By: Deb Kitchenmaster

Played any horseshoes lately? Horseshoes is a game enjoyed by many people, world leaders included. The classic outdoor game has a rich history – reaching back through thousands of years. Legend states that horseshoes originated back in ancient Rome. Roman soldiers would collect used horseshoes discarded by their officers and pitch them toward their target. The Duke of Wellington allegedly referred to the Americans as “pitchers of horse hardware,” following the American Revolution. This insult led to the games recognition in American society and has remained popular ever since.

So, why would horses be shod? What does that mean? Horse shoeing is a process by which a horseshoe is fitted to a horse’s foot (hoof) in order to protect it from wear and injury. Horseshoes are typically made of metal but can also be made of rubber. This process of fitting and nailing a horseshoe to a horse’s foot is an ancient one and has been used since the Middle Ages.

The first record of horseshoeing was in the 5th century. It is believed that this practice was used in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. It was used to protect horses’ hooves from the rocky terrain they traveled on. In the Middle Ages (1000-1600 AD), nails were used to secure the shoe to the horse’s hoof. In the late 1700s, farriers in America began to use the “clenched” nail method of horse shoeing which is still in use today.

The farrier, a skilled crafts person with a sound knowledge of both theory and practice of the craft, capable of shoeing all types of equine feet (whether normal or defective), skilled in making shoes to suit all types of work and working conditions, begins with a time of preparation BEFORE shoeing a horse. Today, horse shoeing is a specialized skill and farriers must be trained and certified in order to practice it. In preparation for a horse to be shod, the farrier first will clean the hoof using a hoof pick. The hoof is then trimmed to level the soles and then the hoof is rasped with a file to smooth down the edges of the hoof and keep it flat. The farrier will also check the hooves for any signs of injury or disease. Once the horse’s feet are prepared, the next step is to measure and fit the horseshoes. The farrier will select the correct size and style of shoe. The shoes are nailed to the horse’s feet. The nails used to secure the shoes typically are made of steel, but can also be made of aluminum or copper. The finishing touch is filing any rough edges on the shoes, as well as adding any extra protection, such as pads or hoof dressings. The farrier will check the horse’s feet to make sure that the shoes are secure and comfortable. Shoes can help a horse perform better because they provide traction and help distribute the horse’s weight. Shoes can bring an improvement in the horse’s stride that you will feel as you are on its back.

We are instructed to be awake to the fact that we are in a war. It’s not a war against flesh and blood but it is a spiritual war against the principalities, against the powers, against world leaders of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. We are told to take the whole armor of God so we can stand! The word SHOD is right there in Ephesians 6:15, “And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Think about it, shod your feet, with what? Yes, the good news of peace. Why peace? The angels announced, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward humanity,” at Jesus’ birth. And in the book of Romans one will read these words: “The God of Peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” Say “YES” to your feet being shod with peace, “YES” to being lead forth with peace, “YES” to standing in peace, and “YES” to crushing lies, fears, and deception, under our very own feet.

Shod up!