Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian View Post
I agree clip clop. You sound like you've been around the block and went through the whole "Gotta have a forge to be a real farrier" stage. I have too.
Now that's some funny stuff right there! So you figure that as a farrier "matures" they reach the point where a forge isn't important, huh? I think you guys have it backwards.
I made more shoes the first year I worked than I have in all other years combined. Because after a while I realized every horse doesn't require a set of handmade shoes.
Or maybe you realized it's just too hard? I see lots of guys start their first year on the right track then... well, it goes downhill from there.
As I said in my first post, forging is the way to go if you're making shoes. It's handy to be able to make what you need.
Or more to the point, it's handy to be able to provide the horse with what it needs, regardless what store bought inventory you may or may not have in the truck.
Forging's awesome if you like to "blacksmith". My dad loved it. He's spend hours making shoes, even after working under horses all day. Even had a coal forge at home, as well as the gas forge in the truck.
Sounds like your dad understood the value of craftsmanship. Shame he didn't pass that value on.
But I soon saw that people don't appreciate paying twice as much for handmade shoes, when they can get machined shoes that work just fine.
You're missing the point. The idea is to differentiate yourself from the "cold bangers", the "iron hangers", the "weekend warriors" and the "backyard hacks". Yep, keggers can work fine for a lot of horses and I carry a good inventory of them. Every one of them gets forged to the individual needs of each horse. I don't charge extra for doing that either. It's supposed to be part of the job.
I do believe it's important to know forging techniques, but you're right....you can buy most of what you need. Modify them with power tools if necessary.
What power tools are you using to add mass and/or volume to a given section of shoe? Put clips where you need them? Roll a toe without losing mass in the section? Rocker a toe? Extend heels or build a trailer? Lateral extensions? Nail holes where you need them? Are you really turning #3 DF's cold? Are you just banging out a truck full of St. Croix lights and nailing 'em up with Capewell city head fives?
So for me, forge work isn't necessary anymore. I'd rather work on more horses in a day than charge more per head. Especially in the hot summer. I git my fan pointed just right and shoe away! Give them a good job for a regular price and everybody's happy.
Oh yeah, I'd much rather whack-and-tack 10 for $50 bucks each than forge quality fit shoes for 5 at a $100 a piece. Yep, that makes all kinds of sense.