Tool Corner: Tong Maintenance

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By Roy Bloom, CJF APF-I

Tongs are used to hold material too hot to hold with our hands. Maximum control is possible only if the tongs are set to the size of material being used.

Tongs 1Photo 1 shows the jaws set correctly for the material. Compare this with photo 2 & 3. Photo 2 shows the jaws too wide for the stock. Only the tips are touching. Photo 3 shows the jaws too narrow for the stock. The tips are gapped. Any gaps will allow the material to slip and make it extremely difficult to control.

If your tongs have either of these gap problems you need to reset the jaws. Place the tongs in the fire and heat the jaws. Place a piece of the desired stock size between the jaws. Place only the jaw area on the anvil and lightly tap the jaws against the stock as shown in photo 4. When you have them making full contact set them aside and allow them to air cool. Don’t quench them.

Tongs 2_4

Tongs 5A helpful hint.

In photo 5, the pencil is pointing to a very critical area in any pair of tongs. If this area does not have adequate bulk it will bend too easily. This bending will occur in use from the heat absorbed from the hot material and even a slight squeezing of the reins. You will continually have to reset your tongs if they do not have enough material in this area.

Once your jaws are set you can address the reins. All tongs should be made from some form of spring steel. This adds a certain amount of memory to the reins and strength to the jaws. Without this memory or strength your jaws or reins can not hold the set you put on them.

The gap between the reins should allow a grip that matches your hammer handle grip. Photo 6 shows a good tong gap. If the dimension is too narrow, as in photo 7, the rein ends meet before firm contact is made with the material. If the dimension is too wide (photo 8) your hand is spread too far to effectively and easily grip the tongs. Either problem forces you to squeeze the reins to be able to hold your material. If this is occurring you need to set or fix the rein gap.

Tongs 6_10

In photo 9 the pencil points to the area where you should bend the reins to adjust the gap. Don’t just heat this area and squeeze the reins to set. Unless your heat is even, one side will move more than the other. If your heat is too high you can distort the rivet.

To widen the reins, place a piece of 1/2” stock in the area shown in photo 9 and set the jaw to the dimension of the stock. If 1/2” is not enough, use a larger size until you get the rein gap you need.

If the gap is too large put a piece of stock in the jaws and then place the tongs (photo 10) on the end of the anvil horn and tap just behind the shoulder of the reins. Switch from rein to rein as necessary to keep the reins even until you have the proper gap.

A final note.

In addition to setting the proper gap of the jaws and the reins you have to consider the condition of your rivet. If your tongs start to bind, won’t open or close freely or are extremely loose it’s time to change the rivet. Heating the rivet and working the tongs or hammering the rivet will never fix it. It has become worn and needs to be replaced.

This Tool Corner is from The Natural Angle Volume 2, Issue 3 – written by Roy Bloom, CJF APF-I . For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.


Roy Bloom, CJF APF-I

PhotoELF Edits: 2013:10:30 --- Saved as: 24-Bit JPEG (EXIF) Format 98 % --- batch crop --- cropRoy Bloom has been shoeing horses since 1973. He has been a member of the American Farrier’s Team on two different occasions and for many years served as the manager of the team. Roy has always been willing to share the extensive knowledge he’s gained over the years with members of the farrier industry. In addition to his farrier background, he developed a strong interest in blacksmithing and tool making and for many years has been manufacturing a broad range of farrier and blacksmith tools. He also has a fully equipped shop and the ability to do a wide variety of ornamental and artistic work. Roy’s work as a clinician has earned him the Educator of the Year Award from the AFA and a position in the Horseshoer’s Hall of Fame.

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Tool Corner: Using the Undercut

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by Roy Bloom, CJF APF and Dave Farley, CF APF

The undercut, sometimes called a hoof gouge, can be used in place of the rasp when clinching. The photos give an excellent view of the steps involved. Like all new methods, the undercut may seem awkward the first few days of use.

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 3.45.43 PMI think the undercut gives me a stronger clinch with a smooth finish. The sketches illustrate the results of clinching with and without the undercut. In sketch A, you can see that after clinching, either with a clincher or a hammer, the nail is rasped or filed to eliminate burrs or jagged edges. This process takes material away from the clinch, weakening it. In sketch B you have the nail that has been clinched after undercutting. The undercut provides a pocket to fold the clinch into. The end of the clinch is also resting within the pocket, lessening the chance that it will loosen. Because it is not protruding from the hoof wall it does not need to be filed as aggressively. A sanding block may be all that’s necessary to finish.

I also think that the horizontal mark or scratch that is often caused by the rasp is weakening the wall, a bit like the process of cutting glass by scratching the surface. The undercut minimizes the area disturbed in the clinching process. The undercut requires very little maintenance. If it feels like it is becoming a bit dull just use a small flat file to touch it up. A couple strokes following the angle of the end of the tool is all you need. You need to be sure your undercut has the angles as shown in the photos.

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 3.46.08 PMUsing the Undercut

1.  After cutting the end of the nail fairly close to the wall, strike the undercut straight into the wall. You should be approximately 3/16” under the nail on the first hit.Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 3.46.25 PM

2.  Tilt the undercut (about a 45 degree angle) on the second hit.

3.  The last blow at a high angle should finish the removal of the pocket.

4.  Use the clincher with a very light squeeze to start the clinch over.

5.  Now push the clinch back into the pocket produced by the undercut. Do not use a severe pulling motion, just a squeeze and push.

6.  Place your clinch block on the nail head and set the nail with the heel edge of your hammer.

7.  A light flat blow with the hammer completes the steps of clinching. You’re now ready to sand or lightly file finish the foot.


Tool Tips:

Sharpening the Undercut

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 4.00.53 PM

This photo shows the file stroke and angle used to sharpen the tool. A 6” flat file works well for touching up the tool. Sharpening should only require a few smooth strokes following the angle shown in the photo.

 


 

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Tool Corner: Tips for More Efficient Creasing

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by Roy Bloom, CJF APF

Is the shoe creased or fullered? I use the term crease if the bottom of the groove is sharp or V shaped. If the bottom is flat I consider it fullered. Call it what you want, there are two reasons to crease.

 

1.  To allow access to the nails for easy removal.
2.  To produce an area where dirt can collect and produce traction
.

 

A creaser replaces the forepunch that is used for plain stamped shoes. The crease follows the same positioning pattern of the forepunched nail holes (figure 1). The first nail hole is generally in the middle of the stock if you are using 3/4″ stock and gradually moves to the outside of center when it reaches the last nail hole.

Figure 1_3There are many details to address when creasing.

The inside angle of the crease is more upright than the outside angle. The width of this crease should match the nail you are creasing for (figure 2). Because of the difference in inside and outside angles and the fact that the crease runs to the outside of center, there is a significant amount of distortion to the branch.

If the creaser is simply driven into the steel there is no way to fix the distortion (figure 3). As the creaser is driven in, the outside angle pushes the material down and away with little resistance. The inside angle is steeper, it cuts down but meets resistance from more stock and pushes material up and in. If you run the hammer down the outside edge to push the distortion in you simply close up the crease. If you run the crease again you end up with the same distortion. You must first put extra material where the crease will be. This is called hemming or knocking up the branch. The edge is hammered at the opposite angle of the outside angle of the creaser (figure 4). The outside angle of your creaser is the angle the edge should be hammered. Angle it all the way across the edge of the branch.

Figure 4_5After hemming you will be ready to crease.

Before you start you need to look at your creaser. There should be no sharp edges on the creaser. Sharp edges cause coldshuts and cracking of the bottom of the crease. The creaser needs to flow when you are working it and sharp edges will cause the creaser to stick. Even the bottom edge of the creaser should have a slight radius (figure 5).

Once you’ve hemmed and made certain of your creaser edges you should be ready to crease. Starting from the heel or the toe, depending on the branch you start with, the creaser should be struck in the center of the head. Some have a tendency to lean the creaser away to be able to see better or to produce a straighter angle on the inside. If you do this you still need to make sure you strike the tool in the center. Striking the inside edge of the head will cause the inside edge to mushroom and even break. It can also cause the cutting edge of the tool to curl.

You can begin by making a marking run. You can then start the actual creasing. Once the creaser is struck, pick up the handle, pull and slide to the next position. Overlap your positions, pulling the creaser until the center of the tool is over the end of the previous impression. Continue until the desired length is reached. The depth of the crease will be determined by the nail you will be using.

You should now run your hammer down the back edge of the branch. Then take a good flattening run down the foot surface of the branch. You can now make another run through the crease to clean it up.

Summary

1. Prepare your creaser before you begin (no sharp edges).
2. Do your hemming of the branch.
3. Make a quick run to mark your crease.
4. Crease.
5. Lightly hammer back edge.
6. Make flattening run.
7. Do your clean up run through the crease.

This Tool Corner is from The Natural Angle Volume 2, Issue 1 – written by Roy Bloom, APF CJF. For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.


Roy Bloom, CJF APF

PhotoELF Edits: 2013:10:30 --- Saved as: 24-Bit JPEG (EXIF) Format 98 % --- batch crop --- cropRoy Bloom has been shoeing horses since 1973. He has been a member of the American Farrier’s Team on two different occasions and for many years served as the manager of the team. Roy has always been willing to share the extensive knowledge he’s gained over the years with members of the farrier industry. In addition to his farrier background, he developed a strong interest in blacksmithing and tool making and for many years has been manufacturing a broad range of farrier and blacksmith tools. He also has a fully equipped shop and the ability to do a wide variety of ornamental and artistic work. Roy’s work as a clinician has earned him the Educator of the Year Award from the AFA and a position in the Horseshoer’s Hall of Fame.

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Tim Cable, APF and the Red Mile

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Tim shaping the Kerckhaert Half Swedge

Tim Cable, APF

Guest Blog from Rob Logsdon of FPD

The Red Mile in Lexington, KY has long been referred to as “The World’s Fastest Harness Track.” Established in 1875, this track is the second oldest harness track in the world and holds many world record times. Many Standardbred horses have achieved their personal best times on the soft, but fast, red clay surface. Every surface presents different challenges for the farriers of these marvelous equine athletes. Recently, during the Red Mile’s Grand Circuit race meet, I was able to spend the afternoon with farrier Tim Cable, APF and discuss the particular challenges of the Red Mile.

Tim is a third generation farrier with many relatives who are farriers, as well. It’s always a pleasure to watch him work. His horsemanship, skill and attention to detail are why he works for such clients as top stable, Lindy Farms and top trainer, Chris Oakes.

We began the morning watching the training of some of the horses Tim would be shoeing later in the day. Tim evaluated the movement of each horse during the training; looking for clues for what he could possibly do to help the horse.

Afterwards, we worked our way to the blacksmith shop where Tim works. Tequila Monday, one of the top 3 year old pacing fillies, was waiting to be fitted with her new Kerckhaert shoes. Tim fitted her nicely with a leather wedge pad and Kerckhaert Half Swedge hind shoes.

I wish the best of luck to Tequila Monday, trainer Chris Oakes and Lindy Farms during the Grand Circuit Meet and safe travels throughout the year. Big thanks to Tim Cable for the photos and video clips.

 

Tim Cable Shoeing Tequila Monday

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Basic Shoeing: Basic Hoof Preparation

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by Mitch Taylor, CJF AWCF APF

The foundation of any shoeing job is the foot preparation.

One statistic that all farriers should be aware of is that most

chronic lameness is caused by poor or improper foot care.

Look at it this way. The horse is stuck with the job you do until the next time he’s shod. Unfortunately, if the work is hastily done and the feet are out of balance that’s what the horse has to work with as a base of support.

There are three characteristics of the hoof capsule that you can always count on.
1. It is constantly growing.
2. It is elastic and yields to loading.
3. It will change shape according to how it must bear weight.

By following some basic principles, you can significantly reduce the incidence of chronic lameness.

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 8.27.45 AM

Develop a game plan.

Know what you would like to do and how you are going to do it before you start. Don’t just look at the feet from one point of view. Look at the legs and feet from the side, front, back and bottom. Learn to read the hoof. It will give you a lot of information on its health and any stresses it is dealing with.

 

Begin with the length of the foot.

Don’t feel you have to take every bit of foot away. My general rule for the active horse is to remove as much foot as possible without compromising the strength and protection of the foot. This can become a little tricky when you are dealing with a poor quality foot. When in doubt, leave foot (wall and sole). If the foot is changing shape or showing signs of stress such as prolapsed bars or frogs, don’t weaken them more by trimming for cosmetic purposes.

Look at the toe to heel ratio.

Generally, the farther forward the heels land from the perpendicular axis of the center of the cannon bone the more stress they take. The foot will tell you how it is handling the load. Remember that as the foot grows it will migrate forward. In doing so, the weight bearing surface is moved forward, creating an imbalance that makes the foot unable to bear weight properly. The heels often become underslung and the longer toe length requires more force to break over. When trimming to avoid this situation it is important to remove length of toe from the bottom and dress the toe back from the front. This will help restore a good hoof/pastern axis. The heels also need to be trimmed back as close as possible to the widest point of the frog. Be careful not to compromise the sensitive structures but remember that a long heel is a weak heel.

Level the foot.

Look at how the foot is growing and the wear on the shoe before you begin. Look at how the foot hits the ground before and after trimming. It is always desirable to have the foot land as flat as possible in order to distribute the shock evenly across the bottom of the foot and in the joint surfaces. Just as it is hard to determine if a shoe is level by viewing it from one angle, so it is when trying to sight a foot. In addition to the normal heel to toe view, look at the freshly trimmed foot from the side and toe to heel. You should realize that if the foot has been out of balance for some time it may be level when you put it down after trimming but not when you come back to nail the shoe on. It is not unusual to have to level the foot again.

Look carefully at how the feet are changing from shoeing to shoeing.

Look at the hoof from all angles. Pay close attention to the hoof/pastern axis, the condition of the heels and the length of the toe. As your eye develops you will be able to understand what the feet are telling you as you begin your hoof preparation. A good indicator for me in determining if the foot has reached a good equilibrium is when no reshaping of the shoes is necessary on a reset.

 

Basic Hoof Preparation is from The Natural Angle Volume 1, Issue 4 – written by Mitch Taylor. For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.


Mitch Taylor, CJF AWCF APF

Mitch Taylor is the owner and director of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Richmond, Kentucky. His program focuses on the anatomy and biomechanics of the equine limb as well as the mechanics of horseshoeing and forging. Mitch received the AFA’s “Educator of The Year” award for 2007 and 2011, as well as the Clinician of the Year award for 2012.

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Tool Corner: Use of the Drift and Pritchel

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In this article, we will look at the use of the drift and pritchel in the completing steps of the shoe punching process.

We’ll use the 5 City nail and 5/16×3/4″ barstock for the discussion. Figure 1 depicts the 5 City nail. Area A is the portion of the nail that will be projecting above the ground surface of the shoe. The forepunch displaces material for area B of the nail. Area B on a 5 City nail is 3/16″ long. After forepunching to this depth you have 1/8″ of material remaining to be punched through on a 5/16″ thick shoe.

Figure 1

The Drift

1/8″ is a lot of material for a pritchel to remove efficiently. In order to get the most life out of your pritchel you should move 1/16″ of the remaining material with a drift. The drift is used to displace enough material for the area marked C in figure 1. This 1/16″ doesn’t seem like much but the relief that this gives is just enough to make pritcheling easier and more efficient. The drift has two important areas, the shank and the tip. The tip should be the exact size of the nail shank (area C, figure 1) and should be flat, not pyramid shaped like the forepunch. The dimension of the drift’s shank must be smaller than the forepunch to allow the drifting without making contact with the forepunch area. On smaller nails and on City nails this dimension is quite small, making this tool vulnerable to abuse and breakage. You should be very careful in the use and maintenance of the drift to get the proper results and reasonable lifespan for the tool.

The drift should only take one or two quick, light blows to move the 1/16″ of material. Do not bottom out or drive the drift into the anvil. To avoid excessive heat buildup in the tool do not stay in the hole any longer than absolutely necessary. You now have the shoe set up for pritcheling, the final step.

The Pritchel

BLOOM FORGE STRAIGHT PRITCHEL - H-13_sm

Pritchel

The pritchel’s sole purpose is to slug out a rectangular hole the exact size of the shank of the desired nail. The measurement of the shank area just below the head is the dimension the pritchel should be set for. In order to properly and precisely punch to the desired dimension you need to understand a few techniques.

1.  The pritchel should work like a mini punch press.
It must shear the slug from the stock. In order to do this efficiently the stock must be relatively cold. This would be a black heat approximately 400-500 degrees. The blow must be sharp and straight. If the heat is higher (if you detect a red coloration in the steel) the material is too elastic and will not allow a clean shear. Instead it will drag material down with the tip leaving a burr on the backside. Numerous blows to the pritchel will also cause the same result. You need to make a single sharp straight blow to get maximum shearing effect.

2.  The tip of the pritchel should be prepped to achieve the best results.
All pritchels come with a straight taper. As the pritchel is driven in the material, the taper forces the hole to expand. The farther you go in the bigger the hole becomes. The tip of the pritchel should be backed up to produce a tip the exact size of the desired nail, leaving a slight recess behind it. By setting your pritchel in this manner, the tip will shear out the slug and the pritchel will end up in the recessed area. The pritchel will not enlarge the hole and will now also be loose in the hole.

Figure-2

Backing It Up

Heat the tip of your pritchel and then draw the end out until it is smaller at the tip than the dimension of the nail you will be using. Place it back in the fire and take a short heat at the tip only. Do not heat it too much, a dull red is fine. Now start tapping (upsetting) the tip with the flat of your hammer. Continue to take short heats and work the tip until a small amount of the material is upset. Keep the pritchel tip going straight, don’t let it get crooked or bent. Take another short heat, set the upset area on the anvil edge and tap down on it, producing small flats. Check the size now with the nail shank. Another tap or two on the end should finish it for you. It should match the nail shank exactly. Set it aside and let it air cool.

With practice and attention to the details of the nail shank and pritchel you will learn how much to back up and how much to flatten to get the desired result. Setting and using your pritchel in this manner (along with using a good drift) will allow you to use your pritchel for more shoes with less need for adjustment.

 

This Tool Corner is from The Natural Angle Volume 1, Issue 3 – written by Roy Bloom, APF CJF. For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.


Roy Bloom, APF CJF

PhotoELF Edits: 2013:10:30 --- Saved as: 24-Bit JPEG (EXIF) Format 98 % --- batch crop --- cropRoy Bloom has been shoeing horses since 1973. He has been a member of the American Farrier’s Team on two different occasions and for many years served as the manager of the team. Roy has always been willing to share the extensive knowledge he’s gained over the years with members of the farrier industry. In addition to his farrier background, he developed a strong interest in blacksmithing and tool making and for many years has been manufacturing a broad range of farrier and blacksmith tools. He also has a fully equipped shop and the ability to do a wide variety of ornamental and artistic work. Roy’s work as a clinician has earned him the Educator of the Year Award from the AFA and a position in the Horseshoer’s Hall of Fame.

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Katie Burnett of FPD Shares Fond Memories of Her Grandparents and their Connection to the Kentucky Derby

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Mark and Peytie Scearce

Mark and Peytie Scearce

Guest Blog from Katie Burnett

 

Each year, when it is time for the Derby, I am reminded of
how my grandparents enjoyed the celebration of this race – and how much I love the memories of my grandparents.

Mark and Peytie Scearce had a long and loving marriage,
and my grandfather was always looking for ways to surprise and delight Peytie. Nothing made him happier than seeing
my grandmother smile!

One year, Mark contacted a local artist named Eloise
Burnett (no relation to me) of Louisville, Kentucky. Her work has been displayed in The Speed Museum of Louisville, the Wakefield-Scearce Galleries in Shelbyville, Kentucky among many other places. Because Mark and Peytie were regular attendees of the Kentucky Derby, he asked Ms. Burnett if she would make a custom purse for Peytie – a one-of-a-kind purse that Peytie could carry in celebration of the Derby.

DSC_9130

As you can see in the photos, the purse was so unique we haven’t been able, in our research, to find another like it. Years ago, after my grandparents had passed away, my mother received a request to sell the purse to the Churchill Downs Museum, but she couldn’t bear to part with this beautiful piece of history that never fails to remind us of how much we adored my grandparents. The purse is a reflection of how much character and charm they possessed.

Recently, when we pulled the purse out of storage, we found a personalized Churchill Downs Betting Book. Inside was the list of her top 6 horse choices for the 1976 race – the last Derby they attended together.

In this little walk down memory lane, I have also included a link below to an interesting article about my grandfather, Mark Scearce. He founded, along with Mark Wakefield, the world-renowned Wakefield-Scearce Galleries in 1947. Everyone who enjoys Derby history will find the story about my grandfather and the Julep Cups fascinating!

To this day, the Galleries remain in operation by my family in Shelbyville, KY and are enjoyed by people from all walks of life and all corners of the world.

Read more about Mark Scearce »

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Rob Logsdon of FPD Shares the Lead Up to the Kentucky Derby

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Every year, I look forward to spending time at the track as everyone prepares for the Kentucky Derby. While everyone is enjoying all of the festivities, the farriers are hard at work making sure the horses are ready to run.

Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs

My favorite moments included time with the following renowned farriers and the horses they were shoeing:

Jim Jimenez and Irap

I was able to meet farrier Jim Jimenez at Keeneland this week and observe as he shod Bluegrass Stakes winner and Kentucky Derby contender, Irap. Jim has worked with trainer Doug O’Neill for several years and the two have enjoyed tremendous success; winning the Kentucky Derby last year with Nyquist and the 2012 Kentucky Derby with I’ll Have Another. Team O’Neill looks for big things from Irap this year and it was a pleasure to watch him train and be fitted with his new Kerckhaert race plates.

Todd Boston and Classic Empire

Kentucky Derby favorite Classic Empire

Kentucky Derby favorite Classic Empire

Todd Boston was at Churchill Downs fitting 2017 Two-Year-Old of the Year and Breeders Cup Juvenile Champion, Classic Empire, with new Kerckhaert race plates in anticipation of the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Classic Empire won the Arkansas Derby on April 15, 2017 for his final prep race before the Kentucky Derby. Todd Boston fitted the colt nicely with Kerckhaert Kings RT Hinds and Kerckhaert Legendary XT fronts. The Mark Casse trained Classic Empire will be the probable 2017 Kentucky Derby favorite. Congratulations to Todd Boston and Team Casse. Best of luck in the upcoming Run for the Roses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Amato

Photo: (L to R) Ray Amato Jr., Pat Day, Ray Amato and Rob Logsdon

Photo: (L to R) Ray Amato Jr., Pat Day, Ray Amato and Rob Logsdon

Ray Amato and Ray Amato Jr. drove to Churchill from Florida to shoe the horses that are racing this week for leading trainer Todd Pletcher. This included Kentucky Derby horses Always Dreaming and Patch. After finishing their work at Churchill, they got in their truck for the drive back to Florida where they shoe horses at Todd Pletcher’s stable at Palm Beach Downs Training Center. It’s always a pleasure to visit with the Amato’s; two farriers that truly love what they do. Ray Sr. was interviewed several times and is always gracious enough to talk with everyone. He would love to shoe another Kentucky Derby winner and he has three chances for Todd Pletcher with Always Dreaming, Patch and Tapwrit. Best of luck to the Todd Pletcher team and to the Amato’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim and JT Bayes

Spring brings a lot of top farriers to Kentucky for the Keeneland race meet and Churchill Downs Derby week. Jimbo Bayes is the farrier for prominent North American trainers Bill Mott and Claude “Shug” McGaughey, III and has been shoeing for years. He learned the trade from his father, Jim and Jimbo’s son, JT, is following in their footsteps; working everyday alongside his father. I always enjoy watching these two working together and it is clear JT has the skill set of his father and grandfather. They fit their horses with Kerckhaert Legendary XT fronts and Kerckhaert Tradition hind shoes. Kentucky Oaks contender, Lockdown, got her new Kerckhaert shoes fitted this week. Good Luck to Team Mott, Jimbo, JT and, most importantly, Lockdown.

 

 

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Sara Vanderpol Shares Experience from the 37th International Horseshoeing Championships

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Guest Blog from Sara Vanderpol

L-R: Travis Buck, Dan Corkery, Sara Vanderpol, Randy Brassard, and Johnny Edwards.

L-R: Travis Buck, Dan Corkery, Sara Vanderpol, Randy Brassard, and Johnny Edwards.

Sara Vanderpol

Sara Vanderpol

Travis Buck, Dan Corkery, Sara Vanderpol, Randy Brassard and alternate Johnny Edwards arrived in Birmingham, England this past September for the 37th International Horse Shoeing Championships. We spent three days at Derek Gardner’s shop in the Lake District, where horses were brought in each day for practice runs. Before starting, Derek went over the feet with each team member. He also checked our trims, fits and final jobs – using the same format as Stoneleigh. Derek strives for clean lines and a balanced trim/shoe and our specimen shoes were fine-tuned by the time we left. Derek’s attention to detail is impeccable.

Competing at the 37th International Horse Shoeing Championships was exhilarating. It was the completion of a summer that was, at least for me, chaotic and challenging. The team is a big commitment – you work harder in order to not let your team mates or country down.

The four of us split into partners to complete the pairs classes. The forge consists of 8 stations and the horses face away from us in the cross ties. We competed in good company between our neighbors, Scotland and Ireland. The forge was so crowded that tools were occasionally used during the contest by opposing teams! On day one we competed in the long shoeing class – 120 minutes. Johnny completed his individual class whilst the shoeing rounds went. Shortly after they were over, the team headed outside to the propane station and completed the gas forging class; a shoe from each team mate to be completed in 90 minutes. The second day’s shoeing class was over quickly- it was a 90 minute plain stamp shoeing. The banquet was held that same evening, where we enjoyed a good meal and a chance to reflect on the happenings of the week. In the end, we earned two fourth places and seventh overall; a result we were happy with.

Thank you to Farrier Product Distribution for their support of the Canadian Farrier’s Team!

L-R: Travis Buck, Randy Brassard, Sara Vanderpol, Johnny Edwards, and Dan Corkery.

L-R: Travis Buck, Randy Brassard, Sara Vanderpol, Johnny Edwards, and Dan Corkery.

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From Tennessee to Texas

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Guest Blog from Rob Logsdon of FPD

It’s that time of year, traveling throughout the Southeast and Midwest, attending Clinics and Contests. I started this recent trip by attending a clinic in Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee, hosted by Tennessee Farrier Supply and sponsored by FPD. When I left Tennessee, I headed to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the TPFA contest in nearby Denton, Texas. While in Texas, I was able to visit several FPD dealers, including both Texas Farrier Supply stores, located in Kennedale and Weatherford, and D&L Farm and Home in Aubrey, Texas.

Tennessee Farrier Supply Clinic

Conrad Trow, CJF making concave shoe

Conrad Trow, CJF making a concave shoe

A large crowd gathered for the Tennessee Farrier Supply clinic on Saturday, October 1. As always, Steve, Esther and the Edwards family provided excellent food for dinner on Friday night and lunch on Saturday (the homemade pies were delicious). The featured clinician was Conrad Trow, CJF. He arrived on Friday afternoon for a forging session with several farriers who arrived early for the Saturday clinic.

During the Saturday clinic, Conrad shod a carriage horse with Kerckhaert Classic Roller Fronts and Kerckhaert DF Hinds, using Liberty E-4 and E-4 Cu copper coated nails. He also drilled and tapped each shoe for traction studs in preparation for an upcoming competition at the Kentucky Horse Park. After the competition the studs can be removed from the shoe.

As Conrad explained his reasons for using his shoes of choice, farriers were able to see the differences between shoes such as the DF, DF Select and the Classic Roller. Farriers were pleased with what they had learned at the clinic and impressed with Conrad’s skill.

Thanks again to Steve and his family for hosting another great clinic.

Conrad Trow, CJF driving Liberty CU E-4 Nail

Conrad Trow, CJF driving Liberty CU E-4 Nail

 

 

Texas Farrier Supply Tuesday Forge Night

Texas Farrier Supply Forging Tuesday (Rob Logsdon of FPD)

Rob Logsdon of FPD tries his hand forging

While visiting with James Cox and Chuck Milne at the Texas Farrier Supply – Kennedale store – I met a group of farriers who were attending the TFS Tuesday “Hammer In” forging night.

Chuck was patient enough to give me some pointers while I used the forge; attempting to make a shoe out of bar stock. TFS was sponsoring a knife-making contest for the TPFA Contest and a few of the guys were at the store, putting the finishing touches on their knives.

TFS has done an excellent job of bringing farriers together on these Tuesday night gatherings around the forge. If you go to the TFS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/texasfarriersupply, you can see when their next Tuesday forging is scheduled. Be sure to stop by if you are in the area.

I certainly enjoyed my time and will be sure to stop back again.

TPFA Contest

The TPFA contest was held October 6-8 in Denton, Texas and hosted over 45 competitors. This is a tremendous turnout and thanks go to the Texas Association for putting on such a well-organized event. Mark Milster was the judge and stayed busy evaluating all the shoes. Thursday was a mini clinic session with Dusty Franklin, Travis Day and Mark Milster, each discussing various farrier topics including; Trim, Fit, Shoe Modification and the Glue-On process. Friday and Saturday were devoted to the competitors and live shoeing. I thoroughly enjoy attending this Texas contest every year and look forward to 2017.

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