Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Horse shoes- old school!

Today I got a cool treat- I got to watch a farrier who actually MAKES his shoes. A lot of farriers these days buy factory-made shoes. This fellow does it the old way though. I didn't get to see it from the start... they start out with a straight iron bar. But I got to see a little bit-

Here is the shoe in the forge. Look at that cool little thing- it was very very hot. Quite nifty.

Here the farrier, whose name is Jeff, was hammering out the shoe, shaping it a bit more.

The horse is a little nervous about the shoe here. The farrier burns the shoe into the hoof so that it will make an imprint and fit exactly, ensuring even pressure all the way 'round. This does not hurt the horse at all. The hot shoe does not hit his frog, only the end of the hoof on the outside, which doesn't have nerve endings. It's like a thick toenail.

The shoe did not touch the hoof evenly, so the farrier rasped it again, to make sure that there would be even contact.

The second burn. This time there was a lot of smoke, which the farrier said was a good sign. He was pleased with the burn and after cooling the shoe and ensuring that it did not warp in the water (it cools really fast when you just drop it in) he nailed it on.

Neat eh?

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