Colton's dad, Brian Graham, came by with his helper, Justin, to show us how he makes horseshoes from bars of steel.
We started out looking at the tools needed to do this bit of magic: hammers, anvils, forges (the ovens in which the bars of steel are heated), tongs, and a tool to punch holes into the shoes. Here is Colton holding the tongs used to grip the hot steel.
It's hard to believe that these simple bars of steel can be fashioned into shoes for a horse, but we saw it happen. Here Brian begins hammering the bars as Justin steadies it on the anvil using the tongs. These guys really know what they're doing.
Soon, the shoe begins to take its characteristic shape. All this shaping is done with hammers, tongs, anvil, and lots of know-how.
Holes must be made in the shoes so that they can be nailed into the hoof. That's not exactly what's going on in this picture, but lots of expert hammering is involved.
Brian made a horse shoe, stamped with names, for each member of the class to take home as a memento of his visit. He even made draft horse shoes for Mrs. Frech and me. Mine's going over the doorway open side up (to catch good luck). There's nothing so valuable to me as handmade gifts.
Here's Colton and his dad at the end of his presentation.