Monday, June 04, 2012

the art of horse shoeing....

My first question is.. why would anyone choose to earn a living by placing themselves under the belly of a 1600lb horse, and work with the part of a horse that could kill you? And then, I think... I'm glad they do, because in the world of the horse... "no hoof, means no horse".. so, we consider our farriers one of the family and very special folks indeed.

We actually have two farriers... Dean takes care of Silver, Mocha and Kringle.. and Ben takes over the big boys.. Tonka and Duke. Knowing how to properly do this job is not just a skill.... it's an art. A good shoeing can really make a horse... a bad one, can in some sense---kill it.

thoughts of our Acadia trip in the fall, getting Duke and ourselves ready, has many "sides". One being, Duke is going to have to go back into shoes. With the driving we have been doing, and the driving we will be doing, it's going to cause wear and tear on the hoof... so shoes are a must. Duke hasn't worn shoes since coming to us, but having been an Acadia horse, we know he has worn them before.

Ben spent much of the time "fussing" with Duke's feet and the shoes, getting the fit to be as perfect as possible. Duke, for the record, is in a size 8.. which is a pretty standard size for a draft type horse.

Ben did what is called "hot shoe" fit.. which means he heats the horse shoe and sears it to the hoof. I'm not sure if Duke has been hot shoed before, because he wasn't standing as nicely as I would have liked.

And when the smoke really began to roll, he actually began to tremble. He's a good boy, which is a good thing considering his size. I hope by the end of the summer, he will be back in the routine of shoeing and it will get easier and easier from here. 

Ben has everything he needs on the truck to work the shoes... including a "forge"...  The equipment alone that one needs to have a shoeing business is something all it's own.
Back feet as well as fronts need to be done.

Shoes on...

And now the finishing touches... rounding the nail heads off... getting them trimmed up....

 And the finished product. A nice new pair of shiny shoes.. that soon will be tromping threw the mud.!!! And that wonderful sound they made on the cement walkway, I can't wait to hear it out on the road... Thanks Ben.. see you in six week!!!!!