Roland’s nags and nails: what’s hiding in the freezer?

  • This blog is sponsored by the PRO FEET range of hoof care products from NAF

    This week’s picture is of my training farrier, Kris Parsons, working hard underneath a client’s Arab stallion. I did consider using a picture of the equine forelimb that is currently residing in Kris’s freezer, but thought better of it.

    So, I hear you ask, what on earth are you doing with a horse’s leg in Kris’s freezer? Well, I can promise you it’s not for any mafia-style scare tactics — it’s for the “Eagle-eye” farrier competition being held at Devon County show on 19-21 May.

    Kris organises the farrier competition, which includes a class for apprentices (which I will be competing in) as well as the aforementioned “Eagle-eye”. In this class farriers have a few seconds to study the hoof, committing its shape and characteristics to memory, before making a shoe from scratch to fit. The winner is the farrier that makes the best fitting shoe.

    With only a few weeks left there’ll be lots of practice shoe-making going on across the country as farriers prepare themselves for the competition.

    Finally, we have had another really busy week, which included long days of shoeing, as well as long days in the forge shoe-making. Kris put some time aside this weekend to show me how to ‘toe-clip’ shoes, so now I have to practice this aspect of shoe-making which is, as expected, extremely difficult.

    With us being so busy and having so much to think about, I hope it hasn’t slipped Kris’ mind to tell his wife what’s in the freezer!

    Till next week,



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