Arizona Farrier Rises to Dry-Heat Hoof-Care Challenges

A sharp knife and a sharper mind are among the tools used by Shaun Woodsum in his farriers business

Pictured Above: Shaun Woodsum modifies a Kerckhaert SX8 for one of the horses at Corwin Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., on this “Shoeing for a Living” day

Farrier Takeaways

  • When working on dry, hard feet, Shaun Woodsum prefers relying on the sharp hoof knife rather than using a torch to draw out moisture. He is worried about the torch causing his horses to jerk.
  • Whether it’s a forged alteration in a keg shoe or a custom shoe made from bar stock, shoeing competitions give farriers ideas and new skills they can use when tackling equine ailments and pathologies.
  • Quarter clips and toe clips are necessary when shoeing in a dry environment that naturally has a lot of traction.

When Chino Valley, Ariz., farrier Shaun Woodsum started shoeing horses more than 30 years ago, it seemed like a good way to pay for his college education. His father Bob James was a horseshoer and the aspiring heavy equipment operator was acquainted with the profession — he knew it would offer a flexible schedule to earn a living and pursue a degree. Once he got a taste of the industry, however, Woodsum quickly changed course.

“I pretty much ditched the idea of college and went full throttle into the horseshoeing lifestyle,” he says.

Woodsum attended Western Horseshoeing School in Phoenix to learn the profession. Woodsum recalls that there were no gas forges at the school and everyone learned how to make shoes in a coke fire.

“Before you could shape your shoes, you…

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Kristen Kubisiak

Kristen Kubisiak has been a writer and photographer with newspapers and magazines for 15 years. A native of Wisconsin, she served as the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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