FORT HOOD, Texas – On a slim highway off to the proper, simply earlier than you enter the publish’s Bernie Beck Gate right here, lies the first Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment, a spot that has been conserving the traditions techniques, and horsemanship from the 1800s alive.
There are over 34 troopers who’ve a wide range of jobs all through the Horse Cav. Det. The troopers who, actually, assist be certain hooves meet the bottom are the horse farriers.
The farriers are an essential a part of the Horse Cav. Det. as they focus on equine hoof care and play an important function in conserving the horses wholesome and match for obligation.
“Well, it’s a lot of pressure, because without their feet, we really can’t do our job out here. All the parades and walking on concrete, it’s a lot,” mentioned Spc. Christian Giraldo from Houston. “If there’s no foot, there’s no horse.”
Being a farrier is like being a blacksmith, veterinarian and a horse whisper all wrapped up in a single. They have to deeply perceive horses, every part from trimming and shaping the hooves to shoeing them. It’s a grimy, generally harmful job, however it’s one which the farriers of the first Cav. Div. Horse Cav. Det. wouldn’t commerce for some other profession within the Army.
“It’s working outside every single day, you know, I just love working with my hands, and being outside and you get to work with horses, too,” mentioned Giraldo, who had by no means labored with horses earlier than becoming a member of the detachment. “It’s a rare opportunity, so that’s what I saw it as, and I’m just really grateful I got the chance to be here and work with these horses.”
Giraldo defined that, like people, every horse has a distinct shoe measurement, and with improper sneakers, it could actually trigger harm to the horse. He says a improper match may have a damaging impression on the horse’s well being.
“We’ll shape that shoe exactly to the feet of every single horse,” Giraldo mentioned. “Each horse has a different shape, … that’s a very important part … because you can’t just throw any random shoe on a horse, or mess with their feet, and they’ll start going wrong because they all have their own natural growth.”
Besides shoeing the horses, the farriers are additionally chargeable for making sneakers for the 4 mules within the detachment, which require particular horseshoes attributable to their bigger hoof measurement. To make the mule sneakers, the farrier has to connect an extra piece of metallic to increase the conventional sneakers to an extended U-shape.
Giraldo mentioned being a farrier actually isn’t a job for everybody. It takes a whole lot of care, a whole lot of upkeep and a whole lot of consideration to element. If performed appropriately, nonetheless, the payoff is definitely worth the ache.
“It’s a very rewarding job,” he mentioned, “because you get to see the great work that you did after and you get to see them running around. And … just being in parades, and you get to see it, like wow, their feet look great. You know you did that.”