A Trip to the Farrier: adding horseshoes

I’ve been busy the last few days doing thrifty but non-model things like cutting my own hair, doing my own taxes, and patronizing my local library. But happily I spent some time in the studio today. Inspired by a recent post on Blackthorne Studios blog to finish up some of my in-progress/oh-so-close ponies, I spent time adding metal horseshoes to my G2 ASB, Chryselephantine. She has been in progress since December 2009, so I am very, very pleased to finally call her finished.

Chrys and her new shoes

The shoes I am using are from the World of Model Horse Collecting, an eBay store. Although I am a cheapskate, I chose to purchase the $17.99 sheet (14 sets of 4 shoes) instead of the $4.99 set of 4 shoes, since in the long run that will be much cheaper and I do love the polished look of metal horse shoes on models. (On a side note, I particularly appreciate TWMHC’s very reasonable shipping charges on auctions).

“Chrys” at the farrier, waiting for the glue on her shoes to dry

I was pleased to find that the shoes were easy to work with. They come on a sheet (see below, top right) and you simply snip each one off with a wire cutter and then file down any leftover stub from the sheet. I used tacky glue to attach them, which I read (somewhere) is the adhesive of choice for this activity. The shoes were also pretty easy to adjust in size and shape (without breaking), which was good because embarrassingly enough, I find that my finished mare’s hooves are totally different sizes.

Tools and supplies for shoeing your models: needle files, pliers, tweezers, metal shoes, and containers for keeping them organized (don’t sneeze!)

In the above picture you can see what I think may be the most crucial part of model horse shoeing: little organizers to keep things straight. The shoes are very small (smaller than my pinky nail) and easy to lose track of. I love little medication containers like those above for organizing all sorts of small model horse items. They are easily found for dirt cheap at garage sales or thrift stores. You can see the “Friday” container is marked for the horse’s four different hooves so I can keep things organized if the shoes need size or shape adjustment.

Before I purchased the metal horse shoes I used for Chrys I tried my hand at making model horse shoes out of thin cardboard with paint. If you want to save the money and have time and patience to spare, it’s a decent method.

Doublet and her cardboard shoes. For the record, she is my only NAN qualified model, cheap shoeing and all.

5 responses to “A Trip to the Farrier: adding horseshoes

  1. Wow, she looks really good with her tiny shoes! :D
    Thanks for the link, I am going to bookmark this one.

    For horse shoes you can also use brazing solder (picking the diameter of the solder accordingly to horse-size, bigger diameter for bigger hooves). You cut off a piece, form the rough shape of the horse shoe, then squeeze it flat with hobby purpose tongs (fairly easy since the solder is comparatively “soft”). Now you gently bend it until it fits the hoof perfectly, then cut off possible long ends. Last you add the nail holes with a sturdy pin or something like it (embossing tool might also work), which is also not that difficult due to the “softness” of the metal. Once glued to the hoof, they are stable and not bending out of shape on their own.

  2. I just sorted through my picturefolders and found that I have enough pictures of this method ready for a quick tutorial- will post it Friday night if you like and link it to this post in your blog.

  3. Cool post, <3 animals :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s