Farrier Influence on Movement has Show Ring Implications

Farrier and competition judge explains the role of trim and shoe selection on performance outcomes for hunters and jumpers

Pictured Above: An example of a hunter obstacle course, which consists of eight jumps. Images and Illustrations: Dean Moshier

Farrier Takeaways

  • Hunters and jumpers are similar in some regard, but their movements are substantially different.
  • The level at which a horse competes will determine the type of footing it is most likely to encounter and is an important shoeing consideration.
  • Making sure a horse is sound is the farrier’s primary concern before ever talking about performance.

When providing hoof care for hunters and jumpers, a farrier is focused on the fundamentals of improving performance — but how does our work positively or negatively affect our clients’ chances in the show ring? I have been shoeing horses for more than 30 years, but I’ve also spent some time as a show judge. In that role, I’ve learned how the decisions we make as farriers can influence scores, what judges are looking for and what we can do to help our clients experience show ring success.

Understand Your Discipline

Whether you shoe dressage, draft or hunters and jumpers, it is critical to have a clear understanding of the discipline you are working on, specifically what they do and how they move.

The deeper our understanding of the discipline and its nuances, the better equipped we are to create a shoeing plan for those horses. There are similarities between hunters and jumpers, but identifying their differences is critical to providing the most appropriate shoeing solution and setting them up for competition success.


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Dean moshier

Dean Moshier

Ohio farrier Dean Moshier has been shoeing horses for 30 years and is also a competition judge for hunters/jumpers. He earned his CJF-I from the Brotherhood of Working Farriers and an APF-I from the American Association of Professional Farriers.

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