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Had a conversation with Glenn that got me to thinking...
Yes that can be a dangerous thing.
Frosty and I have just about hijacked a thread by a new member, we are talking about horses and horse trainers.
Any way, I thaught I'd start a thread for those horseshoing and farrier questions and comments.
I'm not the only Farrier here, and many of them have more experience, or different specialties than I do. I hope they will chime in. Like any other time you get blacksmiths together your going to have more than one way to skinn that cat.
I know that there are farrier spacific sights out there, but not a blacksmith eccentric descusion.
Hope Glenn forgives me for opening this can of worms...


Too start out let me ask you'll that do public demo's how you handle the inevitable question about blacksmiths shoeing horses?

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I do what I usually do when I'm asked one of THOSE blacksmith questions. I say no and use it as an excuse to launch into an explanation or other entertaining patter. some time ago I'd say, "I only shoo horses if they get too close while I'm working." I stopped, I was surprised at how many farriers actually took offense.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have had fun with it, usually there are small children around,  so I ask if they are asking because they need me to nail on the childs shoe to prevent them throwing theirs all the time ??? ... the smalls one normally stop and give me THAT look....

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I tell them nope i tried shoeing my wolfs once  & it didn't work out well for me so I stopped shoeing amimanls :D

that gets them ! :o

 

AW   then there's the second ? wait for it you know its coming ----  do you make swords ??  LOL

& would you make me one ?????????????

 

other than the first two ?  

after that I tell them a blacksmith dose everything else in metal

 

NEED    to put that on a card & just hand them out  LOL :rolleyes:

 

** worms anyone lol

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Okay farriers, here's one I've always wondered...

 

We've all seen plenty of anvils in horrid shape, and been told it's from farriers working on shoes cold. Why is this done? And how common of a practice is this?  

 

It seems counter intuitive, to me, to damage such an expensive piece of your required tool kit (your anvil), when heating them up a bit seems so easy to do.

 

Cheers,

Neil

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Cold shoes don't wreck anvils. The old anvil laughs at many a cold shoe. Shoes have been manufactured for about a century. They used to be called "keg shoes" because they were shipped in small "cheesy made" barrels. A cold horseshoer could buy an inventory of various sizes of shoes and beat on them cold to make them fit. Sometimes all that was needed was opening or closing the toe and/or kicking in the heels. The quarters could be straightened or bent. If the nails holes were misplaced, they could be moved slightly or opened with a cold pritchel.

 

There is them as shoes cold; there is them as shoes hot; and there is them as does both.

 

Sayings and Cornpone

"It ain't the heavy haulin' wot hurts the horse's hoofs; it's the hammer, hammer, hammer on the old highway."

     Some alliteration for y'all.

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Okay farriers, here's one I've always wondered...

 

We've all seen plenty of anvils in horrid shape, and been told it's from farriers working on shoes cold. Why is this done? And how common of a practice is this?   

 

It seems counter intuitive, to me, to damage such an expensive piece of your required tool kit (your anvil), when heating them up a bit seems so easy to do.

 

Cheers,

Neil

Is more common than it should be unfortunately. It SHOULDN'T wreck an anvil though. Damage to anvils comes from ham handed workmen regardless of the trade they pursue.

 

Cold shoeing is oftentimes the only way to get it done depending on where one finds himself. Some of the xxxx holes horseshoers serve are very un friendly to trucks. Horses can be stabled out on the north forty in a pasture and is no way to get the truck near enough to them to use the forge. In places like that they get done cold or they don't get done.

 

Aside of that legitimate excuse there are also the guys who are too lazy or lacking in skill to do them hot. Ready made keg shoes of high quality such as are available now tend to make high skill levels unnecessary and overrated I'm ashamed to say.

George

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Neil, I can field you an opinion, and hopefully others will share their insite.

 

Usually the dammage attributed to cold working a shoe is on the off side below the face or to the horn.
This is a faily late development, as untile faily recently 99% or so of farriers worked out of a shop, and didn't go to the horse. After Mr. Ford and Co. Replaced the horse as a nessisary part of society and future exaserbated by the universal adoption of the tractor after WWII, the serviving farriers went moble, or the DIY type "cowboy" picked up an anvils cheep at auction or a flee market.

 

Factory shoes have been around for a long time, but originally they were heated, heals cut to length and the shoe shaped to fit the horse. When the newer "keg shoes" became available it was often easier to modify the shape cold, adding or taking out curve in the branches, widening or nerowing, and adjusting the heel.
Ok, now to address the why, first it takes time to haul out a forge, set it up, wrangle a good fir lay and start your fire, then you have to break down your fire, wait for the forge to cool so you can reload it. Some ingenious farriers used bands in the 60's and I've here stories of the local law stopping them because there vans where smokind.

 

Then there are the DIY croud, and until the reasugence of our craft as a a hobby and an art form old anvils where little mor than scrap iron, and cheep to acquire.

 

Modern farriers anvils don't have soft horns and bodies, taking this abuse much better, and the gass forge is much easier to mount in your truck, and fast to fire up and cool down. There are still DIY and part timers out there and with the advent of front and rear pattern shoes you still see cold shoeing.

 

As for me, I carry relatively light hammers and fire up the forge, I run light on shoes, hand making what I don carry.

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Georg, I hope we can answer questions from our black smithing brothers and sisters, exange ideas with other farriers, and share what we do. Thanks for chimeing in,

Sure thing Charles, is a few of us around here ;)

George

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I learned to shoe in the U.S. before the Brits came over and showed us their way. We would crop the heels at an angled bevel with half-round hardies and hot-file finish. I see on youtube that many of the heels are hammered to shape without a noticeable bevel. Is the beveled heel becoming obsolete?

 

Sayings and Cornpone

"Never forge weld with a horse on the floor."

     Farrier instructor Charles "Dick" Dickenson

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When I am doing Demos and someone asks about shoing horses I say "I'm sorry I dont shoe horses but I Shoo chickens!!! Shoo Shoo Shoo" that usuall gets some pretty good laughs after the inquisitive " Shoe Chickens" looks. Then I explain the difference between Farriers and Blacksmiths.

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Good question Frank, and I don't know the answer. I was taught the same technick. Certainly sets off your hand made's vs kegs (tho MFC's are shaped like that from the box) and makes for a better fit at the heal with out the rock catching overhang at the commissure.
If like me you are always trying to learn, you read old manuals, new manuals, articles and talk to other farriers (especially old timers and vet/farriers) you descover that the old methods are being upheld by new research (often being claimed as something new) when horses stopped being a nessesity we lost a lot of knolege in the horse world. I see way to much "John Wayne did it this way".
Sorry for rambling, I think I caught "frostiitis"

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I have seen a lot of new folks that need help getting started fuss about not being able to find local groups or smiths to give them a jump start on learning. And there are farriers everywhere, Some of those farriers are really well schooled at the anvil and some of them will share. A good starting  point in asking for help is to see if they have competed in farrier competitions. To do so means they have put in the hours learning drawing, tapering punching, drifting, fullering,bending and shaping, tool making and forge welding mild steel. You can look for local or state associations and see when they have clinics, hammer ins and contests.

Keep in mind these are not hobby smiths, they need to make or shape shoes with a minimum of fuss to fit to the horse,,,each hoof is different. Those that make specialty shoes for the horses that require extra help are highly skill smiths with the extra training and knowledge to apply help as needed. It is all tied in to a working knowledge of anatomy and how the feet provide support for the animal.

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Well said, Rich.
But like everything else, don't discount the non associated, non certified farriers. To use Steve as an example. I certainly would trust him with wiring my home or shop (that's his day job, and he is fully certified) but I would also trust him to make me a knife my life depends on. That's his passion and often the quality work by a passionate hobbiest can exceed a proffesinal.

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As a farrier, what would you do with these hooves? 

I've been working on her hooves for about 6 weeks.  This is the "before" shot (Sorry for the poor quality of the photo.  I didn't take a side view shot, either).  For now, she's barefoot.  I've trimmed the toes back a good 1.25 inches and taken her quarters in as well to round everything up.  Lamina had been stretched and could be seen on the bottom.  She was shod before she came to us.  When I took off her shoes, she had a pretty bad case of thrush, which has been treated and is now cleared up.  She had a lot of false sole which has been removed since this photo.  Her bars are well defined and the white walls are tightening up now.

 

Would you leave her barefoot or put shoes on? 

 

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I used to try to explain no and the reasons why but then started blowing smoke, like saying no but I did do oxen or camels and draft pigs but I really up set a farrier that had come over to the studio because he needed a bigger fire than his little single burner propane fore could heat up, he had this huge draft horse in a trailer. We finally made peace and he got his horse shod. It was kind nip and tuck there for a little while until he calmed down from joking around.

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Knocks, I need to see the sides, as well as the soles. Just at first blush you look pretty good. Still some flare and it extends pretty high.
As to shoeing, we have to consider a few things, is she lame bare foot ? What are your plans for her, shalt term and long term as well as looking at the feet them selves. Shoes are a theroputic appliance and if she needs them she needs them if she don't, save yourself the $ and her the health risks.
As to shoeing. If we chose to shoe, one of two things must be true, either her frogs extend to the ground serfase of the shoe or you use an artificial frog pad.
Like other smiths you'll get 5 dice rant opinions from 3 farriers.
Oh, and a side pick of the whole mare will help too

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