Craig Trnka believes shoes are fashionable, whether they’re for humans or for horses.

People wear shoes that are neat to look at, he said.

“No one would ever wear a high heel shoe because it’s comfortable,” says the Edgewood, N.M., farrier. “They wear it because it’s fashionable.”

Manufacturers have realized that if you make shoes lighter, “you can sell more shoes because they wear out quicker,” he says.

To an extent, that’s also true in the horseshoe business. Trnka likes to create horseshoes that are thicker and heavier.

“They facilitate the horse’s foot better, they hold the horse’s foot together better and they last longer,” he says.

According to the American Farriers Journal 2016 Farrier Business Survey, 81% of full-time farriers nail on steel keg shoes, 16% work with aluminum, while another 12% forge handmade shoes.

Trnka and the World Championship Blacksmiths will compete from Dec. 8 to 10 in Las Vegas, Nev., for its final stop of the season.

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