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What Influences a Farrier’s Shoe Choice?

Farrier Wayne Preece discusses shoe types and criteria for choosing the right application.


Pictured Above: British farrier Wayne Preece surveyed his criteria for shoe selection at the 2020 American Farrier’s Association Annual Convention.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Decisions made about how to trim the horse should ensure the most efficient functions of the foot.
  • Not understanding the function and purpose of a shoe is a likely way to fail the horse.
  • The client’s expectations for the horse, as well as potentially
    unexpected costs, should be discussed prior to application.

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…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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