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British farrier Wayne Preece has worked as the resident farrier at a veterinary hospital, taught those aspiring to become farriers and conducted research to benefit our understanding of footcare. Reflecting on his 35 years in the trade, he simplifies his resume.
“I just shoe horses,” he says.
Modest as this summary is, shoeing horses isn’t as simple. No matter what a farrier decides to attach to the foot, the result will fail unless the basic principles of farriery are applied. For Preece, any shoeing package application first relies on a thorough evaluation of the horse before selecting that package.
“We need to look at horses and understand what they are trying to tell us,” he says. “Learn to read a horse like a book. I don’t look at the horse and think what I am going to do to the horse, but what I can do for it.”
It is the recognition of this responsibility as a farrier that inspired Preece to discuss how listening to the horse will direct the farrier’s work. Of course, this…