The other morning, I popped out of bed, thinking of Don King Days (which at that time, was over 10 days away, now it's 4-5 days) and immediately, was reminded of the #horseshoecompetition that I came across, accidentally, a few years ago.
Having spent some time on a working cattle ranch in my earlier adult life, and riding horses and watching them being shod, this took on an interest for me. Not all horseshoes are the same; just like people, two horses can be the same height (or hands), and their feet completely different. The horse I road the most, had very small feet, yet he was not a small horse. The Pony-Quarter Horse, Wendy, that everyone wanted to ride, was never shod. She didn't need shoes. And I don't know about you, but my left foot is bigger (slightly) than my right.
The year I came across the World Championship Blacksmith Contest, I hadn't spent any time at Don King Days. I choose to take advantage of a 3-Day weekend, to, gasp....clean. Yet, the open-air, unconfined and unhurried atmosphere, called me out. And I came across this fun little "rodeo" of it's own making.
Don't be fooled by this picture, there are #womenblacksmiths. And they compete. Unsure what is going on here?
The short story is - they are making horse shoes.
YET!! IT. IS. SO. MUCH. MORE. Under the large tent, teams are keeping their forges hot, bending, clanking, measuring their "piece" of steel to size: certain thickness, width, location for nail holes on the shoe. And if they have time - WHAT? It's #timed ? they may add clips or toe bars or heel caulks.
The action, starts on Saturday, August 31st - (the rest of Don King Days, starts on Sunday). It goes on throughout the weekend, with top contestants (40 of them in 2017, wonder how many there will be this year?) getting to shoe horses on Monday. So this contest isn't just about #creating the horseshoe, it's also about being the #farrier and attaching it to a real, live, moving, horse (average horse weighs about 1,100 lbs).