Getting a Firmer Grasp on Farrier Shop Skills

Participants in this year’s Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise further developed their talents by making bolt tongs rather than shoes

After 10 years of forging various shoes ranging from the simple to the complicated, the Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise shifted gears this year. This year’s exercise encouraged American Farriers Journal readers to sharpen their forging skills by producing a pair of bolt tongs from 3/4-inch bar stock.

The new challenge didn’t phase the winner of this year’s exercise. Mark Lieser is no stranger to this valuable stay-at-home educational opportunity, having captured several top placings in this event over the past 7 years.

The Weslaco, Texas, farrier forged two complete pairs of tongs and three partial pairs before being satisfied enough with one to mail it to Calgary for evaluation. “The only problem I encountered was leaving enough material in the boss jaw area,” he says.

Lieser has been shoeing for 9 years and works mainly with backyard horses along with horses performing in roping, barrel, dressage and hunter disciplines.

“The Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise is always a good forging exercise,” says Lieser. “Being able to see where you match up with others around the world is why I like to be part of the Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise. It has really helped me develop my forging skills.”

There were a dozen entries in this year’s Mail-In Forging Exercise from nine states, Ontario and Brazil.

Co-sponsored by Calgary’s World Championship Blacksmith Competition and American Farriers Journal, this educational event is a valuable way to gain forging experience. Most importantly, the forging work can be done in your own shop before having…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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