Forging the Saddlebred Shoe

This year’s Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise drew 32 participants from six countries

This year’s Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise winner, Mark Lieser, is no newcomer to this valuable stay-at-home educational opportunity, having taken several top placings in the event over the last 6 years. The Weslaco, Texas, farrier says his biggest problem was figuring out the size and getting the lines to come out square and proportionally when forging each aspect of the shoe.

He started with 5/8-inch steel as Chris Gregory suggested in his article on how to forge this shoe (Pages 65 to 72 in the 2009 January/February AFJ issue), but it turned out to be stringy. After he switched to ½-by-1-inch bar stock, he still had to bump up the steel.

“I did six shoes before I was happy with the result,” says Lieser. “I had never used or forged a shoe like this, so it was a totally new experience and took more effort than I’d expected.”

Lieser has been shoeing barrel, roping, dressage, backyard horses, hunters and jumpers for 8 years.

“I really appreciate AFJ and Calgary putting this forging exercise together each year,” he says. “It’s especially valuable to shoers that don’t have the time or dollars to attend the big competitive events. Being part of this forging exercise has really helped me develop my forging skills. Plus, it’s interesting to compare and see where you stand with other participants.”

Deceptively Simple

Capturing second place honors was Mike Miller of Huntsville, Ala. He found the Saddlebred shoe was interesting to build, with an unusual shape and…

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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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