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Women In Business — 5

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are other services too. I tell you, she’s good,” said horse owner Mike Osborne, who was having one of his horses shod that day. “She does quite a few of my friends’ horses too. She’s in demand.” The pre-made shoes used by Vella come in a standard shape and each shoe has to be fitted specifically to the horse’s foot. To achieve the final fit, the shoe is heated to a fiery 800 degrees before being forged on an anvil to the correct shape. When the temperature of the shoe has dropped, it’s pressed onto the foot and, once the fit is optimal, the shoe gets nailed onto the hoof, the equivalent of a half-inch thick toenail.

Vella said her craft deals with all the parts of the hoof that do not have active blood flow. There’s no nerve ending or feeling by the horse in the hoof so it’s not as painful to the animal as it looks. “The majority of the horses we are shoeing are with a standard factory shoe,” Vella said as she was working between three horses in a stable. “But everything is custom fit, there’s a science to it. Even shoes that are already made still have to be modified. “You just can’t nail them on,” Vella added. “You can make a horse go lame with the wrong shoes.” Challenges, in addition to stubborn horses, include mismatched feet, making wedges to even out the legs, and other customizations. In her after-hours time,

Vella has used her metal working experience to manufacture knives, a skill that has seen her entered into various competitions, including the History Channel’s ‘Forged in Fire’ competition in New York last June. “Doing the show was my pre mid-life crisis,” Vella said. The new season of Forged in Fire premiered Aug. 23 with the finals of her competition airing Sept. 13.

RIGHT: Kelly Vella nails a fitted shoe onto a horse at Pioneer Equine Hospital. Once the fit is optimal, the shoe gets nailed onto the hoof, the equivalent of a half-inch thick toenail. Photo By Richard Paloma

Since 1892


Michele Flanagan Human Resource/Office Manager 16 years

Zoe Kilkenny Regulations Coordinator 1 year

Lindsay Harris Accounts Receivable 3 years

Lesly Muncy Accounts Receivable/Sales Asst 13 years

Dr. Marit Arana Nutritionist 13 years

Yvonne Ortega Accts Receivable/Accts Payable 16 years

Judy Bradley Receptionist 39 years

Kayla Machado Nutrition Associate 2 years Not pictured

304. Yosemite Avenue • 847-1751

Serving California’s Agricultural Industry since 1892

Women in business 2016  
Women in business 2016