Teamwork Is Crucial At The World Equestrian Games

There are no short cuts when providing elite hoof care

Pictured Above: When Sandy Johnson isn’t nailing on shoes at the in-gate, she’s studying horses, gaits and shoes.

Working the World Equestrian Games is often considered the crown jewel for many farriers’ careers. While shoeing the best equine athletes in the world certainly looks good on a résumé, make no mistake, this is not an individual event — it’s all about the team helping the horse.

More than 3-dozen members of the American and International Associations of Professional Farriers (AAPF/IAPF) did just that as the official show farriers of the 2018 World Equestrian Games in mid-September at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C. The team performed just what one might expect — complete shoeing, replacing shoes, patching quarter cracks, applying glue-on shoes and supporting the team farriers from all over the world.

Throughout the games, there were plenty of opportunities to fix a sprung heel or tack on a lost shoe. Yet, there is so much more to the job. What appear to be “hurry up and wait” moments — the idle time in between the rush of fixing a shoe before a competitor loses his or her spot in the ring — are opportunities to gather information that can be useful and make their jobs easier.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Although there is downtime, it’s important that show farriers use those opportunities to familiarize themselves with the horses, their gaits and the shoes they wear, as well as the tendencies of the riders. This information will help prepare…
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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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