Mitch Rawlings

Extremely Efficient Shoeing In Steamy Southern Illinois

Midwestern farrier wastes little time during a “typical” but hot, scorching day

SHOEING EFFICIENTLY, EFFECTIVELY. Drawing on the knowledge of two engineering degrees and many shoeing clinics, Mitch Rawlings takes pride in being an extremely efficient shoer.

On a day when the temperature easily climbs into the triple digits, Illinois farrier Mitch Rawlings, 44, an American Farrier’s Association (AFA) Certified Journeyman Farrier (CJF), only sees one way to shoe a horse — efficiently. Time wasted is more time spent in the tropical conditions that he finds himself in, day in and day out, while working in southern Illinois and just outside of St. Louis, Mo.

This bright but sticky morning finds Rawlings working a full day at one barn near Collinsville, Ill., which is a 30-minute ride into St. Louis. He has already cancelled his late afternoon appointments due to the severe heat but Rawlings, who lives in Woodlawn, Ill., found time during his early-morning, 60-mile ride to Collinsville to take care of a client. Prior to meeting me at 7:45 a.m. in Collinsville, Rawlings started his day by fixing a shoe on a horse that a client needed for a noon trail ride.

“You’ve got to be of service to your good clients when they need it,” Rawlings says. “They needed the shoe fixed right away, so I was there for them.”

7:47 a.m. As he opens up his Stone Well Body rig, the first thing that catches the eye is a large clock with a temperature gauge. It’s not even 8 a.m. and it’s already 79.5 F.

Rawlings, who takes…

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