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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Universal Farrier Apprentice

by Fran Jurga | 2 September 2009 | Fran Jurga Hoof Blog

I had an idea for this blog post: Everyone turn the sound off when you watch this video, and then you won't be influenced by the location. Because for nine minutes and thirty seconds, this video takes you into a universal setting. This shoeing forge could be in Colorado or Sweden or Turkey or Japan or New Zealand, with few changes. It's a pretty universal scene.

However, the sound is very nicely recorded and adds a lot; after a while, the apprentice's voice comes on and you'll hear what it's like to train as a second-year apprentice farrier in remote Donegal, on the northwestern edge of Ireland.

I play a lot of games when I watch farrier videos (and I watch a lot of them). I love to watch the background activity (and give bonus points for multiple dogs) and in this case, the shoe pile jumps out of the background and dominates the whole forge. Obviously they aren't worried about earthquakes in Donegal or else John and Heather will be buried in old shoes some day.

A game I like to play with non-US videos is to try to pick out the countries where tools and clothing and shop decor were made. In this video we see Kevin Keegan's ubiquitous Hoof Jack--is there a country on earth that the Hoof Jack hasn't conquered? I'm staring at one in my office right now as I write this.

Readers: send in photos of your Hoof Jacks in a native setting showing what it's like in your part of the world where you live and work. Just make sure the Hoof Jack is in the photo somewhere. I'll post them on the blog.

I wondered where the loop knife came from: Canada? Australia? Montana? Germany? and John's apron has a made-in-the-USA look to it. The "w" on the shoes is the forge is a giveaway that they are by Werkman and from Holland.

That's just a start, you can take it from there. Many thanks to the gentle director and editor who refrained from a voiceover narration, intro music and splashy graphics. They had the good sense to just let this scene speak for itself so those of us who know what to listen and look for, can. And I hope you will.

It's just ten minutes out there in the farrier universe.

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1 comment:

Bailey said...

started watching this video i found myself yelling at the computer "hey! those are my shoes!" ha ha. my percheron/TB mare wears those lovely shoes with the W on them (which i always think is a 3 everytime i pick her hooves), toe clips on the front and everything. never knew until now they were made in Holland! well we love them very much here in San Diego, CA (even if they come out of the back of trucks, not in such a neat setting such as an Irish forge) ^__^