Our eventers are facing their second day of dressage. The two riders to go today, Will Coleman and Philip Dutton, will finish up mid-afternoon, so if I have any work to do, it will start then. That's likely to consist of tightening shoes, gluing heels, things of that sort. It's your basic prep for cross-country.
So far we have been blessed with clear and cool weather. In fact, I'm glad to be inside writing this. At 1 p.m. today, we go up to the start of cross-country to plan for how to handle horses as they start their run and what to do when they come in off the course.
The farrier's job at the start is to stay out of the way and be available if a horse springs a shoe. You're about three quarters of a mile from the farrier shop, so you carry hand tools! The event farriers will be available at the start and finish for countries that did not travel with their own farriers.
As the horses come of the track, we may need to do some damage control, like wrapping up a foot if a shoe comes off. I think with this track, we will lose shoes and have repair work to do, but will wait to do it till they are down at the barn.
We almost never replace shoes right at the finish. Horses are generally too "up," and feel nothing till they are cooled off. That makes it a bad time to replace a shoe.
Pennsylvania farrier Steve Teichman has helped provide hoof care for the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team in Sydney and Athens. While in England participating in the evaluation and selection of horses for the 2012 U.S. 3-Day Eventing team, he provided updates as the Olympics progressed. Click here to read more from Olympic Shoeing With Steve Teichman series.