So, you want to shoe for a veterinary clinic?

There are several things you should know and do to make shoeing for a vet clinic worth your while, but it’s important to understand that you will need to be prepared to work outside your comfort zone. At the clinic, you’re going to try to stay within your skill set. If you’ve never glued on a shoe, your first day at the clinic is not the best time to learn how to do that in front of the vet and the owner. It’s better to work on that outside of the clinic. That’s why you should work with people who are better than you every chance you get. Spend as much time as you can working with other people, even if it’s something you don’t want to do or have no interest in doing.

A great case in point around my area is Sean Travers, probably one of the best Morgan shoers I’ve met. I don’t do a lot of long-footed horses, and I’ve never really wanted to. I spend any chance I can with Sean, even if I’m sweeping the floor for him. It’s amazing what you’ll learn working with people who do things that you don’t. Take any opportunity you can. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been at this for 5 minutes or 50 years, you’ll never regret working with somebody else.

While working at a vet clinic, you’re going to be in situations when you don’t know how to do something. It’s important to keep an open mind about different shoeing options.

Horses will end up at the clinic because the vet suggested to the regular farrier that he or she wants, for example, a Morrison shoe. The horse has thin walls and seems to be sensitive on hoof testers around the nail holes, so we want to glue on the shoe. The regular farrier doesn’t work with the Morrison shoe, or doesn’t work with glue-on shoes, so it’s immediately classed as a bad idea. Just because you don’t know how to do something doesn’t make it a bad idea. It goes back to the premise of working with other people. It’s amazing how many terrible ideas turn out to be great ideas once you’re comfortable using them.

Gain more insight from Nicholas B. Denson by reading “Make Shoeing for a Vet Clinic Worth Your While” in the November 2020 issue of American Farriers Journal.