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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.