Jeff Pauley, a farrier from Burnsville, N.C., and also a clinician for Delta Mustad Hoofcare, suggests that young farriers find an old pair of aluminum shoes that have been discarded and try heating them up and working them at the anvil to practice.
“Put them in the fire and work them and you’ll learn how much heat they can handle,” he says. “Don’t try to work on a pair. Just work them one at a time and you’ll figure out what you’re doing.”
Red Renchin, AFJ technical editor, who recently retired following a long career shoeing hunters and jumpers, agrees that you need the practice, but suggests investing in a couple of pair of new shoes.
“New shoes don’t react the same to the fire as old ones do,” says the farrier from Mequon, Wis. “But practice is important. You don’t want to burn up a shoe in front of a client.”
You can read more about using aluminum shoes in the December 2012 issue of American Farriers Journal.