As Ira discussed yesterday, Amish work a lot.  Selling books in Amish communities, I’d often come across Amish in the middle of some task.  If you show up at an Amish home and want to talk to the residents, odds are you are going to be interrupting some chore or job.  I quickly learned which tasks I could politely interrupt and which ones were best to leave be.

amish workshops farrierThe Amish farrier was one of the guys I would definitely leave be.  If I came by and he was at work, it was always a come-back-later situation.

If you’ve ever seen anyone do this job, it’s easy to understand why.  You’re straddling the leg of a thousand-plus-pound beast, sweat pouring down, and probably assuring yourself many future chiropractor visits thanks to the prolonged Quasimodo hunch the job requires.  It’s git-r-dun, because Mr. Horse doesn’t wanna wait.

Amish Workshops is featuring an article which is about the best explanation I have seen of the work these men do.  The piece follows Marlin, a farrier in a southern Michigan Amish community.  An excerpt:

A horse’s hooves are similar to our finger nails and must be trimmed occasionally, so he cut off the excess sole growth (the dead stuff), exfoliating the hoof. Watching him work around the tender parts of the hoof was more than a little nerve-wracking; his skill and confidence were evident as he deftly cut away old, dead material while the horse calmly stood by.

Read the rest at Amish Workshops, complete with some nice photos of the process (including a great shot of a custom Amish “farrier cart”).

Photo credit: Amish Workshops

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