Allow me to humbly say "Hi" and formally introduce myself. All who know me call my 'Lenny' Lenny Alifi. I've been a Farrier for over 45 years, spending most of my adult life in the desert right here in the Phoenix valley, Apache Junction to be exact.
I started my apprenticeship in Upstate New York and in Long Island. The man I served my apprenticeship under is Dave Birdsall who was eventually inducted into the Worldwide Farriers Association. Dave was old school, hard on me, and told me to go to school so I went to Western's School of Horseshoeing in the mid 1970s. I later returned to Long Island to work with Dave but The West gets under a person's skin and I had to make this desert my home.
From early childhood I'd always had a love for horses in spite of being a New York City raised kid and somehow, I just knew I'd be in equine care in some way as a professional. In the 1980s, I was very fortunate to teach at SCC and CAC in equine sciences.
Over the many years of nailing steel to hoof, I've always pondered "Is there were a better way?" With all of todays advancing technology, maybe there is a better solution to this necessary evil of nailing steel to hoof. We put weight on a horses back and the sports and pleasure riding vigorously wares away hoof faster than natures growth can catch up. We have been nailing steel on to protect our horses feet since the 1400s.
My observation of the Golden Wing Horseshoe is that it is not made of steel, has the strength of natural hoof, and has an amazing durability that is as close to barefoot shoeing as I have yet experienced. At first introduction to this strange looking shoe, I was a bit confused as to either embrace it or just pass it along as some oddity of interest. Either way, I was intrigued so I had to give it a whirl. I did and so far, it's been18 horses that I have shod and reset with this Golden Wing shoe. I must confess, it is becoming much less strange than it was 5 weeks ago. It gives the protection of padding a hoof and I love the shock absorption, it is just like putting hoof onto hoof. I still need more hands on observation with this innovative new product but the in very near future I hope to be able to answer the question; to steel or not to steel?
I am very impressed with the quality of these new shoes.
I have been watching the research and development of this new horse show for several years now and am thrilled to finally be able to try them on my older thoroughbred gelding who is starting to show some wear and tear. He is on his second setting at the moment and is moving like a young horse again. I was considering hock injections but with the Golden Wing shoes, I see no need for that at this time. He is back in work and his length of stride and quality of movement is even better than when he was a young horse placing in the model hunter classes at Devon and many other shows. Only wish they were available throughout this horse’s career. Love the shock absorption and the traction he has in western PA mud.