Friday, February 18, 2005

Mississippian makes mark in world horseshoeing circles

Hernando resident Lim Couch was recently one of four inductees into the 2005 International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held at the International Hoof Care Summit in Cincinnati. Teh hall of fame, housed at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, Ky., has 95 inductees worldwide.

Couch has been shoeing Elvis's horses at Graceland since 1967. He has been a farrier, or equine phalangeologist, or horseshoer (however you prefer), for over 35 years. He is credited with finding a practical way to change the design of a traditional blacksmith's anvil to make it more useful for shaping horseshoes.

He founded the MidSouth Horseshoeing Academy on 120 acres off Laughter Road in Hernando. The academy had 1,600 students from the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee at Memphis before closing in the 1980s. He is also considered one of the foremost authorities on founder, a hoof inflammation that can impair a horse's movement, and the realignment necessary to protect it.

He used to shoe 50 to 100 horses a year and travel the world working on the best horses and for the rich and famous before health problems slowed him down. But he still makes horseshoes the old-fashioned way over an open coal fire in his workshop.

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