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Horsing Around with Farriers - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Horsing Around with Farriers

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The art of horse shoeing.....It's been around for at least a thousand years. Probably one of the oldest occupations out there. It's certainly one of the hardest. I gave it a try myself as we take a look at the dwindling art and occupation of farriers.

Like us.....Horses need their shoes.

There's three reasons to shoe a horse. Protection, traction, and correction. A horse with a bad split or crack and we need to fix it, we'll put shoes on there. The horses that farrier jared thompson is working on today belong to the shreveport police department. These are downtown shreveport horses. They're on the highway. We gotta protect. They just wear their feet off. Hot metal and muscle have been the main-stay of shooing horses since it begun.

Blacksmith was a metal worker. And they bent metal. So they did any kind of metal work which ended up being they shoed horses. Because they were the ones that bent the metal for the shoes and they became horse shoers.

And now i'm gonna see if i have what it takes to shoe a horse. I mean.....How hard can it be. Take a shoe off....put a shoe on.....Simple! There's just one very small problem. I have about 30 seconds worth of experience shoeing a horse. Jared on the other hand......has been doing this for a tad bit longer.

I grew up doing it. I went to school to get the credentials and i've been doing it ever since. Ok so i might embarrass myself. Maybe i'll watch jared for a moment before i pick up a hoof.

First....jared pulls off the shoe and cleans out the manure and whatever else was underneath it. Then he takes what amounts to big fingernail clippers and clips all the extra nail off and files it down so the shoe fits on the foot. We gotta make sure it's real level so the shoe fits down on the foot.

Then comes the final steps...Heating up the shoe and placing it on the hoof to make sure you have the right fit. Then.... nailing it in place before clipping off the extra nails you hammered into the hoof. You round it all out with filing or smoothing the hoof.

Alright, i've been watching jared shoe these horses so far. I'm gonna give it a shot myself and see if it's as tough as it looks.

Well.... i was a natural from the start....looking like i had done this all my life. But filing a hoof is not nearly as easy as it doesn't look. So i let jared take over for a moment.

Ok so we got past the filing. Now to the fun and easy part. Taking off the shoe. Should be a piece of cake. First....a little more instruction. You gotta wedge this up under it. Once you press it closed you gotta go down and in. And then work this side down and in. Then it's my turn as i remember down and in down and in.

Like that? Yeah. Whoa. Lord. Alright. Now squeeze them together right at the heel. About right there. Yessir. Just get it up under there. Kinda gotta get it up under there a little bit. Squeeze. There ya go. Then down and in. Well it took some elbow grease but that shoe finally came off.

Ok we're cleaning out the hoof right now. Getting all the dirt out of here before we end up shoeing her. There was a lot of dirt under there. Next, my expert shoeing skills are revealed.

Ok, so we're shoeing the horse here. Not the easiest job. Burning a lot of calories doing it that's for sure. Certainly if i do this it would take me all day. It takes this guy just a matter of minutes. But finally....a shoe is born!

All that's left now is my feeble attempt at filing down the nails that are sticking out from the hoof from where we had just nailed. And we're done. But how did i do for a beginner....say compared to jared when he was 13 just starting out.

Were you slower than me? I don't think i was quite that slow. Oh no. So no future in that for me. So maybe stick to weather? Yeah i like the weather. Thank you jared. We appreciate ya. That's it!

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