Pictured Above: Lafayette, Ind., farrier Danvers Child says it isn’t only the loading and unloading, but also storage solutions that changed his thinking on the benefits of a well-designed shoeing rig.

Several years ago, Danvers Child didn’t want a new rig. His reasons were justified. A new body or trailer never made the buyer a better farrier after driving it from the manufacturer’s shop. Shoeing since 1972, Child felt with the years remaining in his career, he wouldn’t earn a return on the investment into such an expensive purchase.

He did change his thinking, thanks to someone else making the purchase. Having failed to convince her partner to buy a new rig, April Raine forced the situation and bought him a demo Somersong trailer while both attended the International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.


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Child took the trailer home from the trade show, setting it up over the weekend. For his first workday with the trailer, he scheduled four horses at three stops. Returning home that evening, Child remarked how he didn’t feel he had worked that hard, which he typically would after multiple stops in a day. Raine reasoned that he felt better because he didn’t lift a ton. She wasn’t being figurative, either. With his pickup and topper setup, Child loaded and unloaded the anvil, anvil stand, forge and various other equipment at every stop. Multiply that weight by three stops and Child was cumulatively lifting a ton each day. With multiple stops every day, the tonnage adds up over the week. Using the Somersong trailer, he was only unloading his shoeing box.

New Trailer, Same Benefits

Several years later, Child still pulls a trailer, but now it’s one built by Fingerlakes Custom Manufacturing. He works as a rep for the company and hauls its mid-size trailer with his ½-ton Lincoln Mark LT truck. His shoeing service area is primarily northwest of Indianapolis, Ind., but also includes stops in Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The compact design provides the storage necessary for his practice, but the same efficient setup to minimize strenuous lifting.

Buying a new rig doesn’t make the buyer a better farrier, but in this case, it has helped the career longevity.

“I pooh-poohed the idea of a fancy rig,” he recalls. “Now I can’t imagine not working out of a well set-up rig. It saves me so much physical wear — I only need to pull up and plug in. I feel I can do more, and more efficiently. I think it added a couple of years to my career.”

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