3 various Jousting Images

Providing hoof care for jousting horses requires recognizing what is required of these athletes.

| Images from Jousting: Patty Smith, BRF

Shoeing Jousting Horses

Jousting horses require athletic ability and for a farrier to provide ample traction

Farrier Takeaways

  • Jousting requires large, athletic horses that can maneuver well in a sandy arena.
  • These horses have to travel to various fairs, so footcare requires coordination between the clients and farriers.
  • Although some of the horses can go barefoot, when shoes are necessary concave is the preferred stock because of the traction needs in the arena.

As farriers, we work with a variety of horses and clients. Since the summer of 2016, I’ve worked with a rare set of clients: jousters who travel and compete at Renaissance fairs. Although this is a very small niche of the equine industry, in a way it is still everyday work because of how I apply the basics.

In another sense, it isn’t everyday shoeing. There are certain needs of the horses and clients that differed from the common farrier experience. But by understanding what they horses need to joust and helping them stay in the show arena, they are among my favorite clients.

The Jousting Horses

The first thing to recognize is that these are performance horses — both in the sense of they are entertainers, but also the job requires their precise, athletic control and movement. And some of these horses are large athletes. This particular team keeps eight horses, ranging from a Quarter Horse to a Percheron-Quarter cross to even a full Percheron. 

The shows that these horses perform in are seasonal with a short window, so the jousting team must travel nationally. I’m based in Illinois and one of…

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Vern powell

Vern Powell

Vern Powell, CJF (TE), is the owner of MVP’s Farrier Service and has been a farrier for 20 years. He is the chairman of the American Farrier’s Association Cultural Exchange Program and Region 3 Director.

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