ox shoes

daz ironwork july 2013 013saxon , guildhall, ox shoes 011

Here are a pair of ox shoes found near buxton derbyshire, oxen were one of the earliest animals to be used for farming
in western europe, records dating from before the norman conquest mention the shoeing of oxen by rural farmers.
Amazingly these pair of shoes were found only a few feet apart, and are in unusually good condition , they seldom survive because of the thinner metal used and tend to look like broken horseshoes.
There were two shoes to each foot because of the cloven hoof and were secured with a flat headed nail.

Above is an old photograph of shoeing an ox in early 1800s,the animal was thrown with ropes then its legs were tied to a wooden stave so it couldnt move, the lads job was to sit on the head.
Like the horse , if it cannot raise its head it wont be getting up!.

An old blacksmith from norfolk once told me that during the war, his father and his two elder brothers got the job of rounding up the native ponys from the moors, and rough shoeing their front feet , he said it was a hell of a job but the pony was worth 5 shillings more shod.
This fella was just a boy then, and his job was to sit on the ponys head while dad and brothers nailed the shoes on, just like the ox in the photo above.

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