Spc. Christian Giraldo, a horse farrier, matches a sizzling horseshoe onto the hoof of 1 the first Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment’s mounts within the detachment’s steady at Fort Hood, Texas, Aug. 8.
(Photo Credit: Eric Franklin, Fort Hood Public Affairs)


FORT HOOD, Texas – On a slender highway off to the suitable, 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 holding 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 that hooves meet the bottom are the horse farriers.

The farriers are an necessary a part of the Horse Cav. Det. as they specialise in equine hoof care and play an important position in holding 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,” stated 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 must deeply perceive horses, every little thing from trimming and shaping the hooves to shoeing them. It’s a grimy, generally harmful job, but it surely’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,” stated 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 footwear, it could possibly trigger injury to the horse. He says a improper match may have a detrimental affect on the horse’s well being.

“We’ll shape that shoe exactly to the feet of every single horse,” Giraldo stated. “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 accountable for making footwear for the 4 mules within the detachment, which require particular horseshoes on account of their bigger hoof measurement. To make the mule footwear, the farrier has to connect an extra piece of metallic to increase the conventional footwear to an extended U-shape.

Giraldo stated being a farrier actually isn’t a job for everybody. It takes a number of care, a number of upkeep and a number of consideration to element. If executed accurately, nonetheless, the payoff is definitely worth the ache.

“It’s a very rewarding job,” he stated, “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.”

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