|Published in the March 2002 Issue of Anvil Magazine
I was reading the December, 2001 issue of ANVIL Magazine-specifically the interview with Mr. Nigel Starkey. Then I got to the part that says, anyone who hot-rasps shoes "needs some serious professional psychological counseling." As someone who has been involved with horses for 30 years and has been shoeing for 25 years, I am one of those, unfortunately, who has been in need of this "serious professional psychological counseling" in the past for a breakdown I experienced, due to severe depression. Along with the treatment came the inevitable diagnosis of mental illness.
I'm sure I am not the only farrier out there who is taking extreme exception to Mr. Starkey implying that all of us who did and still do hot rasp are suffering from some mental illness. I'm also sure that Mr. Starkey is very glad that "horse people" don't read ANVIL Magazine. Therefore, they will probably never know that we as farriers need to drive elaborate rigs, according to Mr. Starkey, in order to give the impression of competing whether there is competition or not. I think horse people already feel we're charging way too much and don't need another reason for their dislike of having to depend on us.
I know it's a corny old saying, but not everything is about money. I'm sure
if we had the privilege of actually interviewing the horses we work on, the
majority of them would say, "What the hell do I care if that farrier has
a fancy rig with all kinds of grinders? I just hope he actually cares enough
about shoeing to shoe me properly." To all the horses of the world and especially
here in Chester County, Pennsylvania, I say it may just be a cold day in
The North Carolina Horseshoers Association held their annual contest at Flintrock Farm, Reidsville, North Carolina, on November 2, 2001. Here are the results:
DIVISION I - Novice
The Born to Forge Contest was started by Ben and Ann Pierce, Indian Trail, North Carolina, 1990 to help area farriers have fun and learn more about working horseshoes in the fire. In 1990 a young Craig Trnka took home most of the money and blue ribbons. Every year since then, Ben and Ann have given away a lot of prize money, T-shirts, and ribbons. I can still see farriers helping each other by passing a tapping tool around to make sure everyone finished within the time limit. The contest itself will change a bit this year: it will not test your forging or shoe-making skills, but rather it will test your knowledge on hoof, limb, gaits and forging. The contests will be individual ones and not teams. There will be as many rounds as needed to get down to the top eight.
Farrier contests have helped improve our skills for years in shoe-making;
now it can improve our minds regarding the horse and how it works. So get
ready and study hard because the contest is in Midland, North Carolina, April
27. For more information on the contest and an early-bird discount on the
entry fee, call Ben Pierce, 704/753-4358 or Marcus Pierce 704/753-4576. Hope
to see you there!