Farriers Never Short On Tool Tips

Shoers excel at tweaking tools and finding new uses for them

Middlebury, Ind., farrier Laverne Mast hooked up this small ceramic space heater to his shoeing box to take some of the chill out of his winter shoeing.

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the traits that best define a good farrier, but adaptability is something a lot of them have in common.

Nowhere is that more evident than in how horseshoers adapt tools to work better for them or find a way to use a tool or product that wasn’t even designed with horseshoeing in mind.

Laverne Mast used the latter approach to take a little of the chill out of shoeing in winter. The Middlebury, Ind., farrier has rigged up his shoeing toolbox with a ceramic heater.

Mast, the owner of First Choice Farrier Service, notes that northern Indiana can get plenty cold. Many of the barns and stables he shoes in are unheated. He spotted the small ceramic heater (about 6-by-6-by-10 inches) while in a Menards’ store.

“I said I think I can use one of those,” he recalls.


Baton Rouge, La., farrier Jimmy Gore attached pieces from a rubber stall mat to the legs of his stall jack to dampen vibration and noise from cold-shaping shoes on it.

The heater has two settings, 1,000 watts and 1,500 watts. He can run it on the barn’s electricity, or use the generator he has on his rig.

As you can see in the accompanying photo, he sets the heater…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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