Get Carried Away By Love

Get Carried Away By Love

by Jordan Manfredi
NCM_0906 It's getting closer! The day we've been preparing for-Valentine's Day. Farrier is scheduled, mane roll is ordered (hopefully it gets here soon so I can practice!), harness is home to be cleaned, bridle has been taken to the engraver, boys at Ranger Renovations are working on our shafts, and bookings are filling up! I'm not sure how much the horse community knows about draft shoeing, and I know the general public knows even less. Maximus wears a size 8 horse shoe. This is approximately the same size shoes as one would use playing a game of "horseshoes" Yes- his feet are that big. As you can imagine, this takes some extra considerations. Being that big, draft shoes don't work well on a typical anvil. They also don't shape as easily as a typical horse shoe. Then there's the horse itself. Horses will sometimes lean a little on a farrier as they do their work. Usually this is no problem. However, a draft horse weighs over a ton, so a little leaning leads is a lot of extra work. Because of this, drafts are typically shod in stocks. We don't have stocks (Sorry farrier!) so Max has to be, and is, extra good. Because of ALL this extra trouble, a full set of draft shoes costs $250 +. They last 4-5 weeks depending on how much work the horse is doing. Asphalt will wear right through a shoe, so even if the foot growth is minimal, the shoe needs to be replaced. Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.03.39 PM Wondering about those mane rolls I mentioned? Mane rolls are the term used for the fabric you braid into a draft horse's mane. That takes some skill in itself. Here's a great video from YouTube on how to do a mane roll. I've ordered a red/white roll, a red tail bow with Valentine's themed ribbon and Red/Pink roses. 5 roses are typical for hitch horses and 7 for halter. Pulling mane and practice is definitely in order. Finally the harness. What a job that is! It's DISGUSTING. Because on a typical night we get done close to midnight, and the final day of our season is in the dead of winter, so we don't hang around to clean tack. Granted, Max isn't a sweaty mess when we're done, but the grime still builds up. 98% of our harness is vinyl, which means Armor All and some elbow grease is the way to go. The only part that's leather is the collar. I use the same product that I use on my riding tack. max under saddleAll this and I'm still doing hills and grooming almost daily. So much work for one special night! We're pretty much all booked for Sunday, February 14 and have partnered with High Definition Media here in Columbus to capture everyone's Valentine's Day Experience. I'm excited! Are you? Written by Kaitlin Bell Macias, manager of Broadway Carriage Company

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