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By the nature of the business, farriery is a dangerous job in which your fate can change without warning. Even the most skillful horseperson is one horse away from loss of career or worse. Beyond the horse, factor in the equipment carried on a shoeing rig and used on a daily basis. As the cliché goes, accidents happen.
Farriers accept the inherent danger presented with their work, but other circumstances can increase the risk. Yet, under these circumstances, farriers continue to deliver vital hoof care to horses.
Farriers who provide footcare for police department mounted units have recently worked under tougher conditions. Dennis Hall, along with his father James, have been the farriers for the Philadelphia Police Department Mounted Unit since its reinstatement in 2011.
Like other cities in the United States, protests and riots erupted in response to the deaths of George Floyd and other black citizens. The already polarizing subjects tied to these deaths have been amplified with the November presidential election approaching. Nonetheless, police horses are enlisted as invaluable instruments for surveillance and crowd control. As horses, they deserve quality hoof care to do their job, which requires a skilled farrier on call.
On May 30, civil unrest in Philadelphia resulted in the mounted unit being called into Center City. Although the horses typically are shod in their stable…