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Farrier-Client Partnership Brings Horse Back to Soundness

Infection, dead coffin bone and contralateral limb rotation test Florida farrier’s skills and client’s follow-through


Pictured Above: Heidi Thompsons’ 18-month-old filly Maybeline lacerated her front left foot on a barb-wire fence in early June 2017. Veterinarian Dr. Valerie Biehl examined the horse, sutured and treated the wound.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Managing client expectations is an important part of the farrier’s job. Always be honest and realistic. I don’t want to bleed clients dry on a hope and a prayer. I have an ethical obligation to my clients.
  • You are only as good as your client. I had an amazing client and she did exactly what the veterinarian and I asked her to do. If she hadn’t been as committed this case would have had a different outcome.
  • No one knows everything. Leading equine surgeons told me this horse would not recover — and it did.

This case involves my client Heidi Thompson’s 18-month-old filly, Maybeline. On June 9, 2017, she was turned out after it had been raining. She was out in the arena because it offered the driest surface at that time. Maybeline managed to find a puddle and slip. Her foot went under a wire fence, which lacerated the medial side of her hoof. Dr. Valerie Biehl, Maybeline’s veterinarian, came out to examine and suture the wound that day.

When Heidi contacted me to come by about a week later, the stitch pulled and Maybeline ended up with quittor in the medial wing of her coffin bone. At that point, I advised Heidi that the animal most likely needed to go to surgery. Heidi…

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Clayton wilber

Clayton Wilber

Clayton Wilber is a farrier from St. Cloud, Fla. He was a team roper for years, who started shoeing horses to keep himself on the road. Three decades later he has his own business, Florida Farrier Services, where he shoes everything from performance horses to backyard minis.

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