Joy of Learning


Farriers do the same job everywhere in the world. There are minor differences but the basics, the horses, don’t  change. We all share the same passion into our work and the same challenges. This is a small film of the farrier students in India’s first farrier institute. Education is a big help for the horses, and can change everything in farrier’s  own life.

Besides, learning is fun!


Coming soon…


Time for a wake up call! I haven’t abandoned the blog completely. 
Lot of things has happened since last year.  Last spring I worked for three months in Norway in Aksel Vibe’s team, visited Great Britain (thanks for Jonathan Nunn :)) and learned so much during those months. In the summer I arrived back home to Finland and continued business as usual.

It’s amazing how much I could learn during the spring. After that I’ve enjoyed every day of my work. It’s pure joy when I realize that I can make shoeings and shoes this good and I know how to practice to make them all the time better and better.  I’m truly thankful to Aksel and everyone else who have given their time to help me.  Sometimes I feel the luckiest girl on earth to have such amazing possibilities. I go and knock on masters’ doors and ask “Can you teach me?” and so far few are those who have refused.

In our trade the spirit of sharing knowledge is amazing. I want to pay my debt and on my turn pass my knowledge on. What would fit better for an adventurous girl, than the great work Flying Anvil Fondation does?  In November 2014 I travelled to Rajasthan as a volunteer to teach the farrier students in the first farrier institute in India, founded by FAF.

I didn’t take only photos anymore. I also filmed during the trip to India. I have no clue about filming or making videos, and I realized that my dream of making a video out of the trip might never come true.  But again things turned out just right.  Auli Mantila, an enthusiast farrier student who happens to be a film director as well, appeared on my side to work with me. Out of the material collected in India was born a little less than 30 min long documentary film, Joy of Learning.

The film will be published in a few days, so stay tuned!


Beautiful World

Riina’s blog is back!


Last four months I spent living one of my dreams, traveling. I was going to blog something On The Road, but soon it became clear to me, that the internet connections were too rare and slow for me to be able to put the effort for any blogging. So I decided just to enjoy. Right now when I’m back home (for a few days) I’ve been wondering what should I write here. I feel astonished of everything I saw and everyone (people and animals) I met on the way. There is just too many stories to tell. Probably everyone who have done any sort of “round the world” -trip, has the same problem.

Besides, I need to go on, in a few days I’m heading to Norway to educate myself in the shoeing and shoemaking business, (that is what I usually have to do for living :D) , so I decided not to write any long novels about adventures in a remote places in the world, even though I love writing, but I will just publish a parade of holiday pics. (You know, those holiday pics that no one is truly never interested to see :D) But as a reader of a blog you are free to choose whether to look at them or click yourself onto another site ;D

Well, I let the pics speak. I want them to be a hallelujah for trekking, hiking, tramping, camping or whatever you call it. That’s a way to travel (and live) for me. I think it’s important to be ready to bargain of the level of comfort. I want to see the places where my legs can bring me into. I’m not interested in luxury hotels, or the feel of the “security” of masses of other tourists around me.

I want to see the beautiful nature, the beautiful planet we’re living in and the best way is to take your own legs, walk into remote places and be ready to feel sometimes cold, dirty, fear, thirst etc. In the end that’s nothing compared to the beauty and adventure you’ll be rewarded.

In this post I’m going to take you to Borneo, in the oldest forests of the world, 130 million years old, and Australia, where the nature and animals are something completely different from the rest of the world, and last but not the least, to Vanuatu. A country in the Pacific Ocean, where many people still can live happily with whatever they collect from the nature. I felt privileged to be able to camp in a jungle with Ni-Vanuatus who were amazingly fit and skilled people and also willing to share their knowledge of their surroundings. Anything can be turned into something useful: food, medicine or construction material.

Oh and then I’ll have something from Nepal, but that country made such an deep impact to me, that I’ll make a separate “Nepal” post out of it… :)

And here is a place for warning: Lots of Cute Animal pics ahead!


Orangutans are the stars in Danum Valley conservation area, that is the other one of the only two primary rainforest area in Sabah, Malysia. Another one is the Maliau Basin “The Lost World”.

Continue reading

Bye Bye!


This is it.

Couple of hours ago I finished my last shoeing job for a few months. I’m soon leaving my homecountry and heading towards new adventures.

To be honest, actually it may be that I’ll be shoeing very soon indeed, because my adventures will begin today by an educational weekend trip to Sweden, where I’ll be able to do some forging and perhaps shoeing :D But anyway, this was the last customer I shod, and I feel strange and a bit melancholic. I’ve got such a great customers, the co-operation with many of them has been going on for many years. I feel bad to leave everything behind, but nice thing is, that I could arrange a substitute for everyone in need.

There is lots to arrange in the coming days. Soon after coming back from Sweden I’ll say goodbye to Finland for at least six months. I’ll probably post here something during my trips. The winter will be spent just roaming around, and hopefully I finally have time to work on some projects I’ve been planning, so the blog may not be actively updated, but in the spring I’ll be back in the shoeing business, but not in Finland :) Stay alert, I’ve decided to see and learn new things and hopefully I can share something with you as well!

Hoof cracks

We had yesterday visitors in Finland. Joop Wijnen from Holland has been visiting Finland numerous times educating and judging competitions and we’re always very happy to have him in Finland. Auke-Anne Waal from Werkman Horseshoes was joining, too. This time Joop was here to give a clinic of hoof cracks. The event was very succesful. At Ypäjä Equine College were brought many horses with hoof cracks and Joop shod them and we could see in practice how he handles the cracks.
First in the morning we had a lecture in auditorium. An introduction of the reasons of different hoof cracks and treating them.
And then the practice. Most of the hoof cracks are result of weaknesses in basic shoeing work, mainly in the hoof balance. That is why it is so important to be able to see the correct balance and trim the hoof to it. There is no way to treat a crack if the pressure on the hoof is not even. For that reason Joop first demonstrated the basics of a shoeing on a horse without special problems. Before the shoeing he wanted to see the horse’s movements. Is the hoof landing flat or not? That gives a you a clue for your shoeing work.
Shoeing demonstration going on. Lots of interested crowd. Even the horse pays attention into the lecture :)
One of the cracked hoofs. The crack has been covered with some plastic and screwes to prevent the movement in the hoof on the cracked area. Joop said he can’t do much more with this one, but he can try. The smaller crack in front shouldn’t be a problem, but the bigger in the back may have already damaged the coronary band and in those cases you need to treat the horse in the horse hospital. The whole heel area behind the crack including the coronary band must be cleaned and treated to get the hoof grow down healthy again.
The cracks are cleaned. Here you can see how the coronary band is higher on the crack area. That shows that there has been extra pressure on the crack area and it is important to remove that pressure.
The solution was to use a barshoe to divide the pressure on the frog and trim the heel area behind the crack so that it will not touch the shoe. The hoof reacts quickly and already in this photo the heel has lowered much (it doesn’t still touch the shoe, although in this the shadows make it look like so). You can see how the coronary band is already much more in line, the pressure is eased.
Another crack.
Same idea as in the last one. This one should heal nicely. The crack is cleaned and the heel area left in the air. We saw couple of other cracks treated the same way. Joop said that sometimes he also uses Adhere on the crack to make the hoof more stable on the crack area. He personally doesn’t use screwed plates, because you have the risk to prick the hoof with the screw and then you have a new problem on the top of the old ones.
It was a great day! It was really cool that we had there real cases with real problems and Joop was able to show how he deals with them. Everyone shoeing horses knows that this is a profession of praxis and although you need the theory, it’s very hard to make the actual job without the experience in real life. I was also happy to see old friends and lots of new faces around. Thanks for Werkman Horsehoes, Finnfarrier and Finnish Farriers Association!