Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Friends (Alone) at Work: An Anvil for a Foot Rest

Double-click on the photo for a larger view.
I've had this photo on my mind for a while, and I wanted to write a story to go with it. It seems to warrant one.  It's at the San Antonio Rose Palace in San Antonio, Texas. The way I see it, two things could be going on: the farrier is waiting for a customer who is late (you know the farrier isn't early), or that's not the farrier stretched out in that chair, that's the customer, and she's waiting for the farrier, who unhitched his truck from the trailer to go get some lunch and hasn't been heard from since (and that was a long time ago).

We always see photos of farriers working, bending, pounding, and clinching but rarely do we see them in one of those rare down-time moments. Even more rare is a completely still shot of a typical moment of a typical summer day at a showground that includes a farrier, since the farrier is usually in great demand and resembles a perpetual motion machine. 

People don't usually take pictures of the moments when nothing's going on. But that's the essence of a summer day: things just seem to stand still, if you let them. And summer lasts longer, if you do.

This is what you might see when you come around the corner of any barn aisle across the USA today, tomorrow, this weekend and for the next month or so until the start of school and the coming cold weather chases everyone back home, so they can rest up and do it again next year.

That's my story, what's yours? 

This quietest of all farrier scenes was captured by Houston-area photographer Louis Vest, who is more at home aboard a ship than on or under a horse, but anything that he points his camera at is better for it. Louis is a ship's pilot in the Houston Ship Channel and travels the world. He has an amazing array of photographs (especially if you like the sea, which I do) on display at his site. Thanks, Louis. 

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