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IT’S WHAT INSIDE THAT COUNTS. Peter Tichbourne’s shoeing rig looks like many others on the road, but it has been customized to provide quick shoeing for horses at equine clinics. The small side door provides access to the propane tank. Note the chimney that vents the forge.
“There’s a fine line between laziness and efficiency,” jokes Peter Tichbourne, and the refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee-maker and stereo inside his shoeing trailer make it look like he’s ready for a relaxing day behind a horse barn.
But talk with the farrier from London, Ontario, Canada, a little longer and it becomes clear that the rig is customized for the therapeutic shoeing that Tichbourne routinely does for a couple of equine surgical hospitals.
“Everything is set up for speed to get the job done quickly,” he says. “When I pull into a clinic, the horse is knocked out, laying on a surgical table. The horses are anesthetized, and they can be down for only a short time. Sometimes I’ve got less than an hour to make a set of egg bar or heart bar support shoes with hospital plates. That can be planned ahead in some cases, but not with emergencies that come in.”
That urgency helps explain the assortment of tools and supplies on and beneath the workbenches on both sides of his 7 1/2-by-14-foot Roadmaster trailer. The dual drill presses, for example, mean he doesn’t have to take time to change drill bits while building a shoe. And there’s a bench-mounted…