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The Kid Should See This

The Art of the Farrier: Horse hoof cleaning, trimming, shaping, & shoeing

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Spend the next ten minutes watching a skilled farrier, an equine hoof care specialist, shoe a horse. The video is one of Maupin Farrier‘s videos, and one of many “oddly satisfying” hoof restoration videos on YouTube.

Horses wear shoes for protection, traction, and corrective purposes. Shoes provide a barrier between the hooves and hard surfaces, reducing the risk of wear, damage, and injuries. They also enhance grip on slippery or uneven terrain and can be customized by farriers to address hoof problems or gait abnormalities.

carving the overgrowth
And despite the process looking painful—carving, hot-shoeing, nailing—it’s all pain-free for the horse when done correctly because hoof walls don’t have blood vessels or nerve-endings. From

“Much like our finger and toenails, a horse’s hooves will grow continually if not trimmed. Wild horses will wear their hooves down gradually as they move from place to place over hard, arid terrain. However, domesticated working horses, that carry a rider or pull a carriage or other heavy load, will often wear down their hooves more quickly than they would out in the wild, due to the extra weight and added stress. Horseshoes can be used to add durability and strength to the hoof, helping to ensure it does not wear out too fast.”

shaping the horseshoe
Farriers are part veterinarian, part blacksmith. The full restoration includes removing the old horseshoe, cleaning out embedded soil, carving off excess material, customizing the metal’s shape and contours, and attaching the shoe with nails, all while understanding the physical needs of that particular horse.

The process may also include heating the shoe in a forge, bending it, and then hot shoeing—placing the horseshoe while still hot—to seal the hoof and create a tight fit.

finishing the restored hoof
Watch these horse videos next on TKSST:
• How have horses changed human history?
• Kentucky’s Horse-Riding Librarians
• The Comanche and the Horse, a PBS Native America Sacred Story
• An Arabian horse gives birth to a healthy filly
• Helmet cam view of a cross-country equestrian jumping competition

Plus: More shoes.

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