They picked two great shoes for this year’s mail-in forging exercise that’s part of the Calgary Stampede’s World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition.
I did not go to the Calgary competition the year these shoes were in the pool, so this is my first time making them. While it took a few practice shoes to get my dimensions down, this article will hopefully shorten the learning curve for you by pointing out some of the many mistakes that can be made in forging these shoes.
I’m honored to play a part in such a super learning experience. While farrier contests of any sort are a way to improve the quality of the shoeing job done on a daily basis, many competent farriers don’t compete because of the time restrictions on various classes.
With a forging exercise like this one, there’s no reason not to compete since everyone wins, including picking up plenty of new forging knowledge and $422 in valuable farrier supplies. Even if you don’t win one of the top prizes, your level of forging expertise is going to improve by entering and the horses in your business will be the big winners. Approach this unique forging exercise with an open and inquisitive mind so that you can gain the most from forging these two shoes.
Although the rules allow the use of power tools, I’d challenge you to make these shoes with traditional methods. By doing so, you’ll learn even more from this forging exercise.