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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Favorite Photo: Dowsing the shoes by Peter Meade

Cooling the shoes, originally uploaded by Peter Meade

Every once in a while I come across an image that shows something about hooves that I haven't seen captured before and this is one of those. And leave it to Peter Meade to catch it.

For anyone not familiar with the workings of shoeing a horse, at some point the farrier may be making or altering shoes for a horse to nail on at some time in the future, rather than one by one. You'd heat a shoe while working it, and you'd touch the hot shoe to the hoof to burn it on and judge the "hot fit" and check how level the job is, but you'd nail the shoe when the steel has cooled.

This is traditionally done by dunking the shoe in a bucket or barrel or water, which gives a satisfying hiss.

And if you're in a hurry to pack up and get on your way and you have four somewhat hot shoes that you've been working on for a horse to come later in the day, and no bucket is handy, you'd run them under a hose, as appears to be going on here. Peter's caught the cold clean water in mid-stream, splattering off in all directions.

Peter is a brilliant photographer in England whose specialty is the posh polo scene and military equestrianism but luckily for me he also likes to get up early once in a while and photograph his wife's farrier, George Crichton, at work in the eerie early morning light. His work is beautiful and he is someone who sees art in the work and role of the farrier.

Peter's photos of George were last featured on the Hoof Blog  back in 2008. You can see Peter's silhouette of George, and an early rising horse on a January morning.

You can "ooooh" and "aaaah" over Peter Meade's photographic work at

1 comment:

Kerrin Koetsier said...

Wow - what a great photo!

Kerrin Koetsier
Parelli Central