A closer look at the first stage of getting the old shoe off.

Shannon Smith – farrier

Shannon Smith, farrier for HPRA horses.
Shannon Smith, farrier for HPRA horses.
Sandie Gleeson arranges for farrier Shannon Smith to make regular visits to HorsePower Riding Academy to care for the hoofs of riding school and agisted horses. This may mean just trimming and inspection of hoof health but usually also includes shoeing the horses.

The farrier's anvil and mallet.
The farrier’s anvil and mallet.
I’ve watched Shannon work at HPRA a few times now and I admire how calmly and efficiently he works.

Parts of a horse’s feet are very sensitive but the hoof walls are not sensitive to pain and the horses feel no pain when they are being shod by a skilled and experienced farrier like Shannon. In the following photos, notice how calm and relaxed the horses are as Shannon works with them.

You can see his 20 years of experience because he’s honed his craft so finely and is able to make the work look effortless. Shannon undertook a four-year trade apprenticeship at Richmond TAFE and has 20 years experience as a farrier.

He is based at Gresford in the Hunter Valley but travels some distance to work for his clients. You can contact him on phone 0412 332 965.

Shannon uses a mallet and a buffer to separate the old shoe from the hoof.
Shannon uses a mallet and a buffer to separate the old shoe from the hoof.
A closer look at the first stage of getting the old shoe off.
A closer look at the first stage of getting the old shoe off.
Shannon uses pinchers to remove the old shoe.
Shannon uses pinchers to remove the old shoe.
The old horse shoe is off.
The old horse shoe comes off.
The old shoe is off.
The old shoe is off.
You can now see beneath the hoof with the horse shoe removed.
You can now see beneath the hoof with the horse shoe removed.
Shannon examines the horse's hoof to decide how much hoof to trim and how best to shape the new shoe for this hoof.
Shannon examines the horse’s hoof to decide how much hoof to trim and how best to shape the new shoe for this hoof.
After trimming the hoof, Shannon shapes the hoof with a file. Here he is shaping the bottom edge of the hoof.
After trimming the hoof, Shannon shapes the hoof with a file. Here he is shaping the bottom edge of the hoof.
Here Shannon is shaping the top surface of the hoof with his file.
Here Shannon is shaping the top surface of the hoof with his file.
A closer shot of Shannon filing the top of the hoof.
A closer shot of Shannon filing the top of the hoof.
You can see the difference between the front hoof at left in the photo which has not yet been filed, and the hoof at right which has been filed and is already looking much neater.
You can see the difference between the front hoof at left in the photo which has not yet been filed, and the hoof at right which has been filed and is already looking much neater.
Shannon shaping a horseshoe on his anvil.
Shannon shaping a horseshoe on his anvil.
Shannon carefully examines each shoe as he shapes it to ensure an ideal fit for each hoof of each horse.
Shannon carefully examines each shoe as he shapes it to ensure an ideal fit for each hoof of each horse.
Hammering in a nail.
Hammering in a nail.
Shannon uses a hammer claw to ring off the protruding nails at the top of the hoof.
Shannon uses a hammer claw to ring off the protruding nails at the top of the hoof.
Shannon using nail cutters to cut off the protruding part of a nail.
He then uses nail cutters to cut off the protruding part of the nail.
He then users a clincher to ensure the end of the nail is perfectly flat and aligned with the hoof so it can't catch on anything.
He then users a clincher to ensure the end of the nail is perfectly flat and aligned with the hoof so it can’t catch on anything.
Shannon frequently examines his work to ensure best fit of each shoe for each horse's needs.
Shannon frequently examines his work to ensure best fit of each shoe for each horse’s needs.
An unshaped hoof at left in the photo (with a piece of trimmed hoof just to the left of it) and a neatly filed hoof at right.
An unshaped hoof at left in the photo (with a piece of trimmed hoof just to the left of it) and a neatly filed hoof at right.
Here now the hoof at left in the photo has been trimmed and filed, and the hoof at right has been shod.
Here now the hoof at left in the photo has been trimmed and filed, and the hoof at right has been shod.
Part of the farrier's toolkit.
Part of the farrier’s toolkit.

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