Are You Proactive Or Reactive With Performance Horses?

The key to successfully providing hoof care for the performance horse rests with your ability to be proactive for the horse’s individual needs

When looking at the general horse population, Grant Moon views what he calls the “big middle.” Many of the horses in this populace have been assigned jobs that they just aren’t suitable for to achieve at high levels. But in reality, when the farrier arrives to shoe that horse, his or her opinion on the suitability of the horse to its newly assigned job is irrelevant. The client only sees it as a jumper or a dressage competitor regardless of the reality.

“We aren’t shoeing perfect horses, and we aren’t shoeing horses for what they were bred for, but rather for what they are doing,” says the Hall Of Fame farrier. “We as farriers must make the best of it. My goal when shoeing a horse is to maximize performance while preventing lameness.”

Moon recognizes preventing lameness as the toughest challenge for the performance horse farrier. Poor horsemanship or improper farriery often are incorrectly blamed as culprits for lameness when in actuality it rests with the job. The horse is worn out and can break down from being pushed too hard.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Take several minutes to evaluate the horse in the arena in which it does its work before you pick up a foot.
  • There are no hard rules in trimming and shoeing, only guidelines.
  • Use creativity to select the appropriate appliance and modifications to help the horse for its individual needs.

“Are we being proactive farriers?” asks the six-time Calgary champion. “Typically, we are reactive farriers — when…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern is the former Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is president of American Horse Publications.

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