Understanding The Thoroughbred Better Once It Is Off The Track



Pictured Above: Kentucky farrier Pat Broadus learned from his father to keep work with the horse “inside the box.”

When presenting at the American Farrier’s Association Convention in March 2018, Pat Broadus joked that it isn’t the typical venue for a plater. But even if attendees don’t shoe racehorses, there is a strong probability that they are providing footcare for off-the-track Thoroughbreds. The Shelbyville, Ky., farrier says that by better understanding what the racetrack farrier does, other farriers can better work with the horses that clients take over off the track.

Stereotypes Of Platers

Broadus says that stereotypes of platers and their work persist due to a lack of other farriers’ familiarity of the work and track life. He finds there are many track farriers doing quality work, but they are isolated from the rest of the farrier industry. Some of the main stereotypes he sees include:

  • Shod short. Some outsiders think platers shoe too short. Broadus says to look at the shoeing in relation to the job and cycle. “We aren’t shoeing these horses for 6 weeks, we are shoeing them for a 4-week schedule,” he says. “There is enough to support them, but do you want a lot of shoe hanging out there when the horse is running

    “We are still holding our horses’ feet together and aren’t sacrificing them on the short schedule.”

  • Long toe/low heel. These are Thoroughbreds, after all, and you can’t change what they are. “But what we want is a solid heel,” Broadus…
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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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