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COLD SHOEING. Renee Dohmen is silhouetted against the light from a barn door as she observes a horse walking after it has been shod. That’s not smoke rolling in the door. It’s cold air steaming up as it enters the warmer barn, on a day when the high temperature in this part of Minnesota barely reaches zero.
Even for a January day in Minnesota, it’s cold. The mercury in thermometers has taken up residence far south of the “zero” mark and you don’t even want to think about wind chill. Vehicle engines grumble to life reluctantly — or not at all — and it would be a good day to own a franchise in something like “Jumper Cables R Us.”
But Renee Dohmen, an American Farrier’s Association Certified Farrier who lives in Sauk Rapids, just south of St. Cloud, isn’t letting the cold stop her. Her truck fired up just fine and — fortunately — today’s schedule calls for her to work at a partially heated barn. She’s also anxious to check up on a couple of her charges, after being away for a week at a forging clinic in Iowa.
9:00 a.m. Dohmen backs her rig — a Ford Ranger pickup with a cap over the bed — up near a sliding barn door. She’ll do her actual shoeing and trimming inside the barn, but will set up her forge and anvil outside.
“They use a tractor to bring hay down the barn aisles and a lot of horses…