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EVERYONE KNOWS all the usual advice about cold weather shoeing work, right? You just add more clothes, drink tons of coffee and don’t put nails in your mouth.
Some farriers would disagree with all three precautions. Bryce and Jenny Kawasaki of Kawasaki Forge in Gallatin Gateway, Mont., urge farriers not to overdress because you’ll stay plenty warm when you start working. If you overdress and sweat a lot, then you’ll get a chill as soon as you stop.
Chad Whetzel of Pullman, Wash., avoids coffee, tea and hot chocolate because of the caffeine, which increases dehydration. He sticks to warm drinks like hot cider.
Scott McKendrick of Trenton, Utah, thinks it’s fine to put nails in your mouth—as long as you breathe on them first to warm them.
Some 26 farriers gave us 53 useful tips that have been tested in the winters of Montana, Colorado, Washington, New York and points further north. These winter warriors have given their best cold weather shoeing advice from proper socks to the best 110,000 BTU torpedo heater for the barn aisle.
“THEY’LL CUT LIKE BUTTER.” Red Renchin uses a small Ace Hardware propane braising torch to soften cold, hard soles before trimming.
Dress in layers, of course! With several moderate-weight layers, you can peel off layers or add more until you are comfortable. This is great especially when your activity level is variable, like when you are shoeing and getting warm for an hour or so, then standing…