Who can shoe horses?
There is a misconception that blacksmiths shoe horses, but this is not the case. Blacksmiths work with iron, but they may never come into contact with horses. Farriers may shoe horses if they have also received training to become a farrier. The farrier profession is very old, established in 1356, during the reign of Edward III. The formal job description of a farrier is “any work connected with the preparation or treatment of a horse’s hoof for the immediate fitting of a shoe, the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the hoof, or the finish such work to the foot.’ The blacksmith can make the shoe, the farrier will fit it. However, it is a bit more complicated, as the farrier also needs to have training as a blacksmith to make or modify shoes correctly.
To put a shoe on a horse, you need to be properly trained: it’s not enough to simply have the correct size shoe, you need to understand 레플리카 the horse’s hoof and conformation and how its feet affect the way it moves. . Domesticated horses need regular assistance from the farrier.
The farrier’s tools and apron have remained practically the same since the 14th century, the only difference today being that horses do not usually go to the forge to be shod. The ‘forge’ is usually a portable gas furnace, which means the farrier can travel to the horse.
Shoeing a horse requires experience and knowledge. To become a farrier, you must complete an apprenticeship of just over four years.
shoe a horse
The first step is to straighten the grips – these are the bent pieces of nail on the side of the hull wall. They are straightened with a stopper and a hammer. Then the shoe can be removed with tweezers.
Next, the hoof surface is leveled with a rasp. Horse hooves grow like our fingernails, so excess growth must be trimmed with hoof clippers. Finally, a drawing knife is used to tidy up the irregular pieces of the sole and frog. This does not harm the horse at all, it is as if our nails were cut. The helmet is now prepared for the shoe.
Footwear can be hot or cold. Precise measurements must be taken and the shoe is normally formed off-site with cold shoeing. Since only very minor adjustments can be made to a cold shoe, the hot shoe is more common and more versatile. The farrier carries a range of horseshoes of various sizes or straight pieces that can be shaped to fit the foot. With hot shoeing, the shoe can be molded very precisely to the foot.
First, the shoe will be placed in the forge until the metal glows red hot. Using a pritchel, the horseshoe is held against the surface of the hoof. When you first see this, it’s quite dramatic, as hot smoke and steam rise from the shoe and the air is filled with a burning smell. But the horse cannot feel anything. The slight burn marks left on the foot will show where modifications need to be made, and the farrier will remove the shoe and shape it on an anvil. The process will be repeated until the farrier is satisfied with the fit. Once the farrier is happy, the shoe will be cooled (immersed) in a bucket of cold water.
Now the horseshoe is ready to be nailed to the horse’s leg. Normally seven nails are used, but the condition of the hull will dictate how many are needed. The nail is inserted so that it slopes outwards leaving part of the nail protruding outside the hoof wall. The excess nail is cut off and the sharp tip is smoothed with a rasp. The nail is then bent to make a squeeze.
The entire process is repeated for each of the four hulls. Assuming the horse hasn’t lost a shoe in the meantime, the farrier will visit the horse again in about six weeks to replace the pair of shoes.
Why do horses wear shoes?
So why do we shoe horses? In the wild, horses continually move to find fresh grass and range over a variety of terrains and surfaces in their search for food. This naturally keeps the horse’s hooves in a smooth, hard and even state. Our domesticated horses walk less and their legs don’t have the same opportunity to stiffen. Nutrients like carotene are essential for hoof health, and carotene is found in much higher amounts in living vegetation than in processed or dried foods. Our horses are also asked to do more, they are ridden or led, which means that their legs and feet bear more weight than they would in the wild.