Tuesday, September 09, 2014

World Equestrian Games Farriers: What's Inside WEG's Pop-Up Forge?

World Equestrian Games farriers

In a village of pop-up horse stables and instant schooling arenas sits the World Equestrian Games' pop-up vet clinic with its dedicated forge. Each of the five venues of the World Equestrian Games had its own forge. Don't blink, they will soon be gone!

British team farrier Haydn Price stopped by the forge at the main arena in Caen, where the dressage and show jumping took place, to take a few photos during the show jumping days at the end of the Games. Things were quiet, but you can see the way the forge was set up to handle the needs of horses during the event.

farriers forge at WEG 2014

Look what just popped up: acres and acres of horse "buildings" that are really glorified tent-like structures. It's an equestrian training center born of an erector set mother. Poles and frames hold walls in place and the vaulted ceiling eliminated any claustrophobia and improved safety for working and for the super-sized sport horses that compete in dressage and jumping. 

Inside, portable stall walls created a storage room and office area separate from the shoeing floor and forging area.

horseshoeing area WEG 2014

The two work stations are augmented by a tool station with a vise, drill press, grinder and other electrical tools that will might be needed. A banner lists the sponsoring companies. Notice the traditional French stable broom propped up against the wall, next to a modern plastic shovel.

French farriery working at WEG 2014

The farrier on duty is dressed in official WEG staff gear for farriers. PADD logos adorn his shirt; PADD is a French equestrian clothing brand.  Notice that the anvils are set at two different heights, perhaps the accommodate the height of visiting farriers or their preference for anvil position. The anvil stand's legs are adjustable, but the anvils themselves also are of two different base designs, even though they both are what we think of as "European" horns.

handmade aluminum jumper shoe

What's he working on? A fullered wide web aluminum jumper shoe, as seen on so many of the top French jumpers over in the main arena. France has come to be identified with aluminum performance shoes.

World Equestrian Games 2014 French farrier at work

Sorry the name of this fellow who was manning the forge isn't known. Officially, three farriers were were on duty at all times, but it's possible that the other two were on duty at the competition. 

It would have been worth it to hang around and see the horse that had a hoof to fit that shoe!

French farrier's truck open

This farrier truck with an add-on bed-mounted box was parked outside and offered a good chance to see the tools and work set up of a French farrier.

marechal ferrant best worker in France

When the truck was closed up, the small type on the box advertises that the farrier whose business owns it is "the best worker in France". "Marechal Ferrant" is the French term for farrier.

Thanks to Team GB dressage and jumping farrier Haydn Price for taking the time to take (and send) these photos.

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