Bridge Analogy Improves Forging

Knowledge of how steel reacts to supported and unsupported hammer blows is the key to shaping horseshoes

Pictured Above: Steel that is struck and supported by the anvil’s face (left), is stock that is being forged. When it is unsupported (right) and struck, the steel will bend

Farrier Takeaways

  • Steel supported by the anvil face is being forged, while unsupported steel will bend.
  • Weight distribution in the center of the stock will create an equal bow between the two supports. Shifting weight distribution toward the anvil will ease support on the tong hand and vice versa.
  • Working in small or short areas will maximize controlled shape, while working in larger or longer areas will generalize shape.

People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” This quote by English writer Samuel Johnson is the heart behind this article. The majority of readers have a functional grasp of forging as it relates to shoeing horses. However, when a skill is not honed with the intent of understanding, small details often can be overlooked or forgotten along the way.

Consider this quote by Emmert Wolf, “A man is only as good as his tools.” With the addition of a few key words; the saying becomes, “A craftsman is only as good as his knowledge of his tools.” A seasoned farrier can do a better job with lesser quality tools than a green farrier can with the highest quality of tools. While there is no debating that high quality tools will make a job easier and more efficient, it is the knowledge of how the tool…

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Tiffany gardner

Tiffany Gardner CJF, APF-I

Tiffany Gardner, CJF, APF operates Gardners Equine farrier service in Arlington, Texas. She’s a graduate of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif.
Jonathan lambert

Jonathan Lambert

Jonathan Lambert is a blacksmith and jeweler at Lambert Blacksmithing and a farrier in Elk Grove, Calif. He specializes in custom forging tools for farriers. He partners with PCHS to provide in-depth forging education for its students.

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