Putting Power into Your Work

A Hall Of Fame farrier pulls from his experiences to offer advice on using power tools in shoeing

Don’t buy power tools simply because they are billed as time- or body-savers. How often will you use particular power tools? Don’t buy tools if your use of them will be infrequent.

A Hall Of Fame farrier pulls from his experiences to offer advice on using power tools in shoeing

One of the things I like best about being a farrier is the independence I have in making decisions about how I do my work. Every farrier has a different viewpoint on how exactly to shoe his or her horses, and I value that perspective. Some farriers are minimalists and prefer using all hand tools, while others embrace technology to the max. The vast differences between all of us in the industry do create some strong opinions. There is an attitude among some traditionalists that some of us rely on technology too much and they have totally rejected electric tools.

The decision to upgrade to power tools depends on many circumstances. These include what kind of horses you shoe. Working-stock clients don’t care if their horse’s shoes are shiny, but show horse people care deeply about appearance. If your clients aren’t very demanding in aesthetics, it may not be worth investments in power tools.

Your access to electricity is very important too, because without it, that nice tool is just a fancy boat anchor. Alternative power sources are possible, but tend to be pricey. Prepare accordingly.

Every business has a business cycle and your place in that cycle will determine…

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Red Renchin

Red Renchin is a long-time farrier who calls Mequon, Wis., and Wellington, Fla. home. A native of Minnesota and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, he serves as Technical Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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