Set the Horse and Farrier Up for Success

Ohio shoer has a system for picking up the front foot that puts a horse at ease and increases efficiency

Farrier Takeaways

  • Start the day with a positive attitude. When Kirk Underschultz doesn’t look forward to pulling into a particular barn, that client is on his shortlist to be fired.
  • Let the horse’s conformation dictate where you position yourself to do the trim. Forcing the horse into a position it finds uncomfortable helps no one.
  • A hoof stand may offer farriers relief from aches and pains associated with horseshoeing, and serve to help young farriers prevent injuries.

The front driving position — the position used for pulling shoes, trimming feet and nailing on shoes — begins with the simple, yet profound act of picking up one front foot. It’s profound because many farriers start with a front foot, so how we do that initial act often sets the tone for the rest of the shoeing process.

Often those who work with horses lift the front foot by grabbing the cannon or twisting the chestnut. As farriers, I don’t believe this approach is the most efficient for what we want to accomplish. For many horses, especially a young horse or an old sore horse, this abrupt action catches them by surprise. As a result, they tend to pull away or snap…

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Kirk underschultz headshot

Kirk Underschultz

Kirk Underschultz is a farrier from Amanda, Ohio, who spent most of his career working in therapeutic shoeing. He recently transitioned to an only trim business.

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