Many exciting events have occurred since my previous post: I have taken boards, accepted a job, and was notified that I passed those boards. Graduation is now under 100 days away!
In school, I have just completed the Farrier Service clinical rotation. It was an amazing opportunity to surround myself in the work and skill of those who care for a horse's feet. ISU's equine surgeons are great about including a farrier in hoof cases, where both teams evaluate radiographs (x-rays) and develop a plan together. Through these cases, those on my rotation learned about barefoot trimming, cold shoeing, and hot shoeing; how to apply hoof boots with poultices; the names and purposes of various tools; intricacies of trimming feet; and the uses for various shoes. The rotation was also very hands-on: we pulled shoes, applied shoe nails, mapped feet for trimming, and were allowed to work the forge.
I was nervous about the forge initially, as I quite like the self-preservation behaviors that including not giving myself third-degree burns. Our first project was to make a hoof pick out of half a horseshoe by heating the steel and then hammering it on an anvil into the proper shape. Later in the week, I made two shoes of my own from steel bars -not particularly good shoes, though. I knew making shoes would be difficult, but I found it was achieving symmetry and proper shoe confirmation concurrently that was the most difficult. Using the heavy hammers to "bang the crap out of it" if you will actually became very relaxing.
I hope everyone is keeping warm as we await Spring,