Shoeing During a Pandemic

Iowa farrier observes an unexpected uptick in his local business as equine enthusiasts stay home and ride

Pictured Above: I shoe out of an enclosed trailer, so there is little set up once I back up to my clients’ barns.  Photos: Jeff Ridley
Editor’s Note: Due to COVID-19, travel has been limited in many states and restrictions placed on barns and other businesses. As a result, instead of the traditional “Shoeing for a Living” feature, we will highlight stories about farriers managing their businesses during the pandemic.

Even living in rural Iowa, our lives have certainly been affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak, but perhaps not to the extent of areas where populations are much denser. Our schools are closed, as are many businesses; however, Iowa is not under a stay-at-home order — at least not as I write this in early April.

The pandemic has affected my business in both negative and positive ways.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Diversification of the horses you work on may enable you to eliminate overhead costs related to travel spent chasing one specific discipline.
  • Timely shoeing on regular intervals is not only good for feet, but
    enables the farrier to build better relationships with the horse and client.
  • Each horse, each client and each day presents new challenges. Being adaptable will serve farriers well in the face of any uncertainties.

The negative. I have an account that travels to Ocala, Fla., for the winter show season, competing in the Holiday Series in December then the Winter Circuit, which runs from the middle of January until the end of March. I fly down…

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Jeff ridley

Jeff Ridley

Jeff Ridley, CJF (TE), APF is the founding president of the American Association of Professional Farriers and served as president of the Iowa Professional Farriers Association.

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