There's not much you can tell a group of excited four and five year olds about horseshoeing. Especially when the large majority of that group has never seen a horse. I mean, they're even too young to ask the questions that we hear all of the time from summer camp riders at our training barns...."does it hurt" "have you ever been kicked" "have you ever been pooped on".... At least those I'm prepared to answer! But, no, the four and five year old crowd doesn't yet know to ask those questions so you just have to improvise. Heat some steel and show them how it turns red. Show them your tools, your truck, your textbooks, your hoof models.... That'll keep 'em busy for a minute or two. Fortunately, the rest of the time can be spent talking about why you have a microwave on your truck. Well, why do you have one in your house? Yeah, I like hot food, too.
But no matter the audience, I love to talk horseshoeing, So much so that those near to me (with the exception of my farrier father) have grown weary of my need to continually discuss all things farrier. Well, not so much the good client stories and gossip, but definitely the intricacies of why that plain stamped shoe that I just made is an embarrassment to my entire family or how I shod the sexiest foot of the week that day. But they humor me and act interested unlike the audience of four and five year olds. They're brutal. There's no feigning interest, you either have them or you don't. I don't know the true purpose of my setting up in a suburban parking lot to show a bunch of kids some tools and an anvil but I enjoyed the break in routine and they seemed to, as well. And, who knows, maybe one of them is the future Grant Moon or Craig Trnka and I can share some of the credit for lighting the fuse!
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