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What Eventing Riders Want Farriers To Know

Educating clients about mechanics of the distal limb and appropriate hoof care is critical to a successful relationship

Every farrier’s dream client is likely a lot like eventing competitor Savannah “Woodge” Fulton. As the daughter of farrier Steven Fulton, the 23-year-old rider experienced firsthand the relationship between farriers and clients when she was growing up. On more than one occasion, she witnessed a family meal being interrupted or a holiday celebration being put on hold for an emergency.

“Because of that,” she says, “I have the mindset that farriers are good at what they do and I let them do their job.”

She knows the difference between a good foot and a bad one, and how to distinguish between a well-done or poorly done job. And she has high expectations. But when it comes to her horses, she leaves the job to the experts.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Many performance horse riders want a farrier to deliver a tidy foot with accurate pastern alignment.
  • Shorter toes and more heel provide the support performance riders want, but have the potential for increasing the occurrence of pulled shoes, especially on cross-country courses.
  • Communication and trust are as important in footcare as a well-trimmed and shod hoof.

If only all clients were as hands-off as Fulton. There are some days you have to be a mind reader to know what your client is thinking, a teacher to explain why a specific approach will or will not work and often a servant who is willing to rush out for an emergency. Farrier work in itself is challenging — from correcting foot pathology to convincing…

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Katie navarra

Katie Navarra

Katie Navarra is a freelance writer who draws from her experiences owning and showing horses, and inter­viewing the industry’s leading pro­fessionals.

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