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Interesting; I've seen several smithies with a hoist to lift oxen off their feet to shoe them; but that method looks like it would work better when you were on the road/trail and not near a smithy.   There used to be the "Camino Real" going from Veracruz Mexico through El Paso Texas and up to Santa Fe New Mexico that had a lot of oxcart traffic on it during Spanish Colonial days.  It passed within a mile or two from my house.

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That's an interesting subject which I never thought about.  On the "Oregon trail", what you wanted was oxen, not horses.  Most movies show horses because those are easier to wrangle for Hollywood but horses are less food-efficient on the trail and if one gets loose, you are searching for days whereas oxen tend to stay pretty close to their starting place.  You wanted 4 or possibly 5 to start and if  you were lucky, you came out the other side with 2 or 3 in the worst years.

I have a friend who goes on recreation wagon runs on the trail (or similar wagon runs) every couple of years--but with horses.  They have a blast but of course the whole thing has a ton of support vehicles and plenty of cold beer.

They had to be re-shoeing on the trail..unless they left them barefoot which doesn't seem likely.  

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They're also lower down on the hierarchy of "Things People Avoid Eating When They're Starving": cattle & oxen before horses, horses before dogs, dogs before strangers, strangers before friends, friends before family.

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Horses are better theater, much sexier than oxen.

Oxen are better eating too. Aren't you going to bring up the Journal kept by the Donner Party, John? That's the hierarchy alright though insects usually come before strangers. Experimenting with plants is an ongoing thing, eating the ones you know make you sick tend to come before shoes and strangers, depends though.

 Frosty The Lucky.

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Glad to know you have that worked out John.   Oxen are tough, easily managed but are SLOW 1 mph pulling a wagon was a good speed.  My kids got tired of me talking about how fast and easy travel is nowadays compared to 'pioneer" times.

Horse I had in Italy, (Tyrolia, upscale restaurant),  was very tasty; better than the beef I had in Spain back in the 1970's at the University of Madrid...student cafeteria.

 

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/1/2020 at 3:20 PM, natkova said:

Yeah how one person would  Shoe an Ox.

Just catching up on postings here after an extended time off and ran across this subject.  To answer the question the answer is get someone else to do the shoeing. 

I had experience a number of years ago when a great uncle talked me into shoeing a pair for him so he could do a photo shoot for a New England Magazine with them hauling out some logs in fresh snow.  He had a barn lined up with almost new stocks in excellent shape.

Sounded simple enough as I had put many shoes on our horses over the years.  Just lead the ox into the stock tie his head down, hoist him mostly off his feet, tie down the one your going to work on, go to it simple enough. 

first thing I noticed was we seemed to have gotten a number of visitors in the barn.  Got my tools laid out and went at the near front foot.  WELL unfamiliar to the full anatomy of an OX I did know they had 3 stomachs, YUP sure enough when the ox went up and the foot was tied down he got a bit anxious and everything he had eaten in the previous 6 weeks  instantly turned to liquid, brown in color  and very smelly. The more I hammered and rasped the more he bellowed and squirted all this in about a 50' arc.  The next thing I noticed was the visitors all seemed to have found better viewing spots outside the barn doors.   Things were bad enough until I started on the hind feet right under the tail which was swinging a whole like a 10" paint brush covered in the above described material hitting me a number of times before I got it tied down. 

3 hrs later I had the stupid shoes on, the visitors were now gone in a cloud of laughter, my uncle had the barn hosed down telling the owner he would get somebody up there to pressure wash it better soon, oxen back on the truck, I was covered in Organic Matter of the brown smelly type so I had to ride in the back of the truck with the equally smelly Oxen. 

I got dropped off at my farm and my wife must have been warned as I was met in the door yard where i had to strip to the birthday suit throw all my cloths in the trash, even had to throw away my wallet, she put the hose to me standing in the flower garden, didn't want to waste the fertilizer.  Some discussion about me sleeping in the horse barn for the night before the horses put their foot down and said no. 

After all this time I still figure I came out ahead of the other participants.  No Photo shoot took place as my Great Uncle was killed in an accident with a logging truck 10 days later, the owner of the barn died the following day.  Because of my Uncles wishes the Oxen were shipped so they wouldn't fall into some else's hands who might miss treat them.  We did use the Oxen to carry his casket to the cemetery  I think of this about everyday as I drive by his farm every day just a mile north of mine. 

As I said at the beginning take an old man's warning and have some else lined up to do it.  Oh yes, this was about 35  yrs ago somethings you just can't forget. 

  

 

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12 minutes ago, Steve Sells said:

You forgot the motivator for the oxen, a bottle of BBQ sauce sitting in front of them to give them a warning to focus on if they want to act up

YUP.  These were 5,200 lb pair of cattle and about 6 yrs old, Hamburg Helper might have been a better additive.  How you doing Steve/  Still up and about I see.

 

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I only read the story and might not forget it for another 35 years if I last that long. Would've been entertaining to watch . . . . from a distance. I'll remember THAT. ;)

I have "fond" memories of an old friend who fed her new baby water melon, her first solid food. "But she LIKES it! Here Terrin (no idea how she spelled it, it's been a couple decade) have some more." Her stomach made a gurgling sound and oh MY what came squirting out her diaper legs! Projectile defecation is entertaining from a distance! 

I didn't stick around. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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"And when it's someone *elses* kid!"   Those are the stories to document so you have something to show their prom date while waiting for you child to finish getting ready...Just remember that someday they will be choosing your Nursing Home!  (My kids have brochures from "Fast Turn Around Acres" a facility that knows that you don't want to spend all the inheritance just getting to it!)

As for animal stories; well my oldest Daughter is a Veterinarian...At her Graduation one of her Professors told a story of how he did a necropsy on a leg of lamb his Mother served for an Easter Dinner when he was a Vet Student...

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Senior Powers has stated and   I quote,

"At her Graduation one of her Professors told a story of how he did a necropsy on a leg of lamb his Mother served for an Easter Dinner when he was a Vet Student...".

SLAG  L.L.C.,   asks "was said lamb leg overcooked"?

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My mother tells the story of the first time my father took her to meet his parents, when my grandmother asked her to carve the dinner bird. She'd never carved a bird herself (that always having been done by her father), but confident and fresh from nursing school, she dissected it.

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When I met my first wife's father and he learned I was an Engineman in the USCG, he took me out to the garage. He handed me his tool box and a box of Champion spark plugs. He pointed to his 1955 Ford F150 pick-up and said put em in. After a little over an hour, I had them installed, cleaned & adjusted the points and adjusted the carburetor. With his truck running like new, I received his permission to marry her.:)

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