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[RC] re retarded farriers - Karen Bratcher

I wish we had some of these sensible (intelligent) farriers in northern Idaho.  The few I've heard about that are supposedly good, you can never get hold of or they're booked solid.
 
"If a farrier won't do what you want, fire him..."   maybe in some areas you have a hundred to pick and choose from.   Not so here!  I've gone through quite a few who did poor jobs and my current one who is the best of the bunch still argues with me about leaving shoe out behind the heel (1/8" is all I'm asking).  At least he doesn't think I'm an idiot for wanting the extra shoe out at the sides for quarter and heel expansion.  I've had one who shaped the shoes exactly to every dip and flare in the hoof wall, the shoes looked very tortured!  And one who argued with me EVERY time about leaving expansion room, and the one time I wasn't watching over his shoulder like a hawk he shaped the shoes tight to the wall all the way around AND put a shoe on one front foot that was a size too small!
 
I'm seriously considering shoeing my own, that way the shoes would be shaped the way I like and I wouldn't have to work around a farrier's schedule.  My two horses, mare and son, both whom I've had since their birth, are very patient with my slow work.  I took a horseshoeing course at a small cow college, but that was almost 30 years ago!!  I still have the textbook, Doug Butler's "Horseshoeing" :-D  I'm just a little concerned about getting the hooves trimmed correctly/levelly for shoes.  I do have all the equipment except an anvil, wondering if a "stall jack" would be all I need instead of a gigantic expensive anvil.  Any advice from the good farriers out there?
 
Karen Bratcher in Athol, Idaho
karenbrat1 "at" earthlink "dot" net