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Jacob Butler doesn’t currently shoe any gaited horses — there aren’t any in his area of Nebraska.
However, he did shoe Saddlebreds and Morgans while living in Colorado. The 2022 International Hoof-Care Summit Mail-in Forging Exercise gave Butler an opportunity to revisit his shoeing roots. Revisiting his past paid off — Butler finished first in the contest.
Asked about his work with these horses, the Crawford, Neb., farrier gave credit to two mentors.
“I was mentored by my father, Dr. Doug Butler, and Colorado farrier Del Slaugh. I enjoyed learning more about these breeds and shoeing them — they really are a whole different ball game. In 2001, I went to the Morgan Nationals in Oklahoma City with Slaugh, who was the show farrier. I also worked weekly with Del at a Saddlebred and Morgan barn. I learned how to make toe weights and to apply different packages. These experiences helped teach me how to jump weld a toe clip onto the toe weight.”
Butler adds that the technique used is the traditional way vs. welding on a toe clip with a welder. He recalls Slaugh telling a story of another farrier that went with him for the day and how this farrier told another shoer how impressed he was with Slaugh’s ability to pull/draw clips so high.
“That farrier didn’t know that most toe clips were welded on with a welder,” adds Butler.
The specimen made by Craig Trnka.
Participants were encouraged to make a toe…