Congratulations on your choice of industries. If it becomes for you half of what it has been for me, you are in for a great life. There are few jobs or industries that I know of that will give back like this one, so enjoy the ride.
As you embark on this remarkable career, it is likely you will shoe horses commonly referred to as “backyard horses.” Some will say this with disdain, but in reality, this segment of the horse population may be the very best kind of horses to be shod — especially in this economy.
Now in its third year, the Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise has a new challenge for this go around. The inaugural contest was a hammer-finished heart bar shoe, followed the next year by an aluminum shoe with a riveted bar made out of a rasp. The bar shoe exercise allowed for power tool application.
When a farrier embarks on this remarkable career, it’s common that he or she will shoe horses commonly referred to as backyard horses.
In fact, according to the latest American Farriers Journal Business Practices Survey, 92% of United States farriers work with backyard horses.
I am always amazed by this great trade of ours. No matter how long you apply yourself to the art of farriery or how much you study the science and theory behind equine footcare, there will always be something to learn. There are so many skill sets that have to be mastered to just become adequate that it can seem a daunting task for the beginner. For the experienced farrier, every time you learn or master something new, this maxim keeps the job fresh and fun.
Response to the final Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise was so tremendous, it would be a shame to see it go away because of the Calgary Stampede’s decision to abandon a forging contest. Although Calgary may be gone, there is good news because a new mail-in forging exercise will take its place.
Watch International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member Roy Bloom of Drummond, Wis., as he forges the winning shoe during the Vern Hornquist Memorial Class at the 2019 American Farrier’s Association Convention in Tulsa, Okla. Bloom forged a 10 1/4” x 3/8” x 1” shoe from a 4 1/2” x 5” piece of aluminum bar stock. The toe must be 3/16” and the heel must be 1/2”. It also must fit six #4 city head nails.
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