Farrier Allan Jaworski has honed his draft horse shoeing techniques to provide a longer life with more resets for the shoes, along with good footing for the horses. The refined shoeing technique holds down costs for Jaworski’s customer, a Chicago carriage ride company, while keeping the horses sound.
That cost containment helps his customer’s business compete, Jaworski says. One of the other carriage companies in the city never resets its horses’ shoes, he notes, but the cost is passed along to riders who pay $8 more per person per trip.
Jaworski, of Clarendon Hills, Ill., has been shoeing for 10 years and started shoeing several draft horses for the carriage company 3 years ago. He was determined to help his customer and keep the shoeing account. That meant addressing the high cost of new shoes without resorting to rubber, plastic or aluminum shoes, which he says are not durable enough for draft horses.
Jaworski, who describes himself as a traditional shoer, came to the conclusion that for draft horses, “Heavy metal and traditional balancing is all you need to do the right thing with the right stuff,” though he will use quick-setting plastic materials to fill the voids in cracked or damaged hooves. (Editor’s note: Many municipalities do not allow steel shoes on horses working on public streets.)
When he first began shoeing the carriage horses, he did so just as his predecessor had: Diamond keg shoes, each with 6 nails and a 2 1/2-inch strip of…