Life As A Horseshoer With A Sense Of Humor


This is not your father’s horseshoeing book. Author David Farmilo of Oakbank, South Australia, doesn’t tackle the principles of trimming and shoeing head-on with the standard textbook approach.

Instead, he sneaks up on the subject, slipping the reader a farrier’s education while he or she is distracted by the chuckles, smiles and winks.

Which is not to say that the education suffers. Horses, Shoes and Tales is, in fact, packed with a lot of hardcore shoeing techniques and tips within its 210 paperbacked pages. It’s just that Farmilo wants the reader to have a good time while learning.

Mission accomplished.

Although this book will surprise many readers with its sense of humor, hundreds of attendees at the 2006 International Hoof-Care Summit will remember Farmilo as a speaker with an engaging style who doesn’t take himself as seriously as he does his shoeing.

Basic Principles

His IHCS presentations, “Whatever Happened to the KISS Principle?” and “Getting Back to Basics,” also revealed his reliance on fundamentals in trimming and shoeing hooves.

The book is more of the same, minus the Australian accent.

Farmilo breaks the book into nearly 100 chapters, each one an interesting anecdote or adventure from his 49 years of shoeing, which started at age 14.

Most every chapter also seems to share at least one farrier-related point, some subtle and some not.

It starts with “Moses, The Nativity Donkey,” who bewilders the young Farmilo by taking the initiative, rolling onto his back and putting his legs in the air…

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