A ferrier is a person who shoes horses.While it is a seperate trade from blaacksmithing, it still i nvolves working with heated steel.In the majority of small towns, the blacksmith filled both functions. For many years it was aat least as important a job as blacksmithing.Horses were everywhere.They transported people and goods and were the motive force of all farms.In rural areas, horses were in use well into the 1940s.
W.J. Watson, Drayman. The transport trucks of the day.
ca.1920s or 30s
Early 20th Century
Plow, horse drawn
Ferrier tool kit
Shoing a horse is more that banging a piece of viron into shape and nailing it on. A ferrier is in essence a horse podiatrist, maintaining the health of a horses hoof and thereby contributing to the animals overall health. Here is a basic set of ferrier tools. From left to right they are:HOOF KNIFE. It is used to trim the less hard areas under the hoof. PICK; used for cleaning and removing debris from the bottom of the hoof..
PRY; for removing the old shoe. RASP; to smooth and shape the hoof. TRIMMER; used to clip off excess growth of the outter hoof. Despite looking like something from the Inquisition, these tools are nothing more than a scaled up manicure set. Hooves are made of the same tissue as our fingernails, the procedures done duriing shoing is no more painful than a manicure is to us.
A selection of horeshoes
Here are some of the horseshoes made by Mr.Ambroz. While some were made from "blanks' or shoes that were already in the basic shape of a shoe, a lot were made "from scratch." Even when starting from a blank,careful measurements must be taken of the hoof and the shoe adjusted.
the differences between shoes needed for heavy work horses and lighter horses used in less demading capacity is easy to see.
This photo and the next show specialty shoes.In the left hand picture, please note the spikes sticking out of the shoe.These are known as caulks (pronounced corks) and enable the horse to maintain grip in snowy or icy conditions.
This is an orthopedic or corrective shoe.As with people, sometimes the bones of a horses foot are out of alignment. With a horse being indispensible to the operation of a farm as well as a major capital investment the problem had to be alleviated both for the sake of comfort for the animal and productivity for the farmer. After carefully assesing the problem, shoes were made to measure with added pieces to bring the foot back to allignment.