What do you do with old horseshoes? Bring them to Bob Smith.
By MAGGIE PIATZ
Smith, a horse farrier in Killdeer, has a unique way of repurposing horseshoes that you don’t know what to do with. He turns them into metal sculptures.
Not only does he make beautiful hand roses, he has come up with iron crosses, silverware and has many more ideas to repurpose and save the metal from horseshoes.
Being local, Smith travels to the horses instead of having them loaded into trailers and come to him.
He started shoeing horses in 2000 and works all over North Dakota and Montana. In fact, he will go wherever he gets a call.
He is originally from Britton, S.D. but recently he became a Killdeer resident.
When he has down time from shoeing horses, he handcrafts the roses using the old horseshoes.
He fires up his portable forge and goes to town. The horseshoe is heated until red hot, then half of one end is pounded as flat as it can get. From there, it is a rolling process to form the shape of the rose and each roll adds another petal. The petals are formed by bending the edges out to form a lip. It is again pounded down to ensure the edge of the lip becomes as flat as it can be. This process is repeated until they work the rest of the way down the part of the horseshoe that was not flattened.
During the time the rose is being shaped, the horseshoe is reheated many times.
Smith finishes the roses by touching a bit of color highlight to the edge of the lips, which then enhances the rose.
Smith was set up in his driveway last weekend where he was busy helping two men learn the process of building the roses.
Brian Danielson works alongside Smith. He has tried his hand at making the crosses and silverware.
Danielson, originally of Illinois, has lived in the Killdeer area for three years and said he loves it and decided to stay.
Another person alongside Smith, and happy with the area, is Colby Corbin. Corbin originally came up from Texas and laughingly told of setting the forge up in a garage this past winter when it was -40 degrees and still going to work making the roses.
The three will be featured Sept. 13 during the Dunn Center Centennial to demonstrate their work and will have items on sale that day. They will demonstrate shoeing a horse for children and adults who have never before experienced the process.
Smith will have another horse farrier on hand from Missouri that day, who has been shoeing horses for 20 years.
Smith can be contacted at (701) 690-8668 for those needing his horse shoeing services.