Rick Padgett, a certified farrier based in Vale, shapes a hot, glowing piece of metal on an anvil to make a horseshoe. Padgett has been shoeing horses for nearly 30 years and recently began making knives. (The Enterprise/Kristine de Leon)
VALE – On a snowy winter day, Rick Padgett pounds his hammer hard, casting sparks as he slowly beats a glowing metal block over an anvil.
Padgett is an experienced farrier, a job that combines the skills of a blacksmith, a veterinarian and a psychologist.
Certified by the American Farrier Association, his routine work involves trimming hooves and shoeing horses, which requires long hours of back breaking work with animals who are prone to flight. The objective is to make the horse as comfortable as possible with the shoe that is best for its hoof . . .