Horse Shoe Education & Demonstrations: the skill of forging horse shoes and some of the farriers behind it

Horse Shoe Demo

Farriers shape horseshoes in a line during the Horse Shoe Education and Demonstrations by the High Plains Farrier Association Wednesday during the Black Hills Stock Show in the Barnett Fieldhouse at The Monument. (Mackenzie Dahlberg, NewsCenter1)

BHSS 2023

RAPID CITY, S.D. – “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” Frank Robinson (former MLB manager) once said.

But close doesn’t seem to be good enough for these horseshoes.

High Plains Farrier Association (HPFA) held it’s second annual Horse Shoe Education and Demonstrations at the Black Hills Stock Show Wednesday.

“Our job is to keep horses happy. That’s every farrier’s goal. I’ve never met one that woke up and said, ‘I’m going to go mess up today,'” Jake Stonefield, president of HPFA, said.

The demonstration

The main reason behind this event is to show the skill sets that farriers have and also to educate the public and potential clients.

During the workshop, anyone could ask questions that farriers would take the time to answer from their own process to the different shoes they were making.

They forged new shoes each hour:

  • Plates – fronts
  • Bar shoes
  • Concave shoe
  • Keg shoe modifications
  • Sliders & cowboy sliders
  • Side bone shoes
  • Plates – hinds
  • Wedge shoes

There were also round table discussions. One at 11 a.m. to talk about shoeing barrel horses and another at noon for a live shoeing demonstration.

There were also bone models made by and brought in by Amanda Marohl, a farrier working at the demonstration, for people to look through and learn from.

Check out these photos from the Horse Shoe Education and Demonstrations:

Different horseshoes

For bar shoes, Stonefield says that it’s for when a horse’s heel hurts. The bar shoe will help relax the pain of the heel, protect it, keep that heel upright and make the horse feel a little better.

A sidebone shoe also helps ease pain in a horse’s foot after a collateral ligament injury that causes side bone disease.

“We are going to do some sliders which would be reining horses, show rope horses. So horses are able to do that pretty slide that people want to see at the shows,” Stonefield said.

They also shoed a barrel horse, so they made concave-type shoes for traction.

“Something so the horses can dig and keep themselves upright because if they fall, they’re going to get hurt. So the horse and the rider become our liabilities too,” Stonefield said.

The farrier industry

Caring for the horses is what a farrier’s job is all about, shaping a horseshoe properly for what a horse needs.

“We’re just trying to promote the farrier industry. Our job is to keep horses happy. That’s every farrier’s goal. I’ve never met one that woke up and said, I’m going to go mess up today,” Stonefield said. “Especially in South Dakota, it is hard to find education. It is hard to find camaraderie, guys that want to work together because we shoe horses partially because we like to do our own thing. We all have our own flares and everything.

High Plains Farrier Association

“I started traveling around to other groups, getting to know other people. It was these groups of guys and sharing information; It was incredible,” Stonefield said. “I was able to elevate my level of my own work, and I kind of wanted to bring something like that back. So we started getting together and then the next thing you know, we were incorporated.”

HPFA was formed in 2021 and is recognized as a chapter of the American Farrier’s Association.

You can find HPFA on Facebook and learn more about them on their website.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News, Stock Show and Rodeo