I attended the World Horseshoeing Classic (WHC) back in March. Sixty competitors gave it their all for 3 days at the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Richmond, Ky., trying to best the others for the world championship in this team competition. You can read about the winning team on this tight contest on here and see a gallery of the action at americanfarriers.com/0417.
Among the 3 days of the competition, there was a roadster class. Whenever I see this class, I think of the hind roadster and those who don’t see the value of competition — particularly in the United States. The sum of criticism for this shoe is that it is a waste of your time. Why build something that you’ll never nail onto a horse for an entire cycle? The shoe for practicality is obsolete.
Curious, I asked New Brunswick farrier Aaron Steeves about the roadster. He’s been on both sides as a competitor and judge, including at the WHC. Specifically, I was curious how building this specific shoe, whether in practice or at a contest, directly benefits his everyday work with horses that will never need a roadster. I wanted to learn mechanically how he benefits.
“Probably the best lesson I’ve gained from building a roadster is how to use the horn and shape a shoe on the horn,” he says. “One of the fundamental aspects of a roadster is that it has a thickened toe and then tapers down just before…