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Tips for Pain-Free Arms

Hall of Fame farriers share how they keep their wrists and elbows healthy


Pictured Above: Taking small bites with your nippers will help you avoid stress-related injuries to your hands, wrists and elbows.

Farrier Takeaways

  • To ensure that a hammer properly fits your hand, there should be about ¼ inch between the tips of your fingers and your palm when lightly squeezing the handle.
  • A nipper run is made easier by making ¼- to ½-inch cuts when trimming hoof wall. Larger bites require more force, which can lead to arm problems.
  • A nipper run is made easier by making ¼- to ½-inch cuts when trimming hoof wall. Larger bites require more force, which can lead to arm problems.
  • When swinging a hammer, keep your elbows close to your rib cage and the head should be as close as possible to the centerline of your body.

More than 30 years ago, Roy Bloom set his sights on making the American Farriers Team. He spent a great deal of time in the fire to improve his skills, efficiency and time, all while shoeing full time. Then he felt it.

“I was practicing hard and shoeing a lot,” recalls the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member. “When I tried to drag a hoof knife through a foot, I would get a sharp pain on the inside of my right elbow.”

Bloom certainly isn’t alone. According to a recent American Farriers Journal internet poll, 26% of shoers say they experience elbow pain. Another 20% have wrist pain, while 43% experience both elbow and wrist pain. Just 11%…

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Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for more than 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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