The farrier who boots horses for a Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department

April 23, 2018 - metal shoes

About 81 kilometers from Africa’s richest block mile and a petrify jungle that is Sandton, we are on a sand highway that stretches as distant as a eyes can see.

It’s a Wednesday afternoon and around us, on this widen in a small city of Meyerton in South Africa, is zero though dry earth and rolling vistas, until we come on a signpost that says Rooijakkals Street – it’s an denote we are not lost.

Up serve on a hilly road, in a distance, we see a horse. It’s a initial tell-tale pointer of a destination.

Past an open embankment and another electric wired-fence with a gate, we proceed a single-storied home of Scott Borland, an businessman and veteran farrier, in other words, a smith who boots horses.

At a door, a lady, his wife, dressed in black, emerges, followed by during slightest a dozen dogs.

But we are here for a horses.

READ MORE: The South African Horse Industry: A Potential Billion Rand Market

Borland welcomes us – as we cautiously avoid a frightful canines – and shows us to a 4 horses in his stable. He says he has been looking after them ever given his children went abroad withdrawal them in his care.

Borland has been operative from home for a final 15 to 20 years, he tries to recall, as we share a dais outward a fast not distant from his work lorry on a farm.

The peaceful afternoon zephyr fans his memories.

In 1981, he started his tutelage during a Newmarket Farrier School in Alberton, south of Johannesburg. The propagandize close down 15 years ago since there was unexpected a bolt of farriers in a marketplace and not adequate jobs.

“I have been around horses all my life,” says Borland, “when we left school, it was a healthy course to pierce on to a equine attention and that’s how we took adult my apprenticeship.”


Borland demonstrates a routine of shoeing a horse. Photo by Motlabana Monnakgotla.

Horseshoes are metal-fabricated products trustworthy to equine hooves to forestall leg wear and injuries to a foot. The boots keep a horses offset and their feet maintained.

Professional farriers need to be skilled, so Borland has also lerned apprentices, been on a South African farrier group representing a nation in Canada, and has also shoed horses in Scotland, Turkey and America.

“Horseshoes are substantially one of a things that altered a story of a planet,” Borland says grandly, going behind in time to when horses were a primary mode of transport.

“There was a male called Henry Burden. He was a Scotsman who changed to New York before a start of a American Civil War, he was an operative and grown a initial appurtenance to mass furnish horseshoes in 1835. That appurtenance can furnish a shoe per second,” says Borland, with an vigilant demeanour in his eyes.

He afterwards references a Boer War in South Africa from 1899 to 1902. The reason a Boers used to blow adult trains or take them were to take horseshoes from a British, he says.

READ MORE: Ready To Race

“The equine attention had about 300 purebred farriers in South Africa and a series of unregistered ones as well,” says Borland.

Today, it’s a specialized skill.

Horseshoes are done of opposite metals: steel – for work, aluminium – for performance, and cosmetic – for negotiating sleazy surfaces.

Borland’s business are especially private clients who possess horses for both pleasure roving and competition. He also boots a horses used by a Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) who have been his clients for a final 25 years.

Is it a remunerative contention to be in, we ask.

“A partner and we have recently started a horseshoe production plant on this unequivocally plantation and it’s a usually horseshoe production in a southern hemisphere; before to that, all horseshoes were imported, so there isn’t unequivocally any income for a nation out of it,” offers Borland; a usually other countries producing horseshoes are India, China and Europe.

Borland and his partner started their business, Mustang Horse Shoes, in 2013, producing horseshoes locally and contracting 3 people. They had to mostly learn by hearing and blunder as there was no existent support of anxiety for them in South Africa.

A fact they are unapproachable of about a business is that they also sell their products in a spark yards formed in a townships. This is where horses are used to lift carriages filled with coal, going transport to transport offered or delivering it.

In early times, Horseshoes were primarily expel from iron and bronze, were synonymous with good fortune, and even used as talismans. Photo by Motlabana Monnakgotla.

“Ninety percent of those boots are a shoes. We make a unequivocally good shoe for their form of work. It’s a tough shoe and provides a lot of grip; many of these horses work on tar,” says Borland.

Mustang Horse Shoes uses rolled amiable steel, produces a possess cosmetic and will be regulating aluminium for a horseshoes.

The association services about 400 horses a month and creates a small over $8,000. The prices for shoeing horses operation from $50 to $400 depending on a area and a form of horses they visit. Their business indication is a mobile workshop, as they transport to a clients.

“We try to keep a roving stretch down to an 80km radius any day; we substantially do 20 horses a day, depending on how distant we are traveling,” says Borland.

I have never seen a routine of shoeing a horse, solely in a American cowboy cinema we watched as a youngster, though Borland was certainly means to chuck some-more light on his surprising skill.

But now, any time we hear a clip-clop sounds of a JMPD horses, we know them to be of a horseshoes done by a common farrier on a plantation distant from a sights and sounds of Johannesburg.



More shoes ...

› tags: metal shoes /