Building Upon a Strong Foundation

New York farrier Kalam Blessing focuses on improving horses’ lives by improving his skill set

Pictured Above: Kalam Blessing draws clips, boxes and safes his shoes at his home shop to improve his efficiency, as well as his fit, at the horse.

Since he was a young boy growing up in south­­ern Pennsylvania, Kalam Blessing has had an affinity for horses. What started out as a child’s hope to score a few rides has blossomed into a career to help horses live more comfortably. Along the way, the Willseyville, N.Y., farrier has learned the importance of horsemanship and the need to improve his skills while owning his trade.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Adding shoe modifications in the home shop improves Kalam Blessing’s efficiency and shoe fit.
  • Carrying a smaller inventory and relying upon your forging skills will save you money and improve your productivity.
  • Ditching his clinch box, Blessing has reduced the number of extra hammer blows by more than 1,000 in a week.

Today’s “Shoeing For A Living” will be spent trimming and shoeing horses at The William George Agency for Children’s Services in Freeville. The agency provides a therapeutic residential environment for at-risk youth. Blessing has been tending to the horses’ feet here for 7 years — the first 2 as an apprentice.

“They used to do more showing, but now they do a lot more trail riding,” he explains, noting there are 40 horses at the barn. “The kids like it. It’s pretty cool for them.”

Blessing does all of the horses here, save one.

“There’s one horse that they keep in a show…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

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