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Am I stupid or what? I have spoken with several farriers about why I can’t get as smooth a finish when using a rasp in my left hand as in my right. After studying the cut built into the rasp by the manufacturer, I have come to the conclusion that all rasps are made for a right-handed person.
Does anyone sell a left-handed rasp?
— Jim Horn, Lincoln, Ill.
Russ Whyte of Save Edge says Horn is correct. All files (including horse rasps) are made for right-handed use. Left-handed files are extremely rare.
However, since horse rasps are usually held with both hands, the “left-hand challenge” can often be overcome by slightly pulling the file toward yourself while making your forward stroke. This is the opposite of the right-handed method of pushing the rasp slightly away from yourself while making the stroke. Whyte says the key is taking lighter strokes to achieve a great finish.
Please consider doing a “Shoeing For A Living” article on the Michigan farrier employed by the city of Detroit’s water and sewage department.
— John Trafton, Brunswick, Maine
We assume the note from John Trafton was a tongue-in-cheek response. As we pointed out in a Shoptalk item that appeared on Page 86 of the July/August 2013 issue, Detroit still employs a farrier. This is done despite the fact that the city recently filed for bankruptcy and the water and sewage department has no horses.
The local union…