The Godfather of Thin Soles

A late 18th-century British experiment supported the practice of aggressively paring the sole

Arguably, no other instrument used by farriers has created such controversy as the hoof knife. Improper use of hoof knives have been the cause of lameness for more than 200 years — and still does today. Excessive paring of the sole has been taught to many farriers throughout our industry’s history. It is interesting to learn the origin of this practice and how it became ingrained in farriery

Early Veterinary Colleges

The first veterinarian school of the modern horseshoeing era was established 1761 in France with the assistance of Claude Bourgelat. The veterinary surgeon was reputed to have a very strong interest in shoeing.

“(He) was deeply impressed with the importance of the art of shoeing, as essential to the State, agriculture, and commerce, to the efficiency of an army, and to the general wants of society,” states Joseph Gamgee in A Treatise on Horse-Shoeing and Lameness, published in 1874. The school was so successful that a second veterinarian school opened in France with Bourgelat directing both.

Bourgelat “… gave the title of veterinary art to the whole, and of Maréchalerie (farriery) to the branch.” Bourgelat wanted the art of farriery to have its own position within veterinarian schools as a course of study.

After 30 years of the successful French veterinarian schools, the London Veterinarian College was founded. Monsieur Sainbel, a French professor at one of the French schools, ran the British school that opened in 1792. After Sainbel died, Edward Coleman and William Moorecraft were appointed to…

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Bob Smith

Bob Smith is a Hall Of Fame farrier and owner of the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif.

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