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At the August clinic held at Anvil Brand in Lexington, Ill., American Farriers Team members Bryan Osborne and Bodie Trnka did a live shoeing, followed by working on shoe building and modifications. Although forging shoes get much of the attention when competition is discussed, Osborne and Trnka stressed the crucial need for foot prep.
The horse used for the clinic was long overdue — it was last shod in early spring. On the fronts, the left was the more upright foot and had lost its shoe at some point. The right foot was low and ran forward. Trnka says the key to helping this horse get better balanced is sticking to the basics.
Coming across a horse this overdue is more likely to occur in everyday shoeing, but not in a contest. Despite the challenges presented by this horse, the experience helps the individual improve.
“Every day I’m focusing on getting my feet flat, getting my shapes and getting my measurements,” Trnka says “I don’t see much difference between that and what I do for a contest. Every foot for me is a contest and I’m always disappointed because there is always something I could have done better.”
Sighting down the upright foot, Trnka notes that he sees it high laterally, but is thinking about the…