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There is an abundance of aluminum horseshoes on the market, particularly for therapeutic needs. Ivan Gomez believes farriers need forging skills not only to modify manufactured shoes specific for the horse’s needs, but also have the ability to make an appropriate shoe at the horse if lacking the inventory
Gomez, a farrier and educator based in Bogota, Colombia, showed how he makes a straight bar shoe during a late winter clinic at Anvil Brand in Lexington, Ill. During this demonstration, he shared a few considerations to improve the outcome when working with aluminum, especially when a bar shoe is needed.
Before making the shoe, Gomez evaluated and trimmed the horse, stressing that no shoeing option will succeed if the trim fails. He notes the horse’s flares, lack of sole depth and poor frog.
Having measured the foot with dividers, Gomez cuts the aluminum bar stock and fires up the propane forge. He can’t stress the need for heat management enough. Many farriers rely on the scorch test by rubbing the hammer handle across the aluminum to see if it is at an approriate temperature.
Gomez takes the bar stock out of the forge and notes the lack of color change, but how the hammer handle leaves a light brown streak after rubbing…