Power to the Shoer

The anvil and hammer still play a key role — but so do tools that are plugged in or run off batteries

Power grinders do a good and efficient job of safeing horseshoes. Using a grinder can also save wear and tear on the farrier’s elbows and wrists that comes with doing the job using a hand-held rasp.

One of the nice things about being a farrier is having the freedom to do the job without much interference about how to actually do the work. This freedom leads to many different shoe styles and innovations in tools and techniques. The use of power tools in our profession is a matter of personal preference. Some farriers are traditionalists and disdain any use of tools that are not hand tools, while other guys are “tool nuts” and would prefer to use power tools for everything.

Things To Consider

A number of factors determine whether the use of power tools is necessary or makes sense for you. Much depends on what kind of horses you are shoeing. If you are shoeing ranch or working stock, where the primary criterion is a basic shoeing job for protection and traction, any modification to the shoe out of the box is pretty much a wasted, unappreciated effort. However, if you are working on show horses where the “look” can be as important as the functional job, power tools can help you achieve that end with much less effort. If you are doing therapeutic work, where custom-made shoes and appliances are needed, power tools will save you a lot of time and often give you a better result.


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Red renchin

Red Renchin

Red Renchin was a long-time farrier who called Mequon, Wis., and Wellington, Fla. home. A native of Minnesota and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, he served as Technical Editor of American Farriers Journal. Renchin passed away in 2015.

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