The job “farrier” has fascinated me my whole life. Since I was a child I was always looking forward to the day when the farrier came to my aunts horses and shoed them. Then I watched him working, but unfortunately I was too shy to ask for more information.
So when I heard at the ranch that the shoes from the 28 horses needed to be taken off, I realized that this could be the chance for me to learn more about horses hooves and shoeing. When the snow came it was time to start, as the snow would compact in the horses shoes, and make it harder to take them off
Leandra taught Molly, another intern from the ranch, and me how to take off the shoes. The first step is to cut away the end of the nails, which stick out on the top of the hoof and prevent the shoe to come off, with a saw. By gabbing in turn one of the ends of the shoe with a pull-off and moving your hand downwards, you pull off the shoe. It is Important to pull only downwards and not to the side, so you don’t risk breaking the hoof.
Now Molly and I knew how it worked. Full of motivation we drove to Cherry Creek, the place where most of the horses live during the wintertime. Our mission: take off 108 shoes in two days. At the begining we were still very slow, but after some time we became faster. We learned also to handle the horses, who are a little bit impatient, to stay in one place until we finished the hooves.
A problem that we had was the ice in the hooves, because it stuck so hard that we had to beat it out with a hammer or the end of the pull-off. But we didn´t give up. We took some breaks in which our backs could relax, but then we looked again forward to go to the horses and to continue. In the end, we finished earlier than we expected!
I´m very happy to have gained an insight into the profession of a farrier!