Michigan Horseshoers Association

Some of the best people you meet in life get places where most people would never consider, like under a horse. The folks I’ve had the good fortune to meet are generous with their knowledge, their assistance and their hospitality. They are fun loving but hard working individuals. Farriers, (more commonly known as horseshoers), have amazing skills. They form steel, hot or cold, to fit the contours of the horse foot with a high degree of precision. They work with veterinarians to provide the horse with the kind of hoof care needed. This is especially important when it comes to animals that have any foot problems. I’ve listened in at some of the educational clinics the Farriers attend and I swear you’d think you were at a medical convention. There’s often a Doctor (veterinarian) lecturing and taking questions and comments from the farriers.  They discuss the anatomy of the horse in great medical detail. At some clinics they dissect a limb to provide even more educational detail. Then there are Competitions where these Farriers put their own skills to test against the skills of their peers. The shoes they build in timed competition are amazingly accurate. If you didn’t know better you’d think that a machine made the shoes. Trimming the hoof is also part of the competition as a better trimmed hoof will better fit a properly built shoe. In team competition you see that working together several farriers can build a shoe for each foot of a horse, trim all four feet and nail on the shoes. The timed competition isn’t intended to see how fast anyone can build a shoe. It’s not a matter of who get’s done first but a matter of who does the best in the time allotted. The Flickr photos shown here are a sampling of the competitions that the Michigan Horseshoers have held annually for over 45 years. I’m proud to say I’ve been allowed to be associated with the Michigan Horseshoers Association as an associate member.


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A State of Mind