“I believe people are drawn to horses in order that they learn a particular lesson,” says Rachael Kane, who makes her living as farrier in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.

“In my case it was patience — to learn that things take time.”

Indeed Kane found her calling — forging and fitting shoes for horses — relatively late in life. After traveling during her 20s, she turned to Australia aged 30 and a horse carriage business.

“Then my farrier at the time broke his back,” says Kane, now 42. “And I found that other farriers weren’t so good, and so I thought I’d better learn to do it myself.”

It indeed has been a long, patient process, but today Kane is one of Australia’s leading farriers.

Earlier this year, she was the only candidate in her class to pass the certified journeyman farrier exam at Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo.

Unsurprisingly, Kane takes her work extremely seriously.

“Horses are standing on their shoes 24/7, so it’s not like it matters if you’re riding them or not,” she says. “If you get it wrong, it’s wrong for them every minute of the day.”

Although the idea of putting a set of shoes on a horse sounds like a straightforward proposition, it’s not.

“There’s quite a complicated understanding of biomechanics and physics and anatomy and all sorts of other things that are attached to that,” Kane explains. “You’ve got 500 kilos riding on 10-centimeter-square little feet and if you don’t get it right; if you don’t get the balance right, there’s a lot that can go wrong and the horse suffers.”

Kane will be among the speakers lecturing at the 14th annual International Hoof-Care Summit from Jan. 24-27, 2017, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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