Farrier: a special craft.
From horse-lover to farrier.
Dream job: farrier.
Tailor-made shoes for these hoofed animals.
When he arrives at the stables, Wolfgang wanders past a number of stalls. His "customer base" is made up of around 200 horses, which he tends to in regular intervals. The shoes need replacing every six to eight weeks. "Horseshoes are literally shoes for the horses and serve to protect the foot from injury," he explains before continuing: "It's the farrier's job to ensure that the animal feels good in their shoes so that it can carry out its sport and training."
The horses aren't used to being shod and so they have to be taught. Every farrier has already received the odd kick or had their foot trodden on by the horse. Does he have a secret for dealing with the animals? "If you're calm and relaxed, if you stroke them and give them a carrot every now and again, that certainly helps to loosen up the atmosphere," he answers with a grin. The horses can tell if someone next to them is nervous or tense.
An irreplaceable passion.
"Machines will never be able to replace humans in this occupation."
A timeless craft instead of any old iron.
"The first time I shod a horse, I was so proud – even if the result wasn't quite perfect," recalls Wolfgang. His training had a lasting effect on him: he learned from an old farrier who still carried out the work in accordance with the traditional methods. Tradition is extremely important in this 2000-year-old trade. The technique of shoeing a horse has remained largely the same for hundreds of years. His teacher shared many tricks of the trade with him – for example that the approach towards the animals themselves is of great importance. Now Wolfgang is sharing his own know-how with the younger generation by regularly training up-coming farriers. In doing so, he's helping to ensure that the tradition of this increasingly rare profession doesn't get lost.
6 steps to a tailor-made horseshoe:
|1. Watching the horses movement and observing its balance provides the farrier with a good deal of information as to how it needs shoeing.|
|2. Preparation of the hoof: now the horseshoe is removed. The old horn which has grown since the horse was last shod is also removed and the hoof is filed.|
|3. The new shoe is heated in the oven and shaped on the anvil. The hotter it is, the easier it is to shape.|
|4. The shoe is then cooled down. An iron thread can optionally be added to prevent it falling off the hoof as quickly in the ensuing period.|
|5. The horseshoe is nailed to the hoof. To ensure clean edges, any protruding bits of the nails are clipped using the pincers.|
|6. In the final step, the farrier checks the horse's gait to see if the shoe is correctly seated and whether any corrections need to be made.|
Always ready for action: the mobile workshop in the Vito.
A true companion.
Wolfgang can always rely on his Vito.
A special type of connection.
Totally animal-friendly: the horse whisperer in his element.
Utmost care is a top priority.
Before the hoof can be re-shod, the old horseshoe first needs to be removed.