Red Renchin

Machine Provides Hammerless Shoe-Shaping

Farrier Red Renchin's home-built machine shapes t he shoes to unique hoof shapes and sizes for 350 horses

It was American author Elbert Hubbard (1856-1815) who said, “One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

That’s true, but even an extraordinary farrier can have an off-day at the anvil. Plus, if the farrier is really skilled and trusted, there may not be enough hours in the day to keep up with demand.

A homegrown shoe-shaping machine allows Mequon, Wis.-based farrier Red Renchin to dramatically boost productivity while duplicating his best work — on even his worst days. Better yet, the machine also allows his apprentices to match his shoe-shaping ability, day in and day out.

“Shoeing is hard work, and anything I can do to make it easier and maintain high quality, I’ll try,” says Renchin of his decision to shape shoes mechanically. “My motto is ‘better, faster, easier.’”

Without any apologies, Renchin says he’d rather spend his time under the horse (where he makes his money) than at the anvil. This mindset led him to a means of accurately shaping shoes without striking them with a hammer — saving a lot of “arm work” for a multi-farrier business that cares for 350 horses. Beyond the productivity gain, Renchin says the device brings additional benefits of uniformity and repeatability while transferring shoe-shaping, a difficult part of farriery, to his apprentices without any sacrifice in quality.

While mechanical benders are not necessarily a new concept, Renchin’s machine is unusual in that it takes an out-of-the-box shoe and…

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