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It’s not hot on the bayou on this late February morning near Baton Rouge, La. Spring is running a little late this year, as it is for much of the country.
Local farrier Jimmy Gore has been shoeing for 39 years, almost all of it in the Baton Rouge area, so he’s seen every kind of weather the bayou country has to offer, from sweltering summers, through hurricanes to late springs, like this one, when Red Renchin and I join him to share his “Shoeing For A Living” day.
Renchin and I first rendezvous with Caleb Lavigne, Gore’s apprentice, and follow him to Gore’s home a short distance outside of the city. In addition to his house, Gore’s property includes a well-equipped shoeing workshop and a barn with extensive horse-training facilities.
8:15 a.m. Before we head out to his barn calls, Gore gives us a quick tour of his workshop. It’s big, and includes a spacious shoeing bay. One of the more unusual features of the shop is a portable air-conditioning unit. The unit, a Cyclone 3000 Port-A-Cool, is mounted on casters and can be easily rolled to different areas of the shop.
Gore usually keeps it just to the right of the shoeing area. It’s powerful enough to keep the temperature in the shop in the 70s (Fahrenheit) even when the temperature outside has climbed well into the 90s. That can be a big plus when providing hoof care during Louisiana’s hot and humid months.
“I can bring…