Happy feet: The track blacksmith gets up close

  • Article by: KELLY PARSONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 25, 2013 - 9:25 PM

The chaps Wally Reyes wears help protect him from being stuck by nails and allow him to prop a horse’s hoof on his leg while he works. But being so close to a horse’s feet can make Reyes’ job risky.

Sweat dripping from his brow, Wally Reyes sits in the back of his truck to take a break after shoeing a horse. Behind him lie the tools of his trade.

“It’s kind of hard to say every single one,” said Reyes, 34, a blacksmith and farrier at Canterbury Park. “I think I have maybe 80-something tools.”

Reyes, who spends part of his year at Canterbury shoeing eight to 10 horses per day, learned the craft while working as an apprentice to a blacksmith in Oklahoma City. There, Reyes learned everything he knows about how to care for horses’ feet.

On average, shoeing a horse is a 35-minute-long process. Reyes must take off the old shoe, clean and trim the horse’s hoof, then make sure the new shoe fits before nailing it in place. Sometimes he must glue a horse’s shoe on its hoof, something that can take 25 minutes per foot.

The chaps Reyes wears help protect him from being stuck by nails and allow him to prop a horse’s hoof on his leg while he works. But being so close to a horse’s feet can make Reyes’ job risky.

“Sometimes horses lose patience,” he said. “They lose it quick, and you don’t know when they’re going to kick you.”

Reyes said he enjoys his job because it allows him to make good money while spending time with horses, something he’s loved doing since he was a boy growing up in Texas.

“The most important things about a horse is its feet,” Reyes said. “I like to make them feel good.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 11:35 AM
Cincinnati - J. Cueto
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi 11:35 AM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
Chicago Cubs - J. Hammel 12:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Tanaka
St. Louis - J. Kelly 12:10 PM
Milwaukee - W. Peralta
NY Mets - D. Gee 2:40 PM
Arizona - B. McCarthy
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - C. Lee
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Cleveland - Z. McAllister 6:08 PM
Detroit - A. Sanchez
Washington - T. Roark 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Fernandez
Seattle - F. Hernandez 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Darvish
Boston - C. Buchholz 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - J. Danks
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Toronto - R. Dickey 7:10 PM
Minnesota - M. Pelfrey
Oakland - T. Milone 9:05 PM
LA Angels - T. Skaggs
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Los Angeles - P. Maholm 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Chicago 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Indiana 6:00 PM
Orlando
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Dallas 7:00 PM
Memphis
Detroit 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Houston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Miami
Utah 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Washington 7:00 PM
Boston
Toronto 7:00 PM
New York
Golden State 9:30 PM
Denver
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Portland
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Sacramento
Montreal 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Dallas 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Timberwolves season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close