Much Ado About A Rock On A Stick

MANY TO CHOOSE FROM. Farriers have a wide variety of rounding hammers to choose from. These were on display in the booth of Double Bar One from Leoti, Kan., at the American Farrier’s Association convention in Omaha.

Jeff Ridley, a farrier from Leighton, Iowa, says rounding hammers are a pretty basic kind of tool.

“Basically, you’re talking about a rock on the end of a stick,” he says.

But farriers can get very particular about just which rock on the end of a stick they use in their forging work. Ridley is no exception.

“I’m looking for durability and consistency,” says Ridley. He does a lot of forging work in his practice, which includes putting together shoeing packages for gaited horses as well as a lot of therapeutic shoeing (he’s one of the few farriers to hold the Therapeutic Endorsement of the American Farrier’s Association).

“I’ve tried several different kinds of hammers and I’ve found one that seems to deliver that durability and consistency. And I’m staying with it,” he says.

Different Hammers For Different Tasks

Ridley also takes part in shoeing competitions, where he uses more than one weight of rounding hammer.

“I use a heavier hammer to move more steel in a hurry,” he explains. “I’m going to Calgary this year, and one shoe they have there has to be built from 3/8-by-5/8-inch concave stock. That’s a pretty petite stock, so I’ll drop down to a 1 1/2-pound hammer.”

Ridley says in his daily work, when he’s not…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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