Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Golden Horseshoes: German Farrier Shoes the Olympic Champions
Since 1990, the German equestrian teams have not left home without him. And since 1990, they have won all the Olympic team gold medals in dressage.
Dieter is an enigmatic globe-trotter. If he sat down next to you on an airplane, you might think he was a spy. Or a race car driver. Or a hundred other things...but probably not a farrier. He is clever, inventive and thinks on his feet. Dieter pushes the envelope by narrowing his eyes and nodding, ever so slowly....and coming back from the anvil five minutes later with an answer to your problem cradled in his big hands.
Dieter brought my attention to spider-plate shoes and thumbprint heels and Luwex pads. A seminar for farriers he gave at Rochester Equine Clinic five (or so) years ago was exceptional.
Dieter's English is very good, although he is one of those people who tells you a lot if you pay as close attention to what he doesn't say. He is proud of his country and its horses and of his work.
Dieter has his own farrier clinic near Hamburg, Germany and also works with a vet clinic, so his lameness cases are as interesting as his sport horse tricks.
If they gave gold medals for farriery, Dieter's neck would be very tired from holding them all up.
Congratulations, Dieter, on Germany's three gold medals in these Olympics. One to go!