FARRIER – DAVID BIRDSALL
Written by Amy Rudisill
David Birdsall, Farrier to the Hampton Classic for 22 years, treated us to a lesson in shoeing horses.

You can see simply by watching him maneuver the horse through the stable that he has many years of experience with horses…they obviously trust him.

After picking out the dirt and debris, and filing off the rough edges, David explains that what accumulates on the hoof is just dead tissue and needs to be removed to avoid infection. He then takes the horseshoe that’s been baking in the kiln and applies it directly to the horses hoof.

It hisses and smokes and scares the heck out of you. “It looks painful to the outside observer” says David but he assured us that the hoof is like a human fingernail and has no feeling until you get to the sensitive center.

David at Two Trees
Back in the era of the Horse shoes were hand made, now of course they are stamped out by machine. However, some things never change and like the horseshoes of the past these shoes are being smoothed out with a grinder, fired with hot coals and finally placed on with human hands using the same type of tools used for decades.

And what did David say after he finished shoeing the horse? “Perfect”

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