Borderland farrier does things the old fashion way

El Paso News

We all wear shoes to protect our feet, but some may not know why horses need shoes to protect their hooves.

A farrier or a blacksmith is the name for the person who makes shoes for horses to protect their feet. Farriers have been working in the trade for centuries. And the Borderland has a national-recognized farrier.

“It’s also a little bit of owning my trade still as you mentioned earlier its kind of one of the last trades out there like you’ll never get a shoe a horse. so we can still do it and guys like me and men and women like me are still out every day still doing this right here,” said Douglas Hogue a Borderland Farrier. 

Douglas Hogue a farrier here in the Borderland prefers to do things the way the original shoemakers did. He makes the shoes by hand, which is more time-consuming. 

However, the shoes last longer and can be reused several times

The craftsmanship of the horseshoe takes years to learn. Hogue has perfected the craft taking him only around seven minutes to form the steel shoe. He must soften the metal and then shape it with a mallet and size it just right for each individual horse.

Hogue has now been recognized for his craft by the National Farriers Association. He has been named one out of only three people Nationwide to receive this recognition. Although this farrier said he wasn’t always good at the craft, that it took him years to perfect. 

“Building a shoe you asked how long it takes, and it’s like anything else the better you are at something the faster you can produce that when I first started building my own shoes just like anybody else it took me forever and a day,” said Hogue. 

He now enjoys mentoring others who want to follow in his footsteps. He believes this is one of the last true trades where they can still do things the way they did years ago. He said a computer will never be able to properly put a shoe on a horse. 

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