvil Brand 3/8″ X 1″ Draft Keg #5
Hardest shoe using IMPs for wraps: St. Croix Forge Plain Regular #3

P.S. Need to see a listing of where the most common types of horseshoes rank? Go here: Horseshoe Ranking List.

P.P.S Want a copy of the DVD that has helped HUNDREDS of people learn how to bend horseshoes? Get it here: Hammering Horseshoes DVD

P.P.P.S. Want to watch Hammering Horseshoes on your Laptop/Computer/MAC or other favorite device? Go here = > Hammering Horseshoes – Digital < = Buy it TODAY. Watch it TODAY

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One Response to “Setting Goals and Milestones for Horseshoe Bending”

  1. Mike Rinderle Says:

    Thanks for the guest post Jedd. Hope it helps people.

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