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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

War Horse Hoofcare: Learning to Shoe with the Old Guard

Who knew that the US military had a program to educate farriers? Private Lucau is one of two such lucky soldiers; he's learning farriery at the Old Guard unit (Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment, is also known as "The Old Guard").

The Old Guard Headquarters is located at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The farrier candidates are hand-picked for the opportunity to learn to shoe. Their on-the-job training assists resident farrier Robert Brown with the 66 horses that need their hooves trimmed and their shoes re-applied. Wouldn't you love to have the contract that supplies borium to this forge! Do the shoes every wear out? Something I didn't know until today: you can adopt a war horse. The Old Guard's caisson horses need good homes when they're done with service. Giving one of them a good home for life seems like a noble thing to do.

Learn more: 
The Old Guard's website
Retired Old Guard farrier Pete Cote
Maj. Lisa Barden is the regimental veterinarian.
Susan Seligman explains how the Old Guard operates.
Darley Newman of the PBS television show Equitrekking visited the stables in 2010.

National Public Radio paid a visit to the stables and the farrier shop a few years ago.

Click on the image to see a larger image and easily place your order.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to  

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1 comment:


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good luck